Native American Slave Trade in New England

THU, APR 22, 2004 (1:57:26)

Panelists from around the country converge to discuss how the history of the Native American slave trade taints New England’s past. New England’s pride in its abolitionist heritage has long obscured the presence of slavery in the region for over two hundred years from its first founding to the institution’s ultimate demise through schemes of gradual emancipation. Though New England’s role in the conduct of the slave trade is perhaps better known, the recent compilation of data related to that trade makes this an auspicious time to examine new research in this area. This Conference was sponsored by the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, in association with The Museum of Afro-American History; The National Park Service; The Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture; Suffolk University; and The W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research.

+ BIO: Ruth Wallis Herndon

Dr. Ruth Herndon, Associate Professor (Ph.D., American University, 1992). Dr. Herndon’s teaching and research focus on early American social history, with a special emphasis on marginalized people in the colonial and Revolutionary eras–children, women, the poor, servants, and slaves. Her major publications include a monograph on the transient poor in the eighteenth century, Unwelcome Americans: Living on the Margin in Early New England (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001), an essay in the Journal of Economic History (co-authored with John E. Murray), “Markets for Children: The Political Economy of Pauper Apprenticeship” (2002), and an anthology (co-edited with John E. Murray), Children Bound to Labor: Pauper Apprenticeship in Early America (Cornell University Press, 2009). For over ten years, Dr. Herndon has been collaborating with Dr. Ella Wilcox Sekatau, medicine woman, ethnohistorian and genealogist of the Narragansett Tribe, on a project to re-tell New England history using both Euro-American and Narragansett sources. They have published several jointly-authored essays, one of which won the Heizer prize from the American Society for Ethnohistory in 1998. Dr. Herndon’s current project is Children of Misfortune: The Fates of Boston’s Poor Apprentices, a study that traces the lives of children bound out from the Boston almshouse in the eighteenth century. More information can be found on Dr. Herndon’s webpage: [Source:]

+ BIO: Ann Marie Plane

Ann Marie Plane is associate professor of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She recently published Colonial Intimacies: Indian Marriage in Early New England and is at work on an article on dream narration and dream interpretation among English colonists and Native Americans in 17th century New England.

+ BIO: Margaret Newell

Margaret Ellen Newell received her A.B. in History and Spanish from Brown University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Early American History from the University of Virginia. Her research and teaching interests include colonial and Revolutionary America, Native American History, economic history, material culture, and comparative colonial American/Latin American History. Her recent publications include From Dependency to Independence: Economic Revolution in Colonial New England (1998) and The Birth of New England in the Atlantic Economy, 1600-1770.

Museum of African American History
Native American Culture Series