Aquia Landing and Slavery

This week, the Stafford paper published an article called “Slaves sought freedom via Stafford creek”. This was an article published on event held at Aquia Landing in Stafford in honor of slaves who waited for the freedom at Stafford creek via steamboat. Frederick Douglas’ story was just one of many.  The paper tells stories of slaves hidding in crates to be shipped north to freedom. Some of the songs the sang in Stafford were “no more auction block for me. No more, no more. No morea auction block for me. Many thousand gone” and “The old ark’s a moverin’, a-moverin’, a moverin’. Old ark’s a-moverin’, I’m going home” after getting on steamships. Aquia Landing became the plath for freedom for nearly 10,000 slaves from central Virginia. Events that happened in Frederick Douglass’s narative were similar to ones happening here ini Fredericksburg and Stafford, many attempting to escape to their freedom in the north.

2 Responses to “Aquia Landing and Slavery”

  1. jfaraci says:

    I actually taught a lesson to some 2nd graders about slavery and we read a children’s book titled “Henry’s Freedom Box” by Ellen Levine. It is a historical fiction book about a famous slave runaway who went by the name of Henry “Box” Brown. In the book Henry is nailed up into a box and shipped up north to some abolitionist friends. I know a children’s book is somewhat irrelevant to an upper-level college literature course, but you mentioned the slaves hiding in crates and I thought of this. The students were fascinated by the idea… I wonder what they would think if they heard slaves attempted to gain freedom by crossing a creek so nearby!

    • Richards says:

      Jacklyn’s mention of this children’s book is hardly irrelevant, especially since it initiates a thread that emerges for the following two weeks: how do twenty-first-century educators responsibly teach about slavery? And, if we’re thinking along the lines of literary fomalism, note how that confined space parallels Jacobs’s “loophole of retreat” in her attic.