Week 9

“You will do well to employ them”                                                                   – Gideon Welles

USS Miami
USS Miami

Learning Modules:

The Maritime Underground Railroad, African Americans, Freedom, & The US Navy


Scanned Documents

Ayers, Ed. “Seeing Emancipation Scale and Freedom in the American South,” Journal of the Civil War Era, Vol. 1, No. 1 (March 2011), pp. 3-24.

NPS Database – a chart created for those joining the squadrons (Navy)

Master’s Thesis – One Good Port, Dan Blair

Official Records of the Navy – discussion of the contribution of ‘contraband,’ and Welles’ response to S.P. Lee.

Procure – Tomblin, Barbara Brooks. Bluejackets & Contrabands: African Americans and the Union Navy, (Kentucky UP, 2009).

Discussion Board:

  1. Incredibly, over 600 human beings risked their lives and took to the river by any means possible to reach the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron – many to join the Union Navy. Describe the contributions of African Americans as informants and sailors.
  2. Describe life for an average black sailor during the Civil War – do you think it contrasted considerably with life in the army?
  3. William Benjamin Gould was an incredible person – describe his life and what it meant historically.


Zoom PP Lecture:

The Cape Fear River as a Maritime Underground Railroad