A CIVIL CONVERSATION with Jonathan W. White, via Zoom
November 9 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Join us on Thursday, November 9, 2023, at 7:00 pm for a CIVIL CONVERSATION. This is a live ZOOM event ~ Jonathan W. White, author of "Shipwrecked A True Civil War Story of Mutinies, Jailbreaks, Blockade-Running, and the Slave Trade" will engage in a Civil Conversation with NCWM CEO Jeffrey Nichols.
About the book: Historian Jonathan W. White tells the riveting story of Appleton Oaksmith, a swashbuckling sea captain whose life intersected with some of the most important moments, movements, and individuals of the mid-19th century, from the California Gold Rush, filibustering schemes in Nicaragua, Cuban liberation, and the Civil War and Reconstruction. Most importantly, the book depicts the extraordinary lengths the Lincoln Administration went to destroy the illegal trans-Atlantic slave trade. Using Oaksmith’s case as a lens, White takes readers into the murky underworld of New York City, where federal marshals plied the docks in lower Manhattan in search of evidence of slave trading. Once they suspected Oaksmith, federal authorities had him arrested and convicted, but in 1862 he escaped from jail and became a Confederate blockade-runner in Havana. The Lincoln Administration tried to have him kidnapped in violation of international law, but the attempt was foiled. Always claiming innocence, Oaksmith spent the next decade in exile until he received a presidential pardon from U.S. Grant, at which point he moved to North Carolina and became an anti-Klan politician. Through a remarkable, fast-paced story, this book will give readers a new perspective on slavery and shifting political alliances during the turbulent Civil War Era.
About the speaker: Jonathan W. White is professor of American Studies at Christopher Newport University. He is the author or editor of 13 books and more than 100 articles, essays, and reviews about the Civil War, slavery and emancipation, African American history, Abraham Lincoln, and the U.S. Constitution. His book Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln was named a best book of 2014 by Civil War Monitor, was a finalist for both the Gilder-Lehrman Lincoln Prize and the Jefferson Davis Prize, and won the Abraham Lincoln Institute's 2015 book prize. Midnight in America: Darkness, Sleep, and Dreams during the Civil War was named a best book of 2017 by Civil War Monitor. His 2018 book, "Our Little Monitor": The Greatest Invention of the Civil War, co-authored with Anna Gibson Holloway, was a finalist for the Indie Book Awards and honorable mention for the John Lyman Book Award. He is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, serves on the Boards of Directors of the Abraham Lincoln Institute and the Abraham Lincoln Association, and is the Vice Chair of The Lincoln Forum. He also serves on the Ford’s Theatre Advisory Council, the editorial board of the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, and as editor of The Lincoln Forum Bulletin. In 2019 he won the Outstanding Faculty Award of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the highest award given to faculty in the Commonwealth. His most recent books are My Work Among the Freedmen: The Civil War and Reconstruction Letters of Harriet M. Buss (2021), which he co-edited with his student, Lydia Davis; To Address You As My Friend: African Americans' Letters to Abraham Lincoln (2021); and A House Built By Slaves: African American Visitors to the Lincoln White House (2022).
This is an online-only event and is free and open to the public.