Enslaved African-Americans of colonial Rhode Island lived and worked, and even sometimes prayed and played next to their white masters; however, with few if any basic human and civil rights, without ownership of their own bodies and destinies, their lives were always less than whole, less than full, less than complete, corrupted by slavery.  This lecture covers slavery in Rhode Island from its inception in 1636, the very year the colony was founded, until the beginning of the American Revolution in 1775. Its main subject areas are: early slavery in British North America, colonial Rhode Island as part of the Atlantic slave trade, slavery in Narragansett Country, the business of slavery in colonial Newport, the lives of the enslaved, and their resistance to enslavement.

After a 21-year career as an infantry officer in the Army, Fred Zilian was an educator for 23 years at Portsmouth Abbey School, where he taught history, ethics, and German.  Zilian holds a Ph.D. in international relations/strategic studies from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of numerous articles, essays, and book reviews on history, domestic politics, international affairs, Germany, Europe, religion, music, education, climate change, race, globalization, civilization, slavery in America, and the Civil War. 

This presentation is at 6:30 PM via zoom on Wednesday, February 3rd.  Please register online at www.portsmouthlibrary.org or call Portsmouth Free Public Library at 683-9457 so that a link may be sent to you.