The Underground Railroad to be discussed at next Dinner and A Lecture

"Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the African American Quest for Freedom" will be the topic at the next monthly "Dinner & A Lecture" installment.

The lecture will be presented by historian Ron Roth for the Historic Beaufort Foundation at the Verdier House, 801 Bay Street, on Monday, April 23, at 5:30 p.m. 

The story of the Underground Railroad is one of the most epic in American History and one that played a role in Beaufort County history when abolitionist Harriet Tubman raided plantations on the Combahee River guiding slaves to freedom.

This presentation describes the heroic efforts of African Americans and whites to hide and guide runaway slaves in their desperate journeys to freedom in the North and in Canada. Highlights include first person narratives of escaping runaway slaves and their encounters with slave catchers and kidnappers; the courageous work of railroad "conductors" like Tubman; and the role of plantation slavery, African American churches and slave uprisings like the Stono Rebellion in South Carolina in generating the growth of the Underground Railroad.

Roth, the curator of the current exhibit at the Verdier House, "The Beaufort Volunteer Artillery: Guardians of the Lowcountry Since 1776," was director and CEO of the Reading (PA) Public Museum and director of the Museum of Nebraska Art before moving to Bluffton. He has curated or co-curated over 30 exhibitions from the Patriotic Paintings of N.C. Wyeth to a major exhibition with international glass artist Dale Chihuly.

Roth was a seasonal historian for the Gettysburg National Military Park, and a licensed battlefield guide. More recently, as an independent curator and consultant he researched and wrote the script for the permanent exhibition area of the Central Pennsylvania African American Museum in Reading, Pennsylvania and its exhibit on the Underground Railroad in central Pennsylvania. He is currently vice president of the Civil War Roundtable of the Lowcountry.

Open to HBF members and non-members, the lecture series features a wine and hors d'oeuvres reception, 5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. The program is 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. followed by audience questions. Admission to the lecture is $15/$25 per member/member couple respectively, and $20/$30 per non-member/non-member couple respectively. Seating is limited; call 379-3331 to make reservations. A three-course dinner at Saltus River Grill is offered at $19 per person for attendees at the lecture. Call Saltus River Grill directly to make dining reservations.