Susan Stessin-Cohn to Speak at the Wallace Center

The Mid-Hudson Antislavery History Project is proud to announce that Susan Stessin-Cohn will be speaking on her newest research and publication, “In Defiance: Runaways From Slavery in New York’s Hudson River Valley 1735-1831.” Ms. Stessin-Cohn is former professor of social studies education at SUNY New Paltz, and is currently the Historian for the Town of New Paltz, New York.

Her presentation will take place at the Wallace Center of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, in Hyde Park, New York, on Thursday, October 25th, beginning at 7:00pm. 

Susan is a recipient of the Bruce Dearstyne Award for excellence in the educational use of local government records; the New York State Archives Award for the best use of primary local documents in a curriculum in NYS; and the Pride of Ulster County Award for research on the Ulster County Poorhouse. She has created four teaching packets for the New York State Archives and the Ulster County Clerk’s Office. Her most resent publication, In Defiance: Runaways from Slavery in New York’s Hudson River Valley, 1735-1831, is coauthored by Ashley Hurlburt-Biagini. Susan has appeared on C-Span as well as WYNT channel 13.

To be in bondage, to be owned by another human being, to be subjected to another person’s total will – that was the essence of slavery. The natural “fight or flight” instinct in every human being dominated the minds of all those who were treated as property. Humanizing an otherwise largely silent population, advertisements for fugitive slaves provide an exceptionally valuable window into black life in Early America—from the nature of the slave system and the master-slave relationship to fascinating glimpses into material culture and folk life.

Please join us for this fascinating and important glimpse inside the lives and minds of “runaways.”