Author and renowned historian Alan S. Taylor will talk about his new work, National Book Award finalist, The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832 at 1:30 PM on Sunday, March 23 as Ash Lawn-Highland’s 2014 Virginia Festival of the Book event. The talk reveals the role of escaped slaves during the War of 1812:
“About 3,400 slaves fled from Maryland and Virginia to British ships during the War of 1812. This represented the Chesapeake region’s greatest surge of runaways between the end of the American Revolution and the start of the Civil War. After the War of 1812, most of the refugees resettled in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Trinidad, while a few scattered throughout the global British Empire. In contrast to the earlier runaways of the revolution, the War of 1812 fugitives have received little attention from historians. Consequently, distortions persist, including the popular canard that the British resold the runaways into a worse slavery in the West Indies. Fortunately, archival sources reveal their extraordinary story of dramatic escapes and postwar resettlement. By drawing on those largely untapped sources, this book examines the causes, course, and consequences of the flight by slaves to join and help the British. While focusing on the war years of 1812-1815, The Internal Enemy situates that conflict in a longer history of slavery and freedom in Virginia, the early republic’s largest and most powerful state.”
Taylor is the incoming Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor of History at the University of Virginia, the author of numerous books, and the winner of prestigious awards including the 1996 Pulitzer Prize and the Bancroft and Beveridge Awards.