Courtesy of Cornell University

Prof. Ed Baptist, history, will present on the Freedom on the Move project next Monday, Feb. 21.

February 16, 2022

University Will Host Webinar on the Experience of Fugitive Slaves

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In an event open to the Cornell community and sponsored by Cornell’s Migrations initiative, Prof. Ed Baptist, history, will deliver a presentation on the Cornell-based Freedom on the Move project next Monday, Feb. 21. 

The FOTM project is a database documenting the lives of fugitives from American slavery through newspaper ads placed by slave owners in the 18th and 19th centuries. The database draws on crowdsourced data to document the experience of individuals and populations from slavery to freedom and beyond. It enables scholars from multiple disciplines to study the migration trajectories.

The FOTM project is based out of Cornell’s Institute for Social and Economic Research and was co-founded by Baptist. Its team spans several institutions, including the Ohio State University, University of Kentucky and University of Alabama. According to their website, the project boasts 13,167 contributors and 37,548 crowdsourced actions. 

Baptist studies ​​the history of the United States in the 1800s, particularly the enslavement of Black Americans in the South. The conversation will be moderated by Prof. Eric Tagliacozzo, history, who is the current co-chair of Cornell’s Migrations initiative.

Lynda Kellam, University Senior Data Librarian, Brandon Kowalski, a University software engineer and member of the center for social services and the Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research are also collaborators for the event.
The event will be held online as a webinar on Feb. 21 at 1 p.m. through eCornell.