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Pennsylvania German Enslavers: A Re-examination

August 23 @ 6:30 pm 8:30 pm

Learn about Pennsylvania Germans’ history of enslavement.

About this event

What role did Pennsylvania’s German population play in African enslavement, and where does it show up in archival records? As with much historical examination of the extent of slavery in the North, a re-examination of documents has led to a deeper understanding of the use of enslaved labor. With a bevy of emerging digitized materials now available to do the granular research needed, researchers and family historians can better assess the role of Pennsylvania Germans in human bondage practices. The presentation will offer starting points to looking at the documents, including some found at the Historical Society by a researcher, and it will start the discussion of why German immigrants escaping serfdom in Europe participated in African slavery.

Speaker’s Bio:

James M. Beidler — born, raised, and living again in the Pennsylvania German epicenter of Berks County — is interim executive director for the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania and the author of four commercially published books, including The Family Tree Historical Atlas of Germany. Beidler also writes “Roots & Branches,” a weekly newspaper column and blog (at www.roots-branches.com), and is a German Life magazine columnist.



August 23
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
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Historical Society of Pennsylvania
(215) 732-6200
View Organizer Website