Fri 11 Jan, 2008
Tags: 1808, Abolition, Bicentennial, National Archives, Slave trade, Tom DeWolf
Wednesday marked the publication of my cousin Tom’s book, Inheriting the Trade: A Northern Family Confronts Its Legacy as the Largest Slave-Trading Dynasty in U.S. History
The launch event was at the Olsson’s Books and Records in Penn Quarter in Washington, D.C. The event, which included an author reading and book signing, drew an overflow crowd of 75 people.
The publication of the book was timed to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the U.S. slave trade, and the launch event was coordinated with a symposium on the bicentennial taking place at the National Archives the next day. Accordingly, the symposium’s organizer, Professor Joseph Harris of Howard University, was on hand to speak with Tom at the event, and a number of the symposium’s panelists were also in attendance.
I traveled down to Washington for the book launch and the symposium, as did my cousin Holly and her husband, Bill. Others in attendance included Catherine Benedict, an associate producer of Traces of the Trade who worked closely with us during the summer we filmed the journey at the heart of the film and the book.
It was delightful to see so many people turn out for the initial presentation of the book, and of our work in the film, and the energy from that event should help us as we enter a new and more challenging phase of this work.
Tom now heads to Duke University on Friday, the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City on Sunday, and then Linden Place in Bristol, R.I. (where the story began) on Monday. And all of us are headed for the Sundance Film Festival in less than a week, where Traces of the Trade will have its world premiere on Martin Luther King Day.