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Lunch and Learn Free Lectures

Save these dates in 2020! You won't want to miss any of our dynamic speakers or documentaries and the opportunity to learn about Maryland's past at our popular lunchtime series. All events start at 12 Noon. Check our upcoming events page as we get closer to each event listed below for more details about each free event. Remember to contact Emily Oland Squires by phone or email to RSVP for this free series at or 410-260-6443.

As a note, we ask you to bring your own bag lunch and a photo ID for entry into the Archives. We look forward to seeing you soon!


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January 22

Stolen: Five Free Black Boys Kidnapped into Slavery

Join us for the first brown bag Lunch of Learn program of the new year. Professor Richard Bell from the University of Maryland History Department will discuss his new book, Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home, a 2017 NEH Public Scholar Award winning publication. This is a gripping, true story about five boys who were kidnapped in the North and smuggled into slavery in the Deep South—and their daring attempt to escape and bring their captors to justice. In Philadelphia in 1825, these five young, free black boys fell into the clutches of the most fearsome gang of kidnappers and slavers in the United States. Lured onto a small ship with the promise of food and pay, they were instead met with blindfolds, ropes, and knives. Over four long months, their kidnappers drove them overland into the Cotton Kingdom to be sold as slaves. Determined to resist, the boys formed a tight brotherhood as they struggled to free themselves and find their way home. Their ordeal—an odyssey that took them from the Philadelphia waterfront to the marshes of Mississippi and then onward still—shines a glaring spotlight on the Reverse Underground Railroad, a black-market network of human traffickers and slave traders who stole away thousands of legally free African Americans from their families in order to fuel slavery’s rapid expansion in the decades before the Civil War.

Bring your lunch and your questions to this engaging, free event.


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February 12

Overlooked Stories from the Archives

What do the first fugitive returned under the infamous 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, and the daughter of an English convict destined for Annapolis have in Common? Focusing on the lives of two under appreciated Maryland residents, one of 19th Century Baltimore and the other of 18th Century Annapolis, former State Archivist Ed Papenfuse will lead the lunch and learn audience on his journey through local and British archives in search of their stories.

Lecture by Dr. Edward Papenfuse, Former State Archivist of Maryland


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To Be Announced



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