Arts Daily / Speaker Series: Cynthia Mestad Johnson

Speaker Series: Cynthia Mestad Johnson

Author Cynthia Mestad Johnson uncovers the secrets of slave trader James DeWolf, October 1st at 6pm at 164 King Street, as part of the Charleston Library Society’s Speaker Series. When the U.S. took action to abolish slavery, Bristol native DeWolf manipulated the legal system and became actively involved in Rhode Island politics in order to pursue his trading ventures. He served as a member of the House of Representatives in Rhode Island and as a U.S. senator, all while continuing the slave trade years after passage of the Federal Slave Trade Act of 1808. DeWolf’s political power and role in sustaining the state’s economy allowed him to evade prosecution from local and federal authorities–even on counts of murder. Through archival records, the author tells an unsettling story of corruption and exploitation.