“Living History” – Field trip to Nantucket in honor of the legacy of Frederick Douglass.

On Saturday, September 22, 2018, a group of six PC students and Dr. Mulderry of the History department & Center for Engaged Learning travelled to New Bedford and then embarked on a two-hour ferry ride to Nantucket. That afternoon, the group attended a jam-packed event in the Great Hall of the historic Nantucket Atheneum. There, Guy Peartree, a Frederick Douglass expert and reenactor, took the same stage that the real Frederick Douglass took in 1841 at an antislavery convention, and told his (Douglass’s) life story. Later that afternoon, the group attended a question-and-answer session with Guy Peartree at the old African Meeting House on the island. After the event the student were able to meet with Guy Peartree (the Douglass re-enactor), Mr. Kimal McCarthy, the site manager of the African-American Museum and Meeting House, and Frances Ruley Karttunen, who is the author of the book, The Other Islanders: People who Pulled Nantucket’s Oars (2005), which details the history of Native Americans, African-Americans, Irish, Cape Verdeans, and Jamaicans on the island.

The trip went wonderfully! After the events on Saturday, on Sunday, the PC students and Dr. Mulderry went on a one-hour historical walking tour of the town at mid-morning where they learned about the rise and fall of Nantucket’s 18th and early 19th-century whaling industry and its impact on island dwellers. The students also toured the oldest house on the island (1686), a Hadwen House exhibit on Civil and Human Rights, the house museum of two early 20th-century women artists, the Monaghan sisters, and Nantucket’s Whaling Museum.