Author Talk: One Man’s Journey to Freedom

Posted by Barbara Peck on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 1:36 PM

While the story of Billy Winters is known by many, Rhonda Forristall—Curator of the Deep River Historical Society—has turned up a few surprises through her research.  In her second book Forristall, she tells this incredible story. Join WHS for this fascinating author talk on Friday, June 14th, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm.  This is presented in conjunction with the exhibit Remembered on view through June 30th.

Born enslaved, Billy Winters escaped through the Underground Railroad and sought a safe place to live. He found sanctuary in Deep River and for a time in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Frederick Douglass and Winters were two of the thousands who sheltered in New Bedford after self-emancipation between 1840-1863.

Billy told the story of his eventful life to a reporter for the Deep River New Era shortly before he died in November of 1900. Using this first-hand account, Forristall was able to trace his steps and add some details to Billy’s story. Due to the secrecy needed to protect the operators of the Underground Railroad, and those they were trying to save, there are very few first-hand accounts in existence. 

There is no charge for this event however reservations are recommended, register at www.westporthistory.org or call (203) 222-1424 x5.  Light refreshments will be served. 



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