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Lisa Lindsay to speak at Camden Archives and Museum

Posted: April 13, 2017 1:04 p.m.
Updated: April 14, 2017 1:00 a.m.
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Lisa Lindsay

Lisa Lindsay, Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies of the history department at North Carolina University at Chapel Hill, will speak at 1 p.m., April 22, at the Camden Archives and Museum. The program is sponsored by The Old Camden District Genealogy Society. The public is invited.

Dr. Lindsay’s discussion, "Scipio Vaughn: The Camden to Nigeria Story," will focus on the life and family of Scipio Vaughn, who as a young man of the Yoruba tribe was captured by trans-Atlantic slave traders in 1805 and sold into slavery in Charleston. Bought by Wylie Vaughan and brought to Camden, the young slave went by the name of Scipio Vaughan. Scipio was a talented carpenter. Wylie valued him so much that he requested in his will that Scipio be given his freedom, his tools, and one hundred dollars after Vaughan’s death. 

In 1827, Scipio Vaughan became a free man. 

Scipio Vaughan married Maria Conway, the second daughter of Bonds Conway, a free black of Camden. Scipio and Maria had 11 daughters and two sons.  On his deathbed in 1840, Scipio told his sons to return to his native land, then called Liberia. James Churchill Vaughan and his brother left Camden and sailed to Liberia in 1853.  There, they made a new life and Churchill Vaughan rose to a place of prominence in that country.

The Nigerian Vaughans and their American relatives stayed in touch through the years after Churchill’s departure.  Today in the United States, they are a network of more than 3,000 cousins from 23 states – along with their Nigerian cousins -- who remain connected through periodic “Cousins” reunions.

Lindsay has researched the Vaughan family’s lives in Camden, South Carolina and in Liberia for many years.  She presents the fruits of her research in her new book, Atlantic Bonds: A Nineteenth Century Odyssey from America to Africa.

Lindsay’s research centers on the social history of West Africa, particularly Nigeria, and on links between Africa and other parts of the world. Although over time her primary focus has moved from gender to slavery, in all of her work she endeavors to understand large-scale processes through human-scale experiences, and to attend to African particularities as well as points of larger comparison and connection. Her most recent project is the contextualized biography of a South Carolina freedman who in the 1850s migrated to modern-day Nigeria, making trans-Atlantic connections that his descendants and their American relatives maintain to this day. She is also beginning work on a history of women and gender in the Atlantic slave trade.

Some of her Notable Publications:

Atlantic Bonds: A Nineteenth Century Odyssey from America to Africa (UNC Press, 2017)

Biography and the Black Atlantic, co-edited with John Wood Sweet (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013)

Captives as Commodities (Prentice Hall, 2008)

Working with Gender: Wage Labor and Social Change in Southwestern Nigeria (Heinemann, 2003)

Men and Masculinities in Modern Africa, co-edited with Stephan Miescher (Heinemann, 2003)

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