Online talk explores New England’s role in the slave trade

Meadow Dibble

NORTHEAST HARBOR — Meadow Dibble will give a Zoom talk called, “The Diseased Ship: A Cautionary Tale About Our Nation’s Twin Plagues That Went Untold for Two Centuries,” at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 12, hosted by the Northeast Harbor Library. This event was made possible by a grant from The Maine Humanities Council. 

On Aug. 1, 1819, a Maine-built ship docked at Boston’s Long Wharf, completing a nearly year-long voyage to West Africa and the West Indies that only a few crew members survived. The story involves a prominent Yankee sea captain, a viral outbreak at sea, a major political coverup and a two-century-long conspiracy of silence surrounding New England’s involvement in the slave trade.  

Dibble is a visiting scholar at Brown University’s Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice. Originally from Cape Cod, she lived for six years on Senegal’s Cape Verde peninsula, where she co-founded and published a cultural magazine. 

Dibble received her doctorate from Brown University and taught at Colby College from 2005-08. Today she is editor of The International Educator newspaper. In 2018, she launched Atlantic Black Box, a public history initiative devoted to researching and reckoning with New England’s role in the slave trade. 

To register, call the Northeast Harbor Library at 276-3333 or email [email protected].