Free at Last? Slavery Exhibition Reception

Issue Date: 
November 3, 2008

The University of Pittsburgh’s pioneering exhibition Free at Last? Slavery in Pittsburgh in the 18th and 19th Centuries, opened with an Oct. 24 reception and program at the Senator John Heinz History Center. Below, wax figures portray slaves Ellen—in disguise—and William Craft, a married couple who made an ingenious escape to freedom in 1848. The exhibition runs through April 5.


1. Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg (left) and author Marcus Rediker, Pitt professor and chair of the Department of History


2. High school student Amani Davis viewing a wax figure of Henry Highland Garnet, who escaped in 1829 with nine of his siblings from Maryland to Pennsylvania


3. Robert Hill, Pitt vice chancellor for public affairs and executive-in-charge of the exhibition;  and


4. Valerie McDonald Roberts, who discovered the original documents that prompted the exhibition, in video during the program.


Above: During the reception, three Pitt professors signed copies of slavery-related books they wrote or edited. Marcus Rediker (foreground), Pitt professor and chair of the Department of History; Laurence A. Glasco (middle), a professor of history and history director of the exhibition; and Seymour Drescher, University Professor of History and Sociology.


Top: Panels displaying Allegheny County’s vintage documents, which contain 55 slavery-related records.


Top: The Rev. Johnnie Monroe (left) of Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church, which is recognized in the exhibition and was recognized during the reception for its 140th anniversary, and Pitt professor emeritus Greg Morris, a Grace Memorial parishioner.