It’s no secret that New Bedford played a critical role in the Underground Railroad in the years leading up to the Civil War.

New Bedford Historical Society President Lee Blake and UMass Dartmouth history professor Timothy Dale Walker have done important new research fleshing out just how critical the city’s role was, both in the leaders who thought and worked here, and the city’s role as a major port where formerly enslaved people came.

Blake’s work on New Bedford’s leadership during the abolition movement has led the way for the soon-to-be-opened Abolition Row Park and Walker’s work on the study and exhibit Sailing to Freedom has shed new light on the large role maritime escape to ports like New Bedford played.

Blake and Walker joined New Bedford Light columnist Jack Spillane for the latest episode of The Chat. Watch their fascinating and illuminating conversation.