This presentation maps the geographical spaces identified in Susan and Margaret Wilkerson’s escape from enslavement in Strawberry Plains, TN to freedom on the midwestern frontier. Using county records, oral history, underground railroad interviews, and the built environment, the presentation traces the Wilkerson girls’ journey state by state and county by county—depicting their physical and psychological experiences—and exploring how these spaces, rendered in digital and visual form, expand our understanding of slavery, freedom, and the underground railroad. Finally, the presentation illuminates new ways to research and write about 19th century Black girls and women, and the unique role they play in the underground railroad of Indiana.
This presentation is available to watch through Canva using the buttons above. Jazma has provided a narrated version, as well as an unnarrated version intended for user exploration.