Interview with Jonathan Daniel Wells on his Book The Kidnapping Club
In this episode, Dr. Hettie V. Williams interviews Dr. Jonathan Daniel Wells about his new book The Kidnapping Club: Wall Street, Slavery, and Resistance on the Eve of the Civil War published by Bold Type Books in 2020. Wells is a Professor of History in the Department of Afro American and African Studies at the University of Michigan. This is a stunning book about a network of prominent New Yorkers including judges, businessmen and police officers who were a part of a “kidnapping club” in Antebellum New York that was involved in kidnapping African Americans and selling them into enslavement. The text is also about African Americans such as David Ruggles who fought back against the kidnappers while advancing civil rights for African Americans in the long struggle for freedom.