October 16th, 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM – Lemon Tree Gallery and Studio hosts: The African American Journey in Maritime Culture on the Chesapeake Bay. Cost: $20, Reservations Required. The first 30 people to sign up (Monies received) for this event will be placed on the deck of the A. J. Meerwald. Please call or come in person to purchase tickets.
The ship will be located in Cape Charles Town Harbor “A” dock (in front of the Shanty) alongside and aboard. (Rain location at Lemon Tree Gallery and Studio)
Join us on the oyster schooner, AJ Meerwald docked in the Cape Charles Harbor for a sunset re-enactment performance of Hannah Jones Smalls by Judy Williams of FREED (Female RE-Enactors of Distinction of African American Ladies of the Civil War). Capt. Rob Chichester will also discuss the general history of African-American sailors while citing specific individual examples of Black mariners to bring that history more alive for the audience.
In honor of African American Maritime History, Judy Williams will present in the person of Hannah Jones Smalls, the first wife of Robert Smalls. Robert Smalls was the enslaved sailor on board the CSS Planter who on May 13, 1862, in Charleston, South Carolina, successfully piloted the boat through Confederate territorial waters and delivered it to the Union Army. His family and other crew members families were on board. Judy Williams will speak from Hannah Jones Smalls’ point of view about the ordeal aboard the ship, sailing from slavery to freedom.