About This Conference

The United Nations defines “human trafficking” as the act of “recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring or receiving a person through a use of force, coercion or other means, for the purpose of exploiting them.” In early America, human trafficking took many forms, engaging and displacing Native, African, and European populations in every decade and in every colony and state. Drawing upon a wave of new scholarship on Indian captivity, the middle passage, the domestic slave trade, child abduction, and sex trafficking, this conference offers a timely opportunity to examine the cultures and shadow economies created by and elaborated around forced migration in North America and the Atlantic world before 1865.

“Human Trafficking in Early America” is an interdisciplinary conference cosponsored by the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Department of History at the University of Maryland, College Park, and the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies, Drew University. 

The papers for this conference will be precirculated and only briefly summarized by the presenters. Copies will be made available online to those who preregister for the conference by visiting http://www.mceas.org/trafficking/. Attendees are strongly encouraged to read the papers in advance to participate fully in these sessions.

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