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The Underground Railroad in New Bern

Leesa Jones
Leesa Jones at the Underground Railroad Museum. Photo from wwwEatMoveMake.com

New Bern Historical Society Brings Leesa Jones to Lunch & Learn

New Bern, NC – With its many rivers, creeks, and seaports, the Maritime Underground Railroad was active in eastern North Carolina. This version of the Underground Railroad was so effective that runaway slaves often ran to the coast instead of heading north to reach freedom through overland routes. Leesa Jones will present this fascinating program for the New Bern Historical Society’s Lunch & Learn on Feb. 12 at 11:30 a.m. at the Chelsea. She will share how enslaved people in this area used common items including plants, nursery rhymes, songs, clothing, and dance to convey messages to abolitionists, ship captains, and others in obtaining their freedom. The audience will be engaged to share in the presentation and to learn more about this dark chapter of history in a creative way.

Leesa Jones is the Executive Director of the Washington Waterfront Underground Railroad Museum in Washington, NC. Leesa was born, raised and educated in “Little Washington.” She attended the City University of New York and was a pre-school teacher for thirty-two years before her retirement. She has also been an ordained minister for twenty-four years. Ms. Jones founded the African American Walking History Tours in 2009 and founded the Washington Waterfront Underground Railroad Museum in 2016. The Museum explores slavery, how the underground railroad functioned in the local area and how the enslaved planned and carried out escapes to freedom from the waterfront and the greater eastern NC overland routes. They are a National Park Service Underground Railroad-Network To Freedom Site.

Lunch & Learn starts at 11:30 a.m. at The Chelsea Restaurant, 335 Middle Street, New Bern. The cost is $17 for Historical Society members and $22 for non-members; lunch is included. Advance reservations must be made by calling the New Bern Historical Society at 252-638-8558, or can be ordered at www.NewBernHistorical.org/tickets. Entree choices are Beef Shoulder Tenderloin with Horseradish ~ or ~ Chicken Bruschetta; both served with Parmesan risotto, sauteed vegetables, rolls, strawberry layer cake, tea and coffee.

The mission of the New Bern Historical Society is to celebrate and promote New Bern and its heritage through events and education.  Offices are located in the historic Attmore-Oliver House at 511 Broad Street in New Bern.  For more information, call 252-638-8558 or go www.NewBernHistorical.org or www.facebook.com/NewBernHistoricalSociety.

Submitted by: Kathy Morrison on behalf Executive Director, Mickey Miller