Join us for an in-depth conversation on Thursday, September 14, 2023, with Dr. Jonathan W. White on his most recent book, Shipwrecked: A True Civil War Story of Mutinies, Jailbreaks, Blockade-Running, and the Slave Trade. White will be discussing the riveting story of Appleton Oaksmith, a swashbuckling sea captain whose life intersected with some of the most important moments, movements, and individuals of the mid-19th century, from the California Gold Rush, filibustering schemes in Nicaragua, Cuban liberation, and the Civil War and Reconstruction. He will also disclose the extraordinary lengths the Lincoln Administration went to destroy the illegal trans-Atlantic slave trade. Using Oaksmith’s case as a lens, Shipwrecked takes readers into the murky underworld of New York City, where federal marshals plied the docks in lower Manhattan in search of evidence of slave trading. Once they suspected Oaksmith, federal authorities had him arrested and convicted, but in 1862 he escaped from jail and became a Confederate blockade runner in Havana.
Jon White is the author or editor of more than a dozen books, including Abraham Lincoln and Treason in the Civil War: The Trials of John Merryman (2011), and Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln (2014), which was a finalist for both the Lincoln Prize and Jefferson Davis Prize, a “best book” in Civil War Monitor, and the winner of the Abraham Lincoln Institute’s 2015 book prize.