You are here

District History: The Underground Railroad and Veterans of The Civil War

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 6:30pm


This event is free and open to the public.

East City Bookshop is excited to present Heather Butts, author of Healing Civil War Veterans in New York and Washington, D.C. and Jenny Masur, author of Heroes of The Underground Railroad Around Washington, D.C. A discussion between both authors will be followed by a Q&A and signing. 

About Heroes of The Underground Railroad

Many of the unsung heroes of the Underground Railroad lived and worked in Washington, D.C. Men and women, black and white, operatives and freedom seekers--all demonstrated courage, resourcefulness and initiative. Leonard Grimes, a free African American, was arrested for transporting enslaved people to freedom. John Dean, a white lawyer, used the District courts to test the legality of the Fugitive Slave Act. Anna Maria Weems dressed as a boy in order to escape to Canada. Enslaved people engineered escapes, individually and in groups, with and without the assistance of an organized network. Some ended up back in slavery or in jail, but some escaped to freedom. Anthropologist and author Jenny Masur tells their stories.

About Healing Civil War Veterans in New York And Washington, D.C.

Whether it is called shell shock, soldier's heart or PTSD, the devastation that war leaves in its wake is present throughout history. Soldiers and healthcare workers alike experienced such symptoms as depression, anxiety, rapid pulse and cardiac complications during the Civil War. Prominent figures such as Frederick Douglass, Medal of Honor winner Mary Edwards Walker, Clara Barton and others were instrumental in supporting healthcare for soldiers and medical workers. After the war, medical establishments in New York and Washington, D.C., arose to heal veterans physically and mentally. In 1866, Congress created the National Asylum for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, one of many vital attempts to provide postwar medical support. Author Heather Butts recounts the heroism of those who fought, healed and suffered long after the war ended.

Heather Butts JD, MPH, MA, is an Integration of Science and Practice (ISP) instructor and faculty advisor of the Part-Time Health Policy Management students at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, where she teaches bioethics and public health law. She also serves as an adjunct professor in health law and bioethics at St. John's School of Law. She is the co-founder and board member of the nonprofit HEALTH for Youths Inc., which focusses on college readiness and preparation. She also the founder of the online training and education company LEARN for Life Consulting LLC and does college readiness and preparation counseling for high school students. Ms. Butts received her BA from Princeton University, her JD from St. John's University School of Law, her MPH from Harvard University School of Public Health and her MA in education from Teachers College.

Jenny Masur is a native Washingtonian. She worked for seventeen years for the National Park Service as National Capital Region manager for the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. Her doctorate is in anthropology, and her interest in individual lives dates from the book Jewish Grandmothers, which she co-edited while in graduate school. Her respect for the heroes of the Underground Railroad continues to grow.


Heroes of the Underground Railroad Around Washington, D.C. (American Heritage) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781625859754
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: History Press - January 21st, 2019