Hit and Run History

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The Blackbirder: Captain Crowell Hatch

The subject: Captain Crowell Hatch, another investor in the Columbia Expedition. Hatch grew up in Marshfield, Mass. During the American Revolutionary War his family split apart when Crowell became a Patriot (Patriots are also known as Whigs) and his brother, Noah, sided with the British.

Crowell Hatch had, like other men who commanded privateers during the Revolution, a background in another risky and profitable market: The slave trade. Crowell Hatch was one of the most notorious "Blackbirders."

This webisode of Hit and Run History takes on a more sinister tone as the crew heads to the South Coast of Massachusetts, following up on an interview from 2009 with James Lopes at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

Producer and host historian Andrew Giles Buckley's discussion centers on the brutality of Hatch's day. To better understand how people can become so deeply involved in the dehumanizing business of slavery, we only need look to the pre-war events of Hatch's hometown to see how differently Americans regarded their fellow man in the 18th century.
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