Good news from the University of Arkansas: The Nelson Hackett Project at the UA’s Humanities Center has been added to the National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program.

The project, headed by associate history professor Michael Pierce, provides digital history about Nelson Hackett. In 1841, he escaped enslavement in Fayetteville and fled to Canada, where he expected to be free. But he was extradited and returned to bondage in the U.S. His case energized abolitionists, who fought to change Canada’s extradition policies so no other freedom-seekers would meet Hackett’s fate.


From the UA news release:

“Inclusion in the National Park Service Program literally puts Fayetteville on Freedom’s map,” Pierce said. “It brings national attention not only to Hackett and the region, but also to the University of Arkansas and its efforts to promote broader understandings of the past.”

The Park Service’s network of some 700 projects preserve and promote the history of resistance to enslavement through escape and flight.


Questions for Sen. Trent Garner and Rep. Mark Lowery: Is this one of those “divisive concepts” y’all were so worried about? You think enslavement and racism might have once been systemic in these parts?