Food for Thought: Book Talk, She Calls Herself Betsey Stockton with Constance Killian Escher

This talk will feature author Constance Escher, who will discuss the book she recently published about a formerly enslaved woman named Betsey Stockton circumnavigating the globe in 1826 and the research that shaped the book, including several research trips to the NHA Research Library. Specifically, Escher was examining early portraits of missionaries and details on the captain of Stockton’s ship, Reuben Clasby, from Nantucket. While examining material from the NHA archive, Connie discovered cool findings on the Essex survivor Charles Ramsdell, who served as boat-steerer on Stockton’s ship. These visits to the Research Library, made over twenty years, allowed Escher to unravel another important puzzle of Nantucket’s history and to publish her book on Betsey Stockton titled She Calls Herself Betsey Stockton: The Illustrated Odyssey of Princeton Slave.

Available at the Museum Shop!

Constance Killian Escher, is a former Research Associate at the Shelby Cullum Davis Center for Historical Studies, Princeton University and is a graduate of Vassar and Dartmouth. She founded a Children’s Museum at the Princeton Historical Society on Nassau Street and has taught history for twenty-six years in Princeton Pubic Schools. Her book, She Calls Herself Betsey Stockton: The Illustrated Odyssey of Princeton Slave, took forty years of research, re-writing and published to finish. It won two BEST BOOKS AWARDs, recently.

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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