OPEN DAILY 9:30 to 5

Cotton Town: Maine’s Economic Connections to Slavery

Last fall, Maine Maritime Museum and Bowdoin College’s Africana Studies Department embarked on a new collaboration that investigated the complexities inherent in an underrepresented aspect of Maine maritime history: the Atlantic slave trade. The project culminated in a student-curated exhibit investigating Maine’s contribution to the trafficking of enslaved people through the 19th-century shipbuilding industry and the lives of Black mariners working and living within and after this chapter of US history. Students interpreted items from the museum’s collection to reevaluate traditional narratives and amplify the untold stories of Maine’s maritime past.

Educator Resources:

Juxtapositions of Power, Teacher Edition

Juxtapositions of Power, Student Edition

Maritime Maine & Slavery, Teacher Edition

Maritime Maine & Slavery, Student Edition

News & Learn More:

Cotton Town” Reveals Maine’s Links to the Slave Trade” c/o Bowdoin College

Bath museum’s new exhibit reveals Maine’s connection to the slave trade,” Portland Press Herald/Times New Record



Resources from the Exhibit

Listen to Bowdoin students narrate items from the collection:

This project has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.

Maine Maritime Museum