Basil Dorsey 


Case Study of a Fugitive Slave in Florence, Massachusetts


A "Wiindows on History" Project of the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School Middle School, 2006-07, 

in partnership with the David Ruggles Center of the Florence History Project

The 2006-07 Prism's class of the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School studied the history of Antebellum America through sources in local history. The town of Florence, Massachusetts, proved to be a unique community through which to examine issues such as industrialization, social reform movements, religious ideas, and American slavery. The life of Basil Dorsey, a fugitive from slavery who settled in Florence in the 1840s, provided a great story to help us understand how individuals and communities responded to these large forces of history. The purpose of this site is to bring together documents related to the life of Basil Dorsey, and other resources that connect them to important themes in the local and national history of antebellum America.