Kalmar Nyckel’s Underground Railroad Class Focuses on Travel Options – Town Square Delaware LIVE

Replica of Kalmar Nyckel in the foundation building

The Kalmar Nyckel Foundation’s new classroom curriculum focuses on the Underground Railroad.

The Kalmar Nyckel Foundation will offer a new course focusing on the many ways slaves could travel along the Underground Railroad, emphasizing Delaware’s role in it, as well as the maritime history of the State.

Additionally, the program will teach five different strategic routes and factors, and five modes of transportation that made Delaware a central part of slave escape networks.

The class, “Five Ways to Freedom: Navigating Delaware’s Underground Railroad Network”, can be taught in schools and will be taught at Fort Christina Park.

“Our goal is to have students critically engage with real-life stories and problem-solving of this crucial chapter in American history,” said Sam Heed, director of education and historian principal of the foundation.

The Kalmar Nyckel is Delaware’s tall ship, and the foundation maintains it and a maritime center on the edge of the Wilmington River. The center is also dedicated to the rich maritime history of the state, from colonial times to the present day.

The ship is a model of the one that brought Swedish immigrants to the New World in 1638. They landed at The Rock, where Fort Christina Park now exists.

The course will include looks at five leaders – Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Thomas Garrett, Captain Alfred Fountain and William Still – and the abolitionist movement, which wanted to make slavery illegal.

The Kalmar Nyckel is linked to the movement because a “Maritime Underground Railroad” allowed people to use ships and boats to find freedom.

The ocean aspect of the Underground Railroad is often overlooked, according to a press release from the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation.

The curriculum is designed to meet Delaware K-12 social studies standards for eighth grade history. It is also designed for all students, adult groups, and anyone interested in learning more about the Underground Railroad.

Heed said emphasizing the “agency” freedom seekers had on their journeys will inspire students to analyze historical events and draw their own conclusions for deeper learning and understanding of the period.

Heed said the new program was funded by a “generous grant” from the Chichester duPont Foundation.

To schedule a “Five Paths to Freedom” program, educators can contact Marygrace Kennedy, Deputy Director of Education for the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation, at [email protected] or call 302-429-7447 weekdays.

Bonny J. Streater