Sean Osborne

Quock Walker’s Journey from Enslavement to Employment to the Abolition of Slavery in Massachusetts

The true story of Quock Walker, a farmer, who in the middle of the Revolutionary War courageously pursued freedom from chattel slavery in central Massachusetts. As a young boy he was promised manumission. Those promises were not kept. As a young man, he walked from enslavement to employment and into a series of court cases that led to the abolition of slavery in Massachusetts.

[Recorded August 12, 2023]

Sean Osborne is a public historian who enjoys sharing his research through stories and exhibitions. He has performed in schools, houses of worship, and the workplace. He is the co-founder and Past President of the Association of Black Citizens of Lexington (ABCL) and was recognized as a 2021 Black Excellence on the Hill honoree by the Massachusetts Black & Latino Legislative Caucus. As ABCL Historian, he continues to research and create programs for the organization’s Black History Project of Lexington. As a board member of the Lexington Historical Society, he facilitates the interpretation of history to enlighten the public on the intertwining lives of the tax paying, indentured and enslaved Black residents of Colonial Lexington with those of the indentured and tax paying White residents.

Sean started the successful campaign to create Massachusetts Emancipation Day with letters to the editor which were printed in the Boston Herald and Lexington Minuteman in June 2020. An Act Designating July 8 as Massachusetts Emancipation Day also known as Quock Walker Day was signed by then-Governor Baker on November 1, 2022.

More on these topics and by these presenters

More from History Camp