Salons at Stowe | Agents of Their Own Emancipation: Enslaved Women’s Letters to Colonial Government

For immediate release:

February 7, 2024


Salons at Stowe – HYBRID

Agents of Their Own Emancipation:

Enslaved Women’s Letters to Colonial Government

  • SPECIALTY TOUR preceding the program will be offered | 5:00 – 5:45 pm
  • Wednesday, February 28th | 6:00 – 7:00 pm
  • Free to attend; a donation to the Little Free Library & Pantry is welcome
  • In person or virtual conversation in the Katharine Seymour Day House
  • Snacks and refreshments are provided

HARTFORD (CT) – The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is pleased to announce our latest Salons at Stowe programming featuring guest lecturer Assistant Professor from Mount Holyoke College, Ximena Abello Hurtado.  “We are excited to have Abello Hurtado as our February Salon presenter and to learn about her research. Her work highlights the efforts of Black women who sought to take control of their situation against incredible prejudice and violence. These women’s stories, told in their own words, demonstrate the important history of Black women creating agency against unbelievable oppression” remarked Cat White, Director of Collections and Public Programs.


Her work focused on the histories of Black decolonial feminism, the Afro-South-American experience in New Granada, Black girl studies, and the diversity of global Afro-Diasporic connections. Her research has taken her to archives in New Granada, which is now the Columbia-Ecuador-Panama-Venezuela region of South America. There, she found letters written by enslaved Black women to the Spanish viceroyalty advocating for their freedom from enslavement. Through these letters, Abello Hurtado explores how women were active agents of their own emancipation, despite numerous barriers of race, class, and limited literacy. Abello Hurtado shares their stories with us using their own words, and through extensive historical research, unflinchingly develops for us the world in which these courageous women lived.


Erika Slocumb, Director of Interpretation and Visitor Experience, said “The work that Dr. Hurtado is doing to highlight the voices of Black women in a time where it was hard for them to exercise agency is incredible. I believe that their letters and writings are a perfect example of literary activism and agency through writing.  This program is a perfect opportunity to look at the powerful journey it took globally for freedom.”


This program will be offered as a hybrid event with the speaker in person and available virtually streaming via Zoom.  The Salons at Stowe are always free however a donation to our Little Free Library & Pantry are always welcome.  Snacks and beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, are provided.


In addition to the Salons at Stowe hybrid program that evening from 6:00 – 7:00 pm, the Stowe Center will offer a Specialty Tour from 5:00 – 5:45 pm lead by the Director of Interpretation and Visitor Experience, Erika Slocumb.  This tour will focus on the experiences of free and enslaved Black people in the 19th century. We will highlight the voices of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, and Booker T. Washington, as we work to conceptualize the world in which Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

“Agents of Their Own Emancipation” will begin at 5:00pm. Tour tickets are $20 and can be purchased on our website under Events.




The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is a museum, research library, and program center in Hartford, Connecticut. The Stowe Center’s mission is to encourage social justice and literary activism by exploring the legacy of Harriet Beecher Stowe. For general information and updates, visit www.HarrietBeecherStoweCenter.org.



CONTACT: Christina Tom

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

860.522.9258 x305 | ctom@stowecenter.org