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A Most Daring Escape

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Published Jun 20, 2019, 4:00 AM

In the dead of night on Sept. 21, 1862, William Benjamin Gould and 21 other slaves escaped from Wilmington by commandeering three boats at the foot of Orange Street.

Gould would go on to join the Union Navy, fight for the cause of abolition and freedom for three years, and then start a family with his long-time love, Cornelia. His is a story of daring chances and hard-earned triumphs that begins with a single choice in Wilmington.

This week, we discuss Gould's story from his time as a slave to his later life as a celebrated craftsman and family man. Joining the discussion are local historian Beverly Tetterton and very special guest William Benjamin Gould IV, the great-grandson of this week's subject.

Cape Fear Unearthed is written, edited and hosted by Hunter Ingram. Additional editing by Adam Fish.

Season three is sponsored by Northchase Family Dentistry and Tidewater Heating & Air Conditioning.

Sources:

-- Diary of a Contraband: The Civil War Passage of a Black Sailor, by William Benjamin Gould IV

-- Strength Through Struggle: The Chronological and Historical Record of the African-American community in Wilmington, North Carolina, 1865-1950, by Bill Reaves

-- William Benjamin Gould's diary, now in the permanent collection at the Massachusetts Historical Society

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