Lecture by Jonathan Bryant.
Free and open to the public.
Richard Wylly Habersham was a member of a wealthy and influential family in Savannah. From 1819 to 1827, Habersham served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Georgia, a role that brought him into the Antelope case.
The Antelope was a Spanish-Cuban ship captured in the Summer of 1820 as an illegal slave trader. Despite his own and his family’s deep involvement with slavery and the domestic slave trade, as US Attorney Richard W. Habersham insisted that the hundreds of captives from the Antelope were free and should be returned to Africa.
His diligent fight led to three US Supreme Court decisions and freedom for about 120 captives. Habersham later moved to Habersham County, Georgia, where he served two terms as a Whig member of the US House of Representatives. He died there in 1842.
Professor Bryant will focus not just on Habersham’s remarkable career, but also on his family who is featured in the portrait.