News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 31, 2013

Author to present story of slavery in film ‘Traces of the Trade’


News Release

TERRE HAUTE — Equality, freedom and race are the powerful themes presented by Thomas DeWolf as he recounts the steps of his ancestors as the largest slave-trading dynasty in the United States.

DeWolf will present the free Emmy-award nominated documentary, “Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North,” at the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Four-Star Series at 7 p.m. on Feb. 11 in the Cecilian Auditorium.

DeWolf and other family members traveled the notorious Triangle Trade — from New England to West Africa to Cuba — which proved life-altering and inspired him to write “Inheriting the Trade.”

In the book and in the film, DeWolf reveals that slavery was as common in the North as it was in the South. Half of all North American voyages involved in the slave trade originated from Rhode Island.

DeWolf discovered that three generations of his family participated in the slave trade and transported more than 10,000 African people to the West Indies and North and South America.

“The point isn’t to spotlight our family’s history so much as to use our family’s story as a springboard to a deeper conversation,” DeWolf said.

An official selection for the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, “Traces of the Trade” premiered on national television on the PBS series “Point of View.”