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Department of Communications/
News Bureau

22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Jan Wenzel, 874-2116

URI alumnus Bill Gould to speak at URI

Author of "Diary of A Contraband: The Civil War Passage of a Black Sailor"

KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 11, 2003 -- It’s been a long and eventful journey for William B. Gould IV since he graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1958. He has served as chairman of the National Labor Relations Board during the Clinton administration and has written extensively about labor law.

In the fall of 2002, Gould joined the faculty of Willamette College of Law as the William M. Ramsey Distinguished Professor of Law. Before joining Willamette, he was the Charles A. Beardsley Professor of Law at Stanford University.

Gould will visit his alma mater on Monday, April 28 to speak to students. A reception and book signing will follow at the University Club from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Gould’s visit is part of the Center for the Humanities Visiting Scholar Series.

Instead of speaking about politics or labor law, Gould will talk about his family. In particular, he will speak about his newly-released book, Diary of Contraband: The Civil War Passage of a Black Sailor (Stanford University Press). The book is based on the diary of Gould’s great-grandfather.

According to a Stanford University press release, with a forward by Senator Mark Hatfield, the book recounts the adventures of Gould’s great-grandfather and namesake, William Benjamin Gould, an escaped slave who served in the U.S. Navy from 1862 until the end of the war.

The diary records Gould’s activity as part of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron off the coast of North Carolina and Virginia; his visits to New York and Boston; the pursuit to Nova Scotia of a hijacked Confederate cruiser; and his service in European waters pursuing a Confederate ship constructed in Great Britain and France.

Gould’s diary is one of only three known diaries of African American sailors from the Civil War.

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