This film tells the little-known story of a Black settlement, established in the wilds of upstate New York. It brought together a group of ardent abolitionists willing to risk their fortunes, their families, and their futures to destroy slavery.
In 1846, in an effort to level a blow against racism, wealthy New York landowner and well-known abolitionist leader, Gerrit Smith, gave away 120,000 acres of wild land to nearly 3000 African-American men so that they could have the right to vote in the State of New York. His ‘scheme of justice and benevolence’ helped establish a Black settlement that brought together a diverse group of black and white abolitionists –including a struggling sheep farmer named John Brown — committed to ending slavery.
What Smith could not know is that his plan would also lead one man to the brink of insanity; send another to the gallows, and help hurtle the nation towards a catastrophic civil war. Searching For Timbuctoo reveals the hidden history of this long lost community and follows an archaeology team trying to unearth it.