10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Old Redmond Schoolhouse
16600 NE 80th St
Redmond, WA 98052
Author and public historian Lorraine McConaghy explores regional history with a talk on race, slavery, and states’ rights. The talk will be followed by a Q&A.
The Washington Territory, so distant from “back East,” participated fully in the Civil War, although no battles were fought here. From issues of race and slavery, secession and widespread resignations, treason and press suppression, Washington Territorial settlers held strong opinions during the antebellum, wartime, and Reconstruction periods.
After the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) Dred Scott decision in 1857, it was legal to bring enslaved people into the territory. “Race and slavery were part of the territorial experience,” writes McConaghy. In September 1860, an enslaved boy fled from Olympia, Washington Territory to freedom in Victoria on a Puget Sound “Underground Railroad.” The story of this boy is reflected in a book she wrote with Judith Bentley, Free Boy: A True Story of Slave and Master.
Traces of antebellum sentiment persist today, notes McConaghy. “We continue to deal with the issues of race in this state, and during the territorial period, issues of race were not only about African-American men and women, but also about Native American men and women.”
HYBRID EVENT: Online + live at Old Redmond Schoolhouse
Cost: Free to members, suggested donation $5 for non-members.
Registration is required for the online event. To register: https://tinyurl.com/RHSCivilWarinWA