The Sonoma Valley Historical Society presents lectures on how the struggle for slavery played out on a transcontinental stage.
Kevin Waite, an assistant professor of history at Durham University, co-directs a joint research grant on the life and times of Biddy Mason, a Georgia slave turned real estate entrepreneur.
Waite’s talk will focus on the main points of his book West of Slavery. The book explores how the Southern ambitions of the Old West undermined the radical promise of Reconstruction.
By the late 1850s, slaveholders and their allies had transformed the Southwest of the country, determined to become part of the expanding Western Empire. Across the expanding nation, white Southerners defended the institution of black slavery and the Native American system of oppression.
This history reveals the influence of the Old South well beyond the cotton fields and sugar cane plantations of the region. The slaveholders’ western ambitions culminated in the Confederacy’s coast-to-coast crisis. By 1861, rebellions in the South had inspired a series of separatist movements in the Father West.
Lectures explore the connection of Southern beliefs about slavery to the West, including California.
The talk will take place on Saturday, January 14th at 2pm. Lectures are virtual and take place on Zoom. To register for the event, please email email@example.com.