Monday, Jan. 27: Slavery in the Northwest

Lacey Timberland Library

By Volcano Staff on January 20, 2014

In 1619, there were only a handful of slaves in the United States — 20 Africans landing on the shores as indentured servants, with tenures up to seven years, then freedom. Four decades later, because of Eli Whitney's cotton gin, the U.S. slave population soared. By the mid-1700s, there were 260,000 slaves just in Virginia. The westward migration attracted Americans with varied socioeconomic experiences from both Northern and Southern states. Charles Mitchell, born a slave, was brought from Maryland to Washington Territory in 1853. Citizens all over the territory had opinions about a possible Civil War, influencing their opinions about Mitchell's status as a slave. In this climate, Mitchell, at 12 years of age, made a break for freedom, nearly starting a war between the U.S. and Canada. Eva Abram - a storyteller, writer and actor - will recount Mitchell's story, discussing how ideologies travel geographically and examine whether moving to the Washington Territory affected individuals' opinions on slavery.

SLAVERY IN THE NORTHWEST, noon to 1 p.m., Lacey Timberland Library, 500 College St., Lacey, free admission, 360.491.3860