Slavery on Free Soil: California's Unfree Past
From History Department
Oregon State University
When one thinks of 19th Century slavery in the U.S., one usually thinks of the Southern States that comprised the Confederate side in the Civil War. However, in her presentation – and in her book, Freedom’s Frontier: California’s Struggle over Unfree Labor, Emancipation, and Reconstruction – Dr. Stacey Smith examines the battle over slavery in California. The state had antislavery language in its constitution, but included many inhumane labor systems: African-American Slavery, American Indian indentured servitude, Latino and Chinese contract labor, and the sex trafficking of American Indian and Chinese women. In fact, Dr. Smith notes, some forms of slavery in California continued beyond 1865, when the slaves in the South were freed with the end of the Civil War.
Recorded: October 28, 2014