VIRTUAL EVENT: Slavery and Black Exclusion in the American West

  •  09.16.21
     6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Registration is closed for this event.

Before the Civil War, Western states and territories became a battleground over the westward expansion of slavery and the status of free and enslaved Black people. Professor Stacey Smith, a historian at Oregon State University, will explore the enslavement of Black people in the West and African American resistance to slavery, as well as how both issues intertwined with anti-Black exclusion laws in Oregon and California.


Stacey Smith specializes in the history of the North American West, with a particular emphasis on race relations, labor and politics during the Civil War and Reconstruction eras. She teaches courses at Oregon State University on the American West and the Civil War and Reconstruction as well as the U.S. history survey.

Her book, Freedom’s Frontier: California and the Struggle over Unfree Labor, Emancipation, and Reconstruction (University of North Carolina Press, 2013), won the inaugural David Montgomery award in U.S. labor and working-class history from the Organization of American Historians and the Labor and Working-Class History Association. She has also published her work in the Pacific Historical Review, the Oregon Historical Quarterly, and the Journal of the Civil War Era and has written for the New York Times and the Black

Smith earned her Ph.D. in 2008 from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Honors and awards include the 2014 David Montgomery Prize for Freedom’s Frontier, NEH Summer Stipend (2013), Andrew Mellon-Huntington Library Fellowship (2013), 2012 Louis Knott Koontz Award and the Ray Allen Billington Award, from the Western History Association (2011).

Her newest book project, An Empire for Freedom, explores African Americans’ migrations to the Pacific Coast in the middle of the nineteenth century and their struggle for equality in the U.S.’s expanding continental empire.

This event is now a virtual event. The program is free but registration is required. We will email the link and login instructions on September 16. Thank you!


The following Refund Policy is in effect for the High Desert Museum. For Museum events and programs: no refunds, unless the Museum cancels the program or event. For more information on the policy, contact the Museum at 541-382-4754 ext. 241.