Dr. Quintard Taylor, Jr.
Scott and Dorothy Bullitt
Professor of American History
 
 
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History 313:
The History of African Americans in the West
Manual - Introduction

Introduction | Chap. 1 | Chap. 2 | Chap. 3 | Chap. 4 | Chap. 5 | Chap. 6 | Chap. 7 | Chap. 8 | Chap. 9 | Chap. 10

 

 

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE AMERICAN WEST

from 1528 to the Present


Professor Quintard Taylor
Department of History
University of Washington

Winter, 2008

Not to know what happened before one was born is to always remain a child.
--Cicero


As slaves they had long been aware that for themselves, as for most of their countrymen, geography was fate. Not only had they observed the transformation of individual fortune made possible by the westward movement along the frontier, and the Mason-Dixon Line had taught them the relationship between geography and freedom… They knew that to escape across the Mason-Dixon Line northward was to move in the direction of greater freedom. But freedom was also to be found in the West of the old Indian Territory. Bessie Smith gave voice to this knowledge when she sang of “Goin’ to the Nation, Goin’ to the Terr’tor’” and it is no accident that much of the symbolism of our folklore is rooted in the image of geography. For the slaves had learned through the repetition of group experience that freedom was to be attained through geographical movement, and that freedom required one to risk his life against the unknown.
--Ralph Ellison
Oklahoma City, 1980


If the people of any race have no record of their past, or have no aspirations or achievement that they think worthwhile, that race becomes a drone in the community and is treated as a nonentity. Therefore it is the duty of each race to feel keenly the necessity of keeping some record in which are chronicled their past efforts to verify their statements, and show that they appreciate the part they have played as members of the body politic of the community in which they live... We should learn to record our doings, or we will be unprepared for the future examination and remain a nonentity in the great universe in which we live.
--Samuel DeBow and Edward Pitter
Seattle, Washington, 1922

TABLE OF CONTENTS


INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER ONE: Spanish Origins
Terms For Week One
ESTEBAN, THE BLACK "KATSINA"
THE DEATH OF ESTEBAN
RACE AND CLASS IN COLONIAL MEXICO
AFRO-SPANIARDS IN THE FAR SOUTHWEST
ISABEL De OLVERA ARRIVES IN NEW MEXICO
RACIAL MIXTURE IN COLONIAL NEW MEXICO
MARRIAGE IN COLONIAL NEW MEXICO: THE RODRIGUEZ SAGA
SLAVERY AND FREEDOM IN SPANISH NEW MEXICO
ANTTONIA LUSGARDIA ERNANDES FIGHTS FOR HER SON
SONORA y SINALOA: MADRE PATRIA CHICA DE LOS ANGELES
THE FOUNDING OF LOS ANGELES
BLACK SETTLEMENT IN SPANISH TEXAS
FREE BLACKS ON THE TEXAS FRONTIER
SANTA ANNA AND BLACK FREEDOM
THE YELLOW ROSE OF TEXAS
YORK AND THE LEWIS AND CLARK EXPEDITION
EDWARD ROSE AND THE OVERLAND ASTORIANS
WILLIAM A. LEIDESDORFF AND JOHN A. SUTTER
JAMES BECKWOURTH: MOUNTAIN MAN


CHAPTER TWO: Slavery in the Antebellum West
Terms For Week Two
TEXAS: AN EMPIRE FOR SLAVERY
A TEXAS SLAVE'S LETTER TO HER HUSBAND, 1862
RUNAWAY SLAVES IN MEXICO
SLAVE AND FREE BLACKS IN INDIAN TERRITORY
GOPHER JOHN AND THE FATE OF THE SEMINOLES
RESETTLEMENT IN THE WEST
THE COMANCHES, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND THE SLAVE TRADE
RANSOMING: THE JOHNSON FAMILY SAGA
THE SEMINOLES, THE BLACKS AND SLAVERY
WILD CAT AND THE JOURNEY TO MEXICO
SLAVERY IN THE CALIFORNIA MINES
THE MORMONS AND BLACK SLAVERY
THE END OF SLAVERY IN UTAH
SLAVERY IN OREGON: TWO NARRATIVES
THE CHEROKEE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION
THE END OF SLAVERY IN THE WEST: THE TEXAS EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION

CHAPTER THREE: Free Black Communities in the Antebellum West
Terms For Week Three
GEORGE WASHINGTON BUSH ON THE OREGON TRAIL
ABNER HUNT FRANCIS WRITES FREDERICK DOUGLASS, 1851
THE O. B. FRANCIS PETITION, 1851
BLACK RIGHTS IN ANTEBELLUM OREGON
OREGON TERRITORY BANS AFRICAN AMERICANS
AFRICAN AMERICANS ON THE CALIFORNIA TRAIL
DIARY OF A BLACK FORTY-NINER
BLACK MINERS IN THE MOTHER LODE
A LETTER FROM CALIFORNIA
AFRICAN AMERICANS IN GOLD RUSH CALIFORNIA
THE FIRST CALIFORNIA NEGRO CONVENTION, 1855
ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE OF CALIFORNIA
MIFFLIN W. GIBBS IN CALIFORNIA
THE VICTORIA EXODUS, 1858
THE PACIFIC APPEAL ON THE FREEDMEN
THE SAN FRANCISCO ELEVATOR
JOHN BROWN IN THE WEST: KANSAS, 1858
FREEDOM IN KANSAS, 1863
HENRY CLAY BRUCE AND KANSAS "FREEDOM"
THE FREEDMEN AND EDUCATION


CHAPTER FOUR: Reconstruction in the West
Terms For Week Four
THE TEXAS EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION
FELIX HAYWOOD REMEMBERS THE DAY OF JUBLIO
JUNETEENTH: BIRTH OF AN AFRICAN AMERICAN HOLIDAY
RECONSTRUCTION VIOLENCE IN TEXAS: JOHN WESLEY HARDIN
COMANCHE WAR PARTIES IN TEXAS
BILL SIMMS MIGRATES TO KANSAS
BLACK KANSANS CALL FOR EQUAL RIGHTS
SCHOOL SEGREGATION COMES TO PORTLAND
THE ELEVATOR CELEBRATES PASSAGE OF THE FIFTEENTH AMENDMENT
HELENA CITIZENS CELEBRATE THEIR NEW RIGHTS
HENRY O. WAGONER, JR., ON BLACK RIGHTS
BLACK VOTING RIGHTS: TWO VIEWS FROM WASHINGTON TERRITORY
BLACK VOTING RIGHTS: A HAWAIIAN NEWSPAPER'S VIEW
THE RECONSTRUCTION AMENDMENTS: OREGON'S RESPONSE
FREDERICK DOUGLAS DESCRIBES THE "COMPOSITE NATION"


CHAPTER FIVE: Post Civil War Migration and Settlement
Terms For Week Five1
A BLACK WOMAN ON THE MONTANA FRONTIER
THE FOUNDING OF NICODEMUS
WILLIANNA HICKMAN REMEMBERS NICODEMUS
NICODEMUS IN THE 1990s
BLACK TEXANS AND THE KANSAS EXODUS
ADDRESS TO THE COLORED PEOPLE OF TEXAS
AFRICAN AMERICANS IN A TEXAS FRONTIER TOWN
GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER IN KANSAS
AFRICAN AMERICAN COLONIES IN COLORADO
TO EMIGRATE TO NEBRASKA
HOMESTEADING ON THE PLAINS: THE AVA SPEESE DAY STORY
BLACK DREAMS OF OKLAHOMA
THE BATTLE FOR THE CIMARRON VALLEY
BOOKER T. WASHINGTON DESCRIBES BOLEY, INDIAN TERRITORY
EDWIN P. McCABE AND LANGSTON CITY, OKLAHOMA TERRITORY
ALLENSWORTH, CALIFORNIA
VIRGINIA CITY AND DODGE CITY:URBAN OUTPOSTS
KATE D. CHAPMAN DESCRIBES YANKTON, DAKOTA TERRITORY
RACE RELATIONS IN LATE 19TH CENTURY WEST KANSAS
JIM KELLY AND PRINT OLIVE
D.W. "80 JOHN" WALLACE: A BLACK CATTLE RANCHER
END OF THE TRAIL: BLACK COWBOYS IN DODGE CITY
THE DEMISE OF LAWLESSNESS AT FORT GRIFFIN
BLACK COWBOYS AND THE PENDLETON ROUNDUP
BUSINESSES: ARIZONA TERRITORY
A NORTH DAKOTA DAUGHTER


CHAPTER SIX: Buffalo Soldiers and the Defense of the West
Terms For Week Six
THE NINTH AND TENTH CAVALRY: FIRST YEARS, FIRST OFFICERS
FIRST RECRUITS, NINTH CAVALRY, 1866
BUFFALO SOLDIERS AT FORT DAVIS, TEXAS
BLACK SOLDIERS AND THE OPENING OF THE LLANO ESTACADO
THE HENRY O. FLIPPER SAGA
ISAIAH DORMAN AT THE LITTLE BIG HORN, 1876
BLACK SOLDIERS RESCUE A NEW MEXICO TOWN
PRIVATE W.A. PRATHER'S POEM
THE STURGIS EPISODE, 1885
REGIMENTAL BANDS IN NEW MEXICO TERRITORY
THE TWENTY-FOURTH INFANTRY IN SALT LAKE CITY
AN EX-SOLDIER COMMUNITY ON THE TEXAS FRONTIER
BLACK TROOPS AND WHITE STRIKERS IN IDAHO
ARMY LIFE IN NEBRASKA: THE FORT ROBINSON YMCA
A BLACK OFFICER SPEAKS AT STANFORD
THE FIGHT AT CARRIZAL
THE HOUSTON MUTINY & RACE RIOT, 1917
THE HOUSTON MUTINY & RACE RIOT: ONE SOLDIER'S LAST WORDS


CHAPTER SEVEN: The Black Urban West, 1880-1940
Terms For Week Seven
WILLIAM GROSE AND ROBERT MORAN
BERIAH BROWN ON CIVIL RIGHTS IN SEATTLE, 1874
HOUSTON'S FOURTH WARD
BIDDY MASON AND POST CIVIL WAR LOS ANGELES
THE MASON LEGACY CONTINUES: ROBERT C. OWENS
A BLACK COMMUNITY EMERGES IN OAKLAND
SCHOOL SEGREGATION IN THE WEST: A DEFENSE
SCHOOL SEGREGATION IN THE WEST: A CRITIQUE
SCHOOL SEGREGATION: TUCSON ARIZONA
HELENA AND TOPEKA
"THE WESTERN TUSKEGEE"
AFRICAN AMERICAN OMAHA: THE COURT HOUSE RIOT
JACK JOHNSON: A SOCIAL HISTORY
THE REACTION TO JACK JOHNSON
BESSIE COLEMAN: PIONEER AVIATOR
W.E.B. DuBOIS VISITS THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
BEATRICE CANNADY: PORTLAND ACTIVIST
THE UNIA ON THE WEST COAST
MARCUS GARVEY: A SEATTLE WOMAN REMEMBERS
A BLACK WESTERN LITERARY TRADITION
WALLACE THURMAN IN THE WEST
LANGSTON HUGHES IN KANSAS
LANGSTON HUGHES CONFRONTS SEGREGATION
CENTRAL AVENUE: THE "PULSE" OF BLACK LOS ANGELES
BLACK HOLLYWOOD IN THE 1920s
PAUL WILLIAMS: A LOS ANGELES ARCHITECT
KENNY WASHINGTON AT UCLA, 1937
A PROTEST IN DENVER, 1932


CHAPTER EIGHT: World War II and the Black West
Terms For Week Eight
THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON, 1941
"CAN NEGROES REALLY FLY AIRPLANES"
JAPANESE INTERNMENT--ONE BLACK NEWSPAPER RESPONDS
AFRICAN AMERICAN SOLDIERS DEFEND HOLLYWOOD
THE GROWTH OF BLACK SAN FRANCISCO, 1940-1945
BLACK WOMEN MIGRATE TO THE EAST BAY
BLACK WOMEN IN THE PORTLAND SHIPYARDS
SEX AND THE SHIPYARDS
WHITE WOMEN AND BLACK MEN IN THE PORTLAND SHIPYARDS
LYN CHILDS CONFRONTS A RACIST ACT
ETTA GERMANY WRITES TO THE PRESIDENT
JAMES v. MARINSHIP CORPORATION et al.
NORTHEAST PORTLAND: THE GROWTH OF A BLACK COMMUNITY
BLACK BUILDERS OF THE ALCAN HIGHWAY
BLACKS, WHITES, ASIANS IN WORLD WAR II HAWAII
THE PORT CHICAGO TRAGEDY
BLACK PORTLAND WOMEN AND POST-WAR DISCRIMINATION
LAS VEGAS: THE "MISSISSIPPI OF THE WEST"


CHAPTER NINE: The Civil Rights Movement in the West
Terms for Week Nine:
SEGREGATION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THE WEST, 1950
ADA LOIS SIPUEL FISHER AND THE U.S. SUPREME COURT
GEORGE McLAURIN AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA
AN EARLY CIVIL RIGHTS VICTORY IN NEW MEXICO
SCHOOL DESEGREGATION: THE ARIZONA VICTORY, 1953
BROWN V. TOPEKA BOARD OF EDUCATION
THE BROWN DECISION: ONE WOMAN REMEMBERS
THE FIRST SIT-IN: WICHITA, KANSAS, 1958
SIT-INS: THE OKLAHOMA CITY CAMPAIGN, 1958
THE KATZ DRUG STORE SIT-IN, 1958
CHARLTON HESTON MARCHES IN OKLAHOMA CITY
THE SIT-IN MOVEMENT COMES TO HOUSTON
THE MOVEMENT IN SAN ANTONIO
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND BLACK CIVIL RIGHTS PROTEST
A NATIVE AMERICAN NEWSPAPER ASSESSES THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
THE END OF NON-VIOLENCE: THE WATTS RIOT
MARQUETTE FRYE: FROM WYOMING TO WATTS
BLACK OMAHA: FROM NON-VIOLENCE TO BLACK POWER
THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY
ANGELA DAVIS ON BLACK MEN AND THE MOVEMENT
THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON BLACK STUDENT UNION


CHAPTER TEN: The Black West: Into The 21st Century
THE WATTS RIOT: TWENTY FIVE YEARS LATER
KOREAN GREEN GROCERS: CHALLENGE AND OPPORTUNITY
CRIPPIN: THE RISE OF BLACK GANGS IN POST-WATTS LOS ANGELES
THE BLOCK, 1992
CRACK AND THE BLACK WEST
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT: TWO BLACK GENERATIONS COLLIDE
PAN-AFRICANISM IN PORTLAND, 1991
THE MULTICULTURAL AMERICAN WEST
ETHNIC POPULATION DISTRIBUTION IN WASHINGTON, 2000

INTRODUCTION

I have assembled in this manual instructional aids which will help enhance your understanding of the lectures and readings for this course, African Americans in the American West, 1528 to the Present, or which explain and clarify the organization and require¬ments of the course. These aids include vignettes which are usually statements by important historical figures or commentary by observers of critical events and episodes in the history of black Americans in the United States, statistical tables, informa¬tion sheets and maps.

Also included are lists of weekly terms introduced and emphasized during the lectures or discussed in the assigned readings. These terms reflect some critical event or development for a particular period of American history or refer to a concept which will help you better understand the historical process and our contemporary nation. Since I will randomly choose some of the terms for your midterm and final exams you should learn the definition and historical significance of each of them. Those terms not specifically discussed in class will be explained in your textbooks so it is particularly important that you do all of the assigned reading. All of the instructional materials are arranged in the approximate order in which they will be dis¬cussed during the quarter.

One final note: you should view the materials in this manual not simply as additional information you will have to learn for the exams but as data that will help you better comprehend and assimilate the varied issues addressed in the lectures and textbook reading assignments. If you have any questions about any of the information presented in this manual please contact me during my office hours which are listed below.


DOCUMENTARIES AND FILMS ON THE BLACK WEST

The following films and documentaries are part of a growing list of titles on the African American west. Many of them are in the Media Center collection in Odegaard Undergraduate Library. Although the following videos are not requirements of the course I urge you to selectively view them to enhance your understanding of the history of the black people who populated this region.

Within Our Gates: A silent film produced by Oscar Michaeux in 1919.

Black Pioneers: True Faces of the West, The first two episodes of a projected eight episode series on the black west. These episodes were produced by the University of Wyoming, 1996.

Jackson Sundown: A 1995 documentary on a legendary Native American rodeo performer at the Pendleton Roundup around 1910-1912. The documentary also features rare film of George Fletcher, the most prominent African American performer with the Roundup.

Buffalo Soldiers: A highly sentimentalized "hero's story" of black soldiers with vignettes and interviews with buffalo soldier descendants.

The Bicycle Corps: America's Black Army on Wheels: This University of Montana documentary produced in 2000 describes the 2,000 mile journey in the summer of 1896 of members of the 25th Infantry from Ft. Missoula, Montana to St. Louis, Missouri, to test the feasibility of bicycles as transportation for infantry soldiers.

Dearfield: The Road Less Traveled: A 1996, 30 minute documentary of the life and death of Colorado's most successful all-black town. The documentary also focuses on O.T. Jackson, the town founder.

Black Indians: An American Story: This 60 minute documentary produced in 2000 explores the dual identity of people of African American and Native American Ancestry.