Revisit: HOLMES V. FORD (1853)

The lawsuit filed by Robin and Polly Holmes against Nathaniel Ford in 1852 is often cited as the legal event that ended slavery in Oregon. This is not accurate. Legally, Oregon was anti-slavery throughout the antebellum period. The provisional government prohibited slavery in 1843; the territorial government did so in 1848. Finally, Oregonians included an anti-slavery article in the 1857 statehood constitution. The Holmes v. Ford case … Continue reading Revisit: HOLMES V. FORD (1853)

Profile: Amanda Aldridge (1866-1956)

Amanda Christina Elizabeth Aldridge, also known as Amanda Ira Aldridge was a British opera singer and teacher who composed love songs, suites, sambas and light orchestral pieces under the pseudonym of Montague Ring. Life Amanda Aldridge was born on 10 March 1866 in Upper Norwood, London, the third child of African-American actor Ira Frederick Aldridge and his second wife, Amanda Brandt, who was Swedish. She had two sisters, Rachael and Luranah, and two brothers, Ira Daniel and Ira Frederick. … Continue reading Profile: Amanda Aldridge (1866-1956)

FORT PILLOW MASSACRE (1864)

On April 12, 1864, some 3,000 rebels under the command of Nathan Bedford Forrest overran Fort Pillow, a former Confederate stronghold situated on a bluff on the Tennessee bank of the Mississippi, some 40 miles north of Memphis. The garrison consisted of about 600 Union soldiers, roughly evenly divided between runaway slaves-turned-artillerists from nearby Tennessee communities and white Southern Unionist cavalry mostly from East Tennessee. Under a flag … Continue reading FORT PILLOW MASSACRE (1864)