Matt Helm

Student Historian

Matthew D. Helm grew up in the small town of Redfield, South Dakota.  After graduating from Redfield Public High School he joined the U.S. Marines.  After serving in Washington State he met his fiancée, Veronica and were afterwards married.  He was assigned to 3rd Battalion 7th Marines in Twenty-Nine Palms, California.  From there his unit was deployed to Kuwait, then Iraq.

After serving a tour in Iraq, he was honorably discharged from the Marines and began furthering his education at the University of Washington.  He is in his final year of his undergraduate studies and is presently applying for graduate school with the hopes of continuing his study in American history with a focus on the 19th century west.

Kansas Freedman’s Relief Association (1879-1881)

Exodusters in West Topeka, Kansas, 1880 Image Ownership: Public Domain In response to the mass exodus from the south in 1879 and 1880, Kansas Governor and Quaker John St. John established the Kansas Freedman’s Relief Association (KFRA).  The Association was created in 1879 to “aid … Read MoreKansas Freedman’s Relief Association (1879-1881)

761st Tank Battalion (1942-45)

Able Company, 761st Tank Batalion Crossing the Seille River in France, Nov. 9, 1944 Image Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Defense The 761st Tank Battalion was formed in the spring of 1942 and was the first African American tank battalion to see combat in … Read More761st Tank Battalion (1942-45)

Emancipation Proclamation (1863)

Following the Union Army victory at Antietam, Maryland on September 17, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued a preliminary emancipation proclamation.  This document gave the states of the Confederacy until January 1, 1863 to lay down their arms and peaceably reenter the Union; if these states … Read MoreEmancipation Proclamation (1863)

Archy Lee Case, 1858

There is little known about Archy Lee’s childhood except that he was born in Mississippi in 1840, an illiterate slave owned by Charles Stovall. In 1857, Charles Stovall moved to California from Missouri taking Lee with him.  While in California Stovall opened a school and … Read MoreArchy Lee Case, 1858