African Americans in the California Gold Rush (1848-1860)

The California Gold Rush, from 1848 to 1860, began after gold was discovered by carpenter and sawmill operator James W. Marshall on January 24, 1848. After Marshall’s discovery, thousands of people came to the goldfields in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in Northern … Read MoreAfrican Americans in the California Gold Rush (1848-1860)

Charles Mitchell, Slavery, and Washington Territory in 1860 [Children’s Edition]

This entry is for juvenile audiences. To see the full version of this entry, click here. Who are they: Charles Mitchell was born into slavery in 1847 on the Marengo Plantation in Maryland. He was born to a free white man, also named Charles Mitchell, … Read MoreCharles Mitchell, Slavery, and Washington Territory in 1860 [Children’s Edition]

Grafton Tyler Brown (1841-1918)

Grafton Tyler Brown was a cartographer, lithographer, and painter, widely considered the first professional African American artist in California. Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1841, Brown learned lithography in Philadelphia and then became part of a cohort of African Americans who sought better economic and … Read MoreGrafton Tyler Brown (1841-1918)

Louise Thompson Patterson (1901-1999)

Louise Alone Thompson Patterson, civil rights activist, communist, and educator, was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 9, 1901 to Lulu (Louise) F. Brown Toles and William J. Toles. After her parents 1904 separation, Thompson lived in Seattle, Washington as well as Utah, Nevada, Idaho, … Read MoreLouise Thompson Patterson (1901-1999)