| 3 Mar 2004 @ 23:00|
February 15, 2004
By Deborah Kong
The Associated Press
Register Guard Eugene, Or
SACRAMENTO - Californians like to think of their state as a freewheeling, tolerant place, one that entered the Union back in 1850 unbesmirched by the stain of slavery.
But Joe Moore says there's just one problem with that sunny vision of the past - it isn't true. Though it was admitted to the Union as a ``free state,'' slavery still existed in 1850s California, and Moore is leading a project to shed light on its contradictory history.
His proof is in print: in an 1852 ad announcing the public auction of a black man valued at $300; newspaper accounts of fugitive slaves who were arrested; and, county records certifying slaves bought their freedom from their owners.
Moore and a team of researchers have uncovered these and other, often overlooked pieces of California's past after months of digging through the archives of museums, historical societies and libraries across the state. More >