In recognition of Black History Month and Women’s History Month, Dr. Bob Zybach and Jan Meranda will share the story of Letitia Carson. Letitia was a former slave who moved to Oregon with her white husband, Dave in 1845.
After Dave died in 1852, their land was taken from her by Greenberry Smith, a wealthy white landowner.
Letitia’s story is significant because she fought for years to regain her property, and eventually won, becoming the first black woman to make a successful homestead claim in the Pacific Northwest.
Her story was the inspiration for Jane Kirkpatrick’s novel A Light in the Wilderness, and Jan Meranda’s recent book, Freedom’s Light: The Letitia Carson Story Begins.
Bob Zybach is a forest scientist with a Ph.D. in environmental sciences. He and Janet Meranda, a writer and genealogist from Salem, have collaborated on researching Letitia Carson’s history for nearly thirty years.
This program is co-sponsered by the Newport Public Library Foundation & Central Oregon Coast NOW Foundation.
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