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On Jan. 13 , I’ll present a Zoom talk about the forgotten history of a courageous Haida woman, Agnes McAlpin. I’m immensely grateful to the Sheldon Jackson Museum for making this possible, and to this group for posting the call for applications. I hope some of you will attend and ask questions.
When Fri, January 13, 2023, 12:00pm – 12:45pm
Where Zoom only (map)
Description As part of the Share Your Culture/Share Your Research Winter Series, biographer and journalist Marcia Biederman (non-Native) will give a Zoom-only historical talk entitled “The Courage of Agnes Young McAlpin: The Forgotten Story of a Haida Woman Who Won a Fight for Her Human Rights.” To attend, visit www.zoom.com and input meeting ID: 842 3603 1991 and passcode: Agnes.
Join us for this event as Biederman takes us back to 1906, at a time when people fought for seats in a Pennsylvania courtroom to hear a young Haida woman tell of years of mistreatment at the hands of her white husband and in-laws. Originally from Kasaan, Agnes Young was 17 when a white dentist named Kenneth McAlpin married her in Wrangell. A year later, with Agnes pregnant, the couple returned to Kenneth’s home. Horrified by the interracial marriage, his mother and sister banished Agnes to a barren attic while Kenneth got a luxuriously furnished room.
Hidden from visitors and forced to eat separately, Agnes thought of suicide. Instead, she developed a plan to free herself and her children from this intolerable situation. Using photos and excerpts from news accounts, Marcia Biederman will explain how Agnes won a highly publicized divorce trial, ensuring a future for her descendants in Alaska, and prompting a small Pennsylvania city to examine its commitment to civil rights.
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