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WVU Tech to Host Sixth Annual Otis K. Rice History Lecture

Dr. Connie Rice, state history scholar, WVU lecturer and Assistant Editor at West Virginia History: A Journal of Regional Studies, will discuss slavery and emancipation in Civil War-era West Virginia at the sixth annual Otis K. Rice lecture at WVU Tech. The free lecture is open to the public, and will be held on Thursday, September 25 at 6 p.m. in the WVU Tech engineering auditorium.

Dr. Rice, who serves on the Governor’s West Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission, has conducted extensive research and penned numerous publications on the history of women and blacks in the Appalachian region. Her lecture is particularly timely, as history marks 150 years since the American Civil War.

Her lecture, “Nothing but Freedom: Bondage and Emancipation in West Virginia,” will examine slavery, the Underground Railroad and political attitudes towards black citizenship during the statehood movement. Dr. Rice will also discuss post-war freedoms, registration laws targeting free blacks and petitions made by African Americans to the Virginia legislature during the period.

The memorial lecture series was started in 2009 to honor the legacy of noted West Virginia historian, Dr. Otis K. Rice, who served at WVU Tech for 30 years between 1957 and 1987, authored numerous books on state history and became the state’s first Historian Laureate in 2003.

Contact Dr. Melissa Sartore for more information.

Photo: “The Emancipation of the Negroes, January, 1863 – The Past and the Future” was drawn by American political cartoonist, Thomas Nast, for Harper’s Weekly after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on New Year’s Day of that year. Like Nast’s drawing, Dr. Rice’s lecture will focus on the transition from slavery to freedom and the rights of free blacks after emancipation.