The symposium “Strength through Numbers,” scheduled for April 19-21, 2018, will contribute to the process of designating the ruins of the Quindaro townsite as a National Historic Landmark. The symposium will begin with a keynote address by University of Washington historian Quintard Taylor on Thursday, April 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Kansas City Public Library’s Central Branch, 14 W 10th Street, Kansas City, Missouri. On Friday and Saturday, April 20-21, symposium sessions will be held at Memorial Hall, 600 North 7th Street Trafficway, Kansas City, Kansas. The symposium is cosponsored by a number of partners, including the Center for Midwestern Studies, Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, the Kansas City Public Library, the Missouri Humanities Council, UMKC’s Black Studies Program, and UMKC’s Department of History.
Quindaro, Kansas was a port town founded in 1857 as a safe harbor for free-state migrants and escaped slaves, after pro-slavery residents blockaded all other ports on the Missouri River. The community was home to Native Americans, whites, and free blacks, and became a vital stop on the Underground Railroad. On April 19, Dr. Quintard Taylor, a specialist in African American history in the American West, will deliver a lecture about this community entitled “Quindaro: The Coming of Freedom in the Decade of Civil War.” Dr. Taylor’s talk will explore the history of the Kansas-Missouri border region from 1855-1865 – the forces and events that led to vicious fighting along the Kansas-Missouri border, brought about the establishment of the town of Quindaro, and ultimately resulted in the end of slavery in the United States. This event is free but registration through the Kansas City Public Library is required.
The symposium sessions, on Friday and Saturday, April 20-21, will bring scholarship about the historical significance of the Quindaro community to a broader public audience, and facilitate discussions about the future of the historic site. Admission to the symposium sessions is free. To view a schedule of the sessions, or to register, please visit the Quindaro Symposium’s event page on the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area website.