“Our Mother Country”: Black Pioneers on the Illinois Frontier, 1800-1830 | Newberry

“Our Mother Country”: Black Pioneers on the Illinois Frontier, 1800-1830

Led by Anna-Lisa Cox. One session, 1 - 4 pm.
Saturday, March 31, 2018

1 - 4 pm

Online registration is closed. Call (312) 255-3700 to register.

Cost and Registration Information

Early Registration Price (January 9 at 10 am – January 26 at 4 pm): $70
Regular Registration Price (January 26 at 4 pm – first day of class): $77

Members, seniors, and students get a 10% discount.

Online registration for Section B is closed, but you can still register by phone. Please call (312) 255-3700 to do so.

Excuse our dust!

Beginning January 2018 the Newberry will be undertaking renovation of much of the first floor. The Adult Education Seminars Program will still have use of the basement classrooms, but please check this link frequently for the latest conditions - which exterior doors are open or closed, where to find an accessible entrance, which restrooms are available, etc.

Because of the renovation, the Newberry Bookstore will be closed during the Winter/Spring and Summer 2018 terms. As such, seminar participants will be responsible for acquiring all required texts for their seminars on their own. We apologize sincerely for the inconvenience, and appreciate your understanding. We have put together a list of helpful resources that should make it easy to find the books you need.

Seminar Description

Long before Abraham Lincoln arrived in Illinois, free people of African descent had been coming to the Illinois Territorial frontier. From the families that built and defended forts in this frontier prior to the War of 1812 to the successful farmers who thrived before statehood, this seminar will explore the hidden and heroic lives of these Black pioneers and their white neighbors who worked with them to fight a rising tide of racism and slavery. One session.

Anna-Lisa Cox holds her PhD in American history and is currently a non-resident fellow at Harvard’s Hutchins Center where she has just completed her forthcoming book, The Bone and Sinew of the Land: America’s Forgotten Black Pioneers and the Struggle for Equality, based on her exhibit at the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Materials List


  • There are no required materials for this class.

First Reading:

  • There is no reading assignment for the first class.

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about our registration procedures.