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Portals to the Past- "Slave to Soldier"
In 1867, Isaac Johnson arrived at Jefferson Barracks near St. Louis, Missouri. An unknown, illiterate hotel worker and former slave from Montgomery, Alabama, he was to become an original Buffalo Soldier, destined to change the course of American history and the world. This slight man, just 5 feet and 7¼ inches tall, served in the 38th and 24th Colored Infantry and the famed 9th Cavalry.

On February 12, 2002, the Congressional Record of the 107th Congress, Second Session, included these words; "we should take a moment to remember those like Isaac Johnson and the many others who came before us and made this nation strong, free, and prosperous." It went on to exclaim "how he overcame significant challenges to become a true American patriot."

Those challenges are the story of "Slave to Soldier." An all American story of a man's journey from being considered property to becoming an original Buffalo Soldier and a free property owner.

Aug 21, 2020 10:00 AM in Central Time (US and Canada)

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George Pettigrew
Certified Oral Storyteller @Alexander/Madison Chapter Buffalo Soldiers
George Pettigrew, a Certified Oral Storyteller, and great-grandson of one of the first Buffalo Soldiers, Issac Johnson.
Will Hichkox
Public Engagement Coordinator @Watkins Museum of History
Will Hickox has a Ph.D. in history from the University of Kansas, but never imagined he would get to interview historical figures from past eras! As Public Engagement Coordinator at the Watkins Museum of History, Will is working with the museum’s partners at Freedom’s Frontier to cast living historians and develop compelling, thought-provoking interviews with them.