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Sotterley Presents: People and Perspectives – Snow-Storm in August with Jefferson Morley
May 25, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Author and Investigative Reporter
Snow-Storm in August
Wednesday, May 25th, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.
Author Jefferson Morley discusses his book, Snow-Storm in August, about the 1835 Snow Riot. In 1835, the city of Washington pulsed with change. As newly freed African Americans from the South poured in, free blacks outnumbered slaves for the first time. Radical notions of abolishing slavery circulated on the city’s streets, and white residents were forced to confront new ideas of what the nation’s future might look like.
On the night of August 4th, Arthur Bowen, an eighteen-year-old slave, stumbled into the bedroom where his owner, Anna Thornton, slept. He had an ax in the crook of his arm. An alarm was raised, and he ran away. Word of the incident spread rapidly, and within days, Washington’s first race riot exploded, as whites fearing a slave rebellion attacked the property of the free blacks. Residents dubbed the event the “Snow-Storm,” in reference to the central role of Beverly Snow, a flamboyant free man of color and successful restaurateur, who became the target of the mob’s rage.
Jefferson Morley is a Washington author and investigative reporter. He worked as an editor and reporter at the Washington Post and Washingtonpost.com for 15 years and served as Washington correspondent for The Nation and Salon.
Snow-Storm in August: Francis Scott Key, Washington City and the Forgotten Riot of 1835 is the second of the four books of narrative non-fiction that he has published. Morley is also the author of a trilogy of spies, namely three biographies of leading officers in the Central Intelligence Agency.
This presentation is a part of our Common Ground Initiative and made possible by grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, and Maryland Humanities.
FREE WEBINAR for the public – Advance registration required.