February 25 Program will be “Roshier H. Creecy” by Peggy Merritt
Join us on Feb 25 for the next meeting, 6pm to 8pm at the Blanchard Family Funeral Home, 611 Noble St Fairbanks, Alaska.
The program will be “Roshier H. Creecy
A Black Man’s Search for Freedom and Prosperity in the Koyukuk Gold Fields of Alaska”
presented by Peggy Merritt.
The story of Roshier H. Creecy is a portal into a reformative and rapidly changing era in America’s history. Born in 1866, he was among the first generation of African Americans who were free to migrate. The societal obstacles Roshier encountered one hundred years ago, and his strategies to circumvent them, are still present for men of color today. Escaping southern culture intent on retaining a racial hierarchy, Roshier joined the U.S. Army’s Ninth Cavalry, known as the “Buffalo Soldiers.” Following discharge, Roshier married in Washington, D.C. and had a son, but chafed at the indignities of daily life under “Jim Crow.” He joined the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898 and became the owner of a roadhouse at which the North-West Mounted Police billeted. In 1906, he mushed his dog team to Alaska, bound for the Koyukuk gold fields where he remained the rest of his life. Roshier’s wanderings were prompted by the search for freedom and prosperity, but his journey led him to discover personal growth and a sense of belonging in a wondrous wilderness hinting of gold.
Dr. Merritt came to Alaska in 1978, working as a biologist with Alaska Department of Fish & Game for a couple of decades, during which time she was Research Supervisor for the Sport Fish Division over the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim and Copper River drainages. She was also an adjunct professor of fisheries at the University of Alaska for 10 years. For the past half-dozen years, she has consulted as a genealogist, helping people research, and write their family histories. The biography of Roshier Creecy is her fifth book, but the first to be published for a general audience.
Roshier H. Creecy: A Black Man’s Search for Freedom and Prosperity in the Koyukuk Gold Fields of Alaska
Meetings are free and open to the public. Refreshments are served.
Bring your genealogy questions, and be inspired to work on your family tree.