Dowagiac Area History Museum’s Fall Lecture Series kicks off Aug. 2

Published 11:45 am Thursday, July 27, 2023

DOWAGIAC — The Dowagiac Area History Museum’s Fall Lecture Series kicks off at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2 with the program Born Free & Equal – Michigan’s Colored Regiment, by Maurice Imhoff, a Michigan historian with a focus on Michigan’s African American Civil War Regiment, the 1st Michigan Colored Infantry. 

In 2020, he co-founded the Jackson County Michigan Historical Society and interned at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

“Let the black man get upon his person the brass letters U.S., let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder, and bullets in his pocket, and there is no power on the earth or under the earth that can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship” – Frederick Douglass, April 6, 1863.
Following the Emancipation Proclamation, the U.S. military formed the United States Colored Troops. Even as black soldiers fought and died, their citizenship status remained uncertain. Racist policies limited opportunities for black soldiers to become line officers and paid them lower wages than whites. 

Maurice Imhoff will cover the story of the 1st Michigan Colored Regiment, otherwise known as the 102nd United States Colored Troops, discussing its early authorization to present time remembrance.

Programs in the series also include: Michigan’s Civil War Battle Flags, Matt VanAcker, Director of the Michigan Capitol Tour and Education Service, on Sept. 6; The Freshwater Clam, Pearl and Pearl Button Industry of the St. Joseph River Valley, by local historian Rick Ladonski on Oct. 4; and Kathy Johnson doing a re-enactment of Kate Beckwith Lee on Nov. 1. 

The programs are free to museum members and $5 for non-members. Membership will be available at the museum. This series is sponsored by the Friends of the Dowagiac Area History Museum. The museum is at the corner of Division and West Railroad streets. For more information, call the museum at (269) 783-2560 or visit