Third Thursday: The Buffalo Soldiers in Vermont, 1909-1913
This monthly series featuring Vermont scholars will cover new research and ideas about the Green Mountain State.
February 18, 2021: The Buffalo Soldiers in Vermont, 1909-1913. With David Work.
In July 1909, the Tenth United States Cavalry Regiment, one of four regular army black regiments collectively known as the Buffalo Soldiers, arrived in Burlington, Vermont, to begin a four-year tour of duty at Fort Ethan Allen in neighboring Colchester. Their arrival alarmed the almost exclusively white population. Many people feared the presence of sizable numbers of African American soldiers in their community and a bitter debate ensued over whether the city should adopt Jim Crow facilities. For the next four years, the Tenth Cavalry would encounter similar reactions as it traveled throughout the northeast and as far south as Winchester, Virginia. Wherever they went, the black soldiers faced fear and suspicion and had to demonstrate good behavior to win the acceptance of the white population.
David Work earned his Ph.D. in American history in May 2004 at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. He currently teaches at Tacoma Community College in Tacoma, WA