Monday, November 16, 2009

Coming Wednesday December 2nd

Ron Soodalter will discuss his book, Hanging Captain Gordon. Ron Soodalter has pursued a variety of careers. With a B.A. in American History and masters degrees in Education and American Folk Culture, he taught in various schools throughout New York State, and in New York City's Riker's Island Prison. He then worked as curator of a Colorado history museum, where he served on the Board of Directors of the 10-state Mountain-Plains Museums Conference. As a young teenager, Soodalter was fortunate to have studied Flamenco guitar with the world renowned Carlos Montoya, and has played professionally all his life. Also an accomplished scrimshaw artist, he has been featured in a prominent Manhattan art gallery. He has collected traditional ballads in the United States, Ireland, and Scotland. He is also a dedicated collector of western memorabilia. His love of the west came to him through his grandfather, who was a cowboy in Colorado in the early part of the last century.
In addition to his two current books – Hanging Captain Gordon and The Slave Next Door, Soodalter’s articles appear frequently in magazines. He has recently written for Smithsonian, Civil War Times and True West, and is a featured columnist for America’s Civil War. The author's next book is Annex Cuba! A History of the United States' Nation-Long Obsession with its Caribbean Neighbor. Soodalter currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Abraham Lincoln Institute. He has two daughters, Jesse and Melora, and lives with his wife Jane in Chappaqua, New York.
On a frosty day in late February 1862, hundreds gathered in New York City's "Tombs" prison to watch the execution of Nathaniel Gordon. A sea captain from an old and respected Portland, Maine family, Gordon was about to become the only man in the history of the United States to be hanged for slave trading. What events led up to this pivotal moment? Hanging Captain Gordon by Ron Soodalter explores a fascinating story that came together to seal one man's fate.