Learning Forum – “Sarah Campbell”
222 W 14th St
New York, NY 10011
Learning Forums are thought-provoking presentations on a wide variety of topics. Each program features a 45-minute presentation, followed by an open forum with questions and discussion about the topic.
This week, Joyce Jefferson presents, “Sarah Campbell: She Vanquished with the Vanguard of Civilization.” This presentation is part of our Women in History Month events.
Sarah Campbell was the first documented non-Native American woman to enter the Black Hills with the General George Armstrong Custer Expedition of 1874. She’s also reportedly the first woman to file a mining claim.
Probably born into slavery in Kentucky, Campbell tells of having traveled the Missouri River on steamboats for years. She was in Bismarck, Dakota Territory when Custer was commissioned to survey the Black Hills. She signed on as a cook with the expedition, known as Aunt Sally to soldiers, miners and all who loved her.
The program is delivered via The Chautauqua Method, dividing the performance into three phases. First, Jefferson will portray Campbell and recount the expedition that opened the Black Hills to the Gold Rush. Then she answers audience questions while still in character. Finally, Jefferson answers questions as herself.
Originally from Hawaii, Jefferson now lives in Rapid City. She loves to sing and advocate for human rights and cultural diversity. In fact, she co-founded “Three Voices—Speaking from the Past,” a group that presents South Dakota issues in the hopes of healing racism and increasing cultural awareness.
Jefferson is also an independent scholar and a speakers’ bureau participant for the South Dakota Humanities Council.
Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, half-off for members. Call 605-394-6923 to reserve tickets.