The Persistence of Slavery in James Buchanan’s Pennsylvania

The Persistence of Slavery in James Buchanan’s Pennsylvania

On Thursday, September 19, Dr. Cory James Young of the University of Iowa will join LancasterHistory for the presentation, “The Persistence of Slavery in James Buchanan’s Pennsylvania.” In 1826 on the House floor, Congressman James Buchanan professed his hatred of slavery and insisted that it did not exist in Pennsylvania. However, 30-years later, the 1856 State census still recorded an enslaved person living in Lancaster County, President-elect Buchanan’s home community. Dr. Cory James Young will discuss how slavery remained legal in Pennsylvania until the Civil War Era, contrary to the belief of Mr. Buchanan then and to many more today.

A man with light skin, brown hair, and brown facial hair. He is wearing a gray suit with a light color tie.
Dr. Cory James Young

Dr. Cory James Young is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Iowa. His book manuscript, “For Life or Otherwise: Pennsylvania Slavery in the Age of Gradual Abolition,” explores how state legislation transformed rather than eliminated Black bondage in the Keystone State. His work has been supported by the Cumberland County Historical Society, Library Company of Philadelphia, and McNeil Center for Early American Studies. Dr. Young is a member of the Scholarly Advisory Committee for LancasterHistory’s forthcoming Thaddeus Stevens & Lydia Hamilton Smith Center for History and Democracy.


This event will take place in person at LancasterHistory on Thursday, September 19, 2024. Doors open and a reception begins at 5pm. The lecture will begin at 5:30pm. The lecture will also be streamed to Zoom at 5:30pm for those who wish to join us virtually.

This program is free and open to the public. In-person attendance requires advance registration in order to guarantee a seat. Due to capacity restrictions, tickets may not be available at the door. Virtual attendance requires advance registration in order to receive the Zoom link. Register online by clicking the appropriate link below or by calling (717) 392-4633. Registration will close online on Thursday, September 19 at 5:30pm. The online version of this program will also be recorded and uploaded to LancasterHistory’s YouTube channel after the event.



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In-Person Event Lecture Online/Virtual Event Reception

September 19, 2024 Ryder Hall at LancasterHistory & Livestream 5pm Reception | 5:30pm Presentation FREE | Registration Required