• Image of the reconstructed stockade at Fort Vancouver and Pearson Air Museum looking northeast from the Land Bridge.

    Fort Vancouver

    National Historic Site OR,WA

A Rich Legacy of African American History

Photo of park volunteer at the Candlelight Tour special event.

Park Volunteer Steven Gunn portrays one of the fort's laborers at the annual Candlelight Tour.

NPS Photo

Fort Vancouver's Rich Legacy of African American History

Each year, the president designates February as African American History Month, calling on all Americans to "highlight and honor the contributions that African Americans have made to our nation."

At Fort Vancouver National Historic Site (NHS) and the Vancouver National Historic Reserve, we recognize that a better understanding of our African American legacy helps us to gain a more complete and informed understanding of our past.

For example, through continuing research our community grows as our understanding of the Buffalo Soldiers -- who lived and worked in our community -- grows.

Fortunately, the contributions of African Americans at Fort Vancouver NHS are by no means limited to the Buffalo Soldiers.

In the spirit of understanding, it is important to recognize the often-unheralded contributions that African Americans made to the fur trade of the Pacific Northwest during the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) and U.S. Army eras of Fort Vancouver.

With this goal in mind, the park has compiled several essays that serve to highlight many compelling connections between African Americans and the site.

 

Did You Know?

Image of O.O. Howard from the New York Historical Society's Civil War Treasures Collection

Did you know that a number of U.S. Army generals served at Fort Vancouver NHS’s Vancouver Barracks early in their careers? The list includes Generals Oliver O. Howard, George C. Marshall, Ulysses S. Grant, George B. McClellan, Phillip Sheridan, William T. Sherman, Omar Bradley and George Pickett. More...