Lecture by Karl Jacoby (Columbia University) | The Strange Career of William Ellis: The Texas Slave Who Became a Mexican Millionaire

To his contemporaries in Gilded Age Manhattan, Guillermo Eliseo was a fantastically wealthy Mexican, the proud owner of a luxury apartment overlooking Central Park, a busy Wall Street office, and scores of mines and haciendas in Mexico. But for all his obvious riches and his elegant appearance, Eliseo was also the possessor of a devastating secret: he was not, in fact, from Mexico at all. Rather, he had begun life as a slave named William Ellis, born on a cotton plantation in southern Texas during the waning years of King Cotton. Join us to hear the celebrated Columbia historian Karl Jacoby discuss Ellis’s incredible story and the sleuthing required to excavate it.

Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 4:00pm
All Welcome
3335 Dwinelle Hall