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The Secret Life of Geologist Clarence King; Lecture at the Huntington Feb. 17

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The Huntington Library will host the following lecture Feb. 17:

“Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line”

Martha A. Sandweiss, Professor of American Studies and History, Amherst College, shares her new findings about the secret life of the late nineteenth-century Western explorer Clarence King, who was the first director of the U.S. Geological Survey and who was particularly well known for his studies of the Sierra Nevada.  His colleagues knew King as a celebrated geologist and writer, but for thirteen years he lived a double life, also passing as a “black” man named James Todd who married an African-American wife, had five children with her, and revealed his true identity to her only on his deathbed. Prof. Sandweiss will discuss her new book about Clarence King.

February 17, 2009

7:30 p.m. – Friends’ Hall, Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens.

For additional information, please contact Susi Krasnoo at <skrasnoo@huntington.org>

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