I am a regular reader of John Dodge’s column, Soundings. I enjoy his stories. I was reading his free boy piece and was surprised that it alluded that Charles Mitchell was the only slave in the territory. It is a well-documented fact that the indigenous people of the territory had slaves. There is even documentation of a white sailor who was captured and became a slave.
Maybe Dodge only thought of whites owning people as slavery or being blacks as a qualifier for being a slave. In 1843, English sailor William Jarman was shipwrecked, captured and made a slave for four years before he escaped, was recaptured and served another four years as a slave.
Slaves and slavery was very much a part of the fabric of life for the people of the Northwest.