Yadkin County native Maurice “Mo” Cowan, who served as a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, will address a regional conference celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation (1863) on Saturday, Aug. 3 at 10 a.m. in Memorial Hall of Broad Street United Methodist Church, 315 West Broad St. in Statesville.
Cowan was born and raised in the Huntsville Community of Yadkin County, where he was a member of Tabernacle United Church of Christ. After graduating from Forbush High School, Cowan graduated from Duke University and Northeastern University in Boston, where he earned a law degree.
While practicing corporate law in Boston, Massachusetts Gov. Duval Patrick appointed him as his chief of staff. When Sen. John Kerry resigned his seat to serve as U.S. Secretary of State, Patrick appointed Cowan to fill his seat. Ed Markey recently won a special election. He was slated to replace Cowan this week.
“Sen. Cowan is an example of what happens when you take advantage of opportunities to improve yourself,” said Betty Quintera-Soto, chair of the planning committee. “Since the Emancipation, he is one of many people of color in the Yadkin Valley to rise to the top.”
This year’s theme is “The Promise of the Emancipation Proclamation (1863) for the People of Color of the 15 Counties of the Yadkin Valley.” Other speakers and exhibitors will discuss the development of families, churches and businesses of color in the Yadkin Valley since the Civil War.
This is the eighth history and genealogy fair and conference sponsored by the Yadkin Valley Historical Association since 2006, when 60 historians from nine counties formed the organization in Yadkinville.
The Association’s purpose is to preserve more local history, genealogy, and historic properties through regional cooperation. Annual membership of $20 entitles the member to free registration at the annual fair and conference and a vote at the annual meeting.
For a registration/membership form, go to www.rootsweb.history.com/~ncyadhva/.