Tom Polansky’s September meeting committee for the Oneonta Club has put together a fascinating program about escaped slave and naval hero William B. Gould. Gould descendants William Gould IV, the Charles A. Beardsley Professor of Law at Stanford University, and William Gould V, long-time Pasadena resident and an adjunct lecturer at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, have created a presentation that delves into the incredible life of their remarkable ancestor, who during the Civil War escaped his plantation via a boat down the Cape Fear River, and was picked up by the U.S. Navy.
Leaving one of three Civil-War era slave-written diaries in existence, Gould went on to success as a member of the US Navy from 1862 until the end of the Civil War. The diary vividly records Gould’s activity as part of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron off the coast of North Carolina and Virginia; his visits to New York and Boston; the pursuit to Nova Scotia of a hijacked Confederate cruiser; and service in European waters pursuing Confederate ships constructed in Great Britain and France. William Gould IV and V will weave a spell-binding tale of bravery and strong character under the most trying of times. Gould’s diary is distinguished not only by its details and eloquent tone (often deliberately understated and sardonic), but also by its reflections on war, on race, on race relations in the Navy, and on what African Americans might expect after the war.
Using passages from the diary, the Gould’s presentation will not disappoint anyone with interest in Black American history, the Civil War, or the US Navy. In addition to outstanding archival photographs, The Goulds will share their thoughts about the legacy of their ancestor, and their own journey of discovery in learning about this remarkable man.
In addition to the lecture, the Oneonta Club will be graced by the phenomenal violin virtuosity of Kayla Moffett, who will be playing live various musical pieces that follow the theme of the Gould’s lecture, both contemporary and from the late 19th century. Before joining the violin section of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, Kayla played four full seasons as a guest violinist with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
She played on, toured, and wrote the liner notes for their Grammy-winning album with Patricia Kopachinskaja. She is also a member of the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra at Lincoln Center and is a regular attendee at the Lakes Area Music Festival in Brainerd, Minnesota. Kayla has regularly subbed with both the Minnesota Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. As a student she attended several summer festivals including Yellowbarn, Tanglewood, and Lucerne Festival. She received her Masters’ from Yale University, where she studied with Syoko Aki and received the Yale Chamber Society award, and went to USC under Martin Chalifour for her BM, where she won first prize in the annual Solo Bach Competition. We are very fortunate indeed to have her playing for us.
The Oneonta Club board sincerely hopes all kindred spirits will join in on this special no-cost virtual evening scheduled for Monday, September 14, 2020, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. Reservations are essential so that we can give guests the simple login information on Zoom. For reservations, please call Steve Hennessey, Club President at (323) 243-8189 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org