Puget Sound Civil War Roundtable

Civil War Education, Remembrance and Preservation

CARVER GAYTON

November 10, 2016

“When Owing a Shilling Costs a Dollar: The Saga of Lewis G. Clarke,
Born a ‘White’ Slave”

Carver Gayton had much to share. With a plethora of information and history. In filtering this through his concern for time some of the audience checked their time pieces as well. He narrated the highlights of a very interesting story. I certainly enjoyed his presentation. - Bob Hazen
Fascinating details about the underground railroad. Having visited several of the businesses used, I was very interested in the speaker relating travels and dangers, especially how difficulty increased thru the years. He also confirmed what I’ve heard that some of the slaves were sold/moved further south to curtail their fleeing captivity. Good Speaker, difficult subject. - Stephen Pierce
An excellent presentation! Lewis Clarke was an amazing man. His story brought many in his day to action, changed attitudes and clearly was inspirational. And, his deep involvement in the underground railroad will probably never be fully revealed. Lewis’ bravery, integrity and honesty are truly commendable. I thoroughly enjoyed Carver’s style and his storytelling capacity. And, he told of some horrific things slaves were forced to endure that have not been brought forward in any of my reading, heard in previous lectures or elsewhere. I’m looking forward to reading his book. - Mike Movius
The speaker clearly did a lot of research for his book and has enthusiasm for his important topic. He made some important points about the continuing effects of slavery on this country. I enjoyed the talk. - Jeff McLaughlin
The Roundtable consistently has good speakers talking on interesting subjects.  I especially liked Carver Gayton’s talk because it was on a topic that we seldom cover – the antebellum period.  Mr. Gayton gave a very engaging presentation about his great great grandfather who was an escaped slave who went on to become an important New York abolitionist and conductor on the Underground Railway.  For me, it was exciting to hear from someone whose distant relative knew such important abolitionists as John Brown and Frederick Douglass.  Mr. Gayton also drew comparisons between his great great grandfather’s life and current events, which made the talk personal and relevant. - Dick Miller
I am very interested in the subject of slavery and the Underground Railroad so I really enjoyed the lecture very much. The speaker was very knowledgeable about his great grandfather's life and had excellent speaking skills. I am very glad that Pat was able to find him. - Patty Clayton
Mr. Carver Gayton gave a presentation last night about his great-grandfather, Lewis G. Clarke, an escaped slave who became an anti-slavery activist prior to the Civil War. While the subject matter was very interesting, Mr. Gayton's presentation could have been better. While telling the narrative, Gayton often changed directions in the story. It was difficult to follow. One item he said he would explain was the meaning of the title of his book When Owing a Shilling Costs a Dollar. What I got out of it was something about Clarke's mixed race, but his explanation wasn't very clear, at least to us.

One of the key parts of the story was Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote the novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" who may have used some of Clarke's stories in her book without any reference to Clarke. Unfortunately Gayton didn't detail this in his talk until my wife asked him about it in the Q&A. We felt that it would really help his talks if he could create a Power Point presentation to illustrate it. For one thing, a diagram of Lewis Clarke's genealogy would have helped quite a bit in understanding his story. 

As I wrote, great subject, but the presentation needs polishing. - Mark & Kim Terry
Speaker could have improved his talk with maps and charts.  Interesting  talk and subject.  Good to hear this tale from a descendant’s point of view.  He should tighten up his talk with more adherence to a written text and shorten the talk.

I enjoyed the speaker and his telling of his ancestor’s tribulations and heroic efforts. -
Rod Cameron
Lots of interesting facts but disjointed and mixed themes. - George Yocum
We really enjoyed the speaker and the information he shared.It was a very good presentation and we are really enjoying his book. Thank you. - Allen & Louise Suter
I know Carver and some of his siblings (all Garfield High).  I enjoyed his story of his relative and his enthusiasm for the story. - Jack Seeley
A really good speaker who held the audiences attention on an interesting, if narrow, aspect of the Civil War. - Wendell Carlson