The recent discovery of Willis’ 152-year-old manumission record in the Solano County Archive has, along with other records from that era, stimulated a new examination of California’s past that’s been left out of the Gold Rush history books. Inhuman History, which also features a traveling exhibit on slavery in New York, thus giving visitors a perspective on African American life on both coasts from the colonial period through the 1800s. In addition to portraying the institution of slavery, the display also strives to treat these people as individuals, Pinedan said. Solano County’s 1850 census shows 21 African Americans living in the county, 14 of them slaves brought from Missouri, under a contract promising to free them in two years, to work in Vacaville at the Vaca family ranch. Pineda compared the post-slavery newspaper ads run by African Americans to printed and televised pleas on national television by separated families from the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The museum exhibit contains also an 1873 autobiographical booklet, “Life and Adventures of James Williams: A Fugitive Slave,” which includes a description of another oppressed group, Chinese workers in the gold mines: “As cheap as they work, they pay more for rent and are taxed more than any race of people.” The traveling exhibit features nine illustrated panels highlighting the history of slavery in New York and the story of the fight for freedom. Street scenes depict African Americans, likenesses of little-known pioneers of the abolition movement, and historic manuscripts documenting New York’s involvement in the slave trade.