There is growing interest in Hiram Young - an entrepreneurial African wagoner maker who lived in Independence just prior to the Civil War. Young was a leading business man in the Independence region employing men of all races.
For a short history of Hiram Young, download this article written by Pat O'Brien, now a National Park Service historian but previously the City of Independence historic preservation officer. Download the the article.
Hiram Young's story and other African-Americans involved in the overland migration and discussed in an extensive document SWEET FREEDOM’S PLAINS: African Americans on the Overland Trails 1841-1869 written by Shirley Ann Wilson Moore, PhD. for the National Park Service, National Trails Intermountain Region (Salt Lake City & Santa Fe) Download the manuscript.