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Historian Don Papson discusses some of the historical people whose lives inspired characters in “Promised Land: an Adirondack Folk Opera.” The historian discusses John Thomas, who had escaped from slavery. Papson also talks about Gerrit Smith, and his own emotional reaction when attending music performances from the opera.

History and Peace & Conflicts Studies major Diana Flores of Colgate University conducted this interview at the North Star Underground Railroad Museum in Ausable Chasm, New York, as part of a Mountain Lake PBS video project documenting the creation of “Promised Land: An Adirondack Folk Opera.”

Learn more about “Promised Land” at mountainlake.org/folkopera.