Frankfort Civil War Round Table: Enslaved, Freed, Free, and Freedom Deniers

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Join CJ Werking as she presents “Enslaved, Freed, Free, and Freedom Deniers: Black Americans and Confederates Took Advantage of the International Borderlands Between Canada and the United States”.

While historical scholarship recognizes the division between the goals of the Confederacy and the goals of enslaved people in the Civil War Era, historians have not traced the parallel paths northward taken by enslaved people and Confederates in the same study. These two groups that represented the antithesis of each other both exploited the international border and found support for their causes in Canada. They left the South and followed similar tracks that led to the same location—but extracted different meaning from Canada. Enslaved people freed themselves from slaveholding states to assert their own freedom, while Confederates freed themselves from the United States to assert their freedom to own enslaved people. Confederate threats and activities juxtaposed with the actions of enslaved people who forged their own freedom along the same border tell a story that has yet to be told.

Cassy Jane “CJ” Werking is a PhD candidate in history at the University of Kentucky where she studies under the guidance of her advisor, Dr. Amy Taylor. She is currently working on her dissertation that examines the international border between Canada and the United States during the American Civil War, specifically the Confederate attacks that were planned and executed across the border into the Union home front. These attacks were meant to advance the Confederacy when it was not making progress militarily on battlefields in established theaters of the war. CJ is from Albany, New York, where she received her B. A. in American Studies from Siena College in 2013. In 2014, CJ earned her M.A. in History from the University at Albany, State University of New York. When not working on her dissertation, CJ can be found teaching college students and inspiring a love for history in them as a teaching assistant at the University of Kentucky, a position she has held since Fall 2016 when she entered the PhD program.

Sponsored by the Frankfort Civil War Round Table, Capital City Museum, and PSPL.


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