2019 Conference

2019 Kentucky Borderlands Conference

Thursday, June 20th

Rabbit Hash to Rising Sun Bus Tour                                                                               Main Library, Burlington, KY

10:00 am – 2:00 pm                                                                                                          Cost: $40

This four-hour tour will highlight the Underground Railroad stories of neighboring river towns, Rabbit Hash, Kentucky and Rising Sun, Indiana. The day will include stops in Historic Rabbit Hash and Rising Sun, as well as a ferry boat ride along an Underground Railroad river crossing. A boxed lunch, included in registration costs, will be served at the Ohio County Historical Museum in Rising Sun. Tour starts at the Boone County Public Library in Burlington, Kentucky. Information regarding tour opportunity will be sent out individually to conference registrants.

Evening Reception                                                                     Boone County Historic Courthouse, Burlington, KY

6:30 pm- 8:30 pm                                                                       Cost: Free to Conference Registrants

Please join us at the Boone County Historic Courthouse where Trina Robinson will discuss her exploration into her family’s enslaved ancestry in Kentucky, their migration to Chicago, and how she has processed what she has learned through film, video and storytelling. A featured speaker at Moth Mainstage storytelling events throughout the country, Ms. Robinson will screen her three minute short film The Call and will share the story behind the film. “In an effort see the world through the eyes of my ancestors on a deeper level, I began tracing my newly discovered roots in Kentucky through a series of sensory experiences. Using film, video, archival materials, and text, my mission is to capture how imagery, sound, and language influence storytelling in relationship to memory.” Light refreshments will be served. Information regarding the evening reception will be sent out individually to conference registrants.


Friday, June 21st

Kentucky Borderlands Workshop                                                                Main Library, Burlington, KY

9:00 am- 4:00 pm                                                                                          Cost: $25, plus $10 boxed lunch option

Join us for a day of presentations reflecting on Kentucky’s Underground Railroad and enslavement history. The purpose of the day will be to open lines of communication regarding the UGRR and enslavement within the larger community and to come up with a cohesive plan about how Kentucky discusses UGRR issues in our past. Conference attendees will have an opportunity to visit Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad– an exhibit which “features beautifully dramatic color photographs, ephemera, and narratives that together tell the story of the Underground Railroad.”

Workshop Schedule

Featured Speakers

Dr. Debian Marty, California State Monterey Bay:

’Enticed!’ The Underground Railroad Activities of William Holman Jones and Wright Maudlin in Kentucky

Kentucky slave owners often accused white abolitionists of enticing enslaved people to run away from their bondage.  Singling out white abolitionists as the masterminds of escapes enabled southerners to maintain the illusion of slavery as a positive good, from which no bonds person would desire to flee. White abolitionists, therefore, could be held responsible for disrupting the southern way of life and for inciting dissatisfaction among the enslaved, thereby protecting slave owners from moral accountability.  The slave owners’ accusations were empty rhetoric, argue modern historians, given that most enslaved people escaped of their own volition and by their own wits and wherewithal.  Liberation most often came from “self-emancipation.”

Keith Josef Adkins, Henry Aulick, and Fran Carr:

Honoring Charity Southgate: Her Fight for Freedom in Pendleton County, Kentucky

Keith Josef Adkins is a playwright and the 4x great-grandson of Charity Southgate, a free woman of color in Pendleton County who was illegally sold into slavery. Henry Aulick is from the Pendleton County Historical Society, and Fran Carr is from the Local History and Genealogy department of the Pendleton County Public Library. Together, they will discuss Charity Southgate and her fight for freedom.

Please click here to register.

Coming in from out of town and need a place to stay? Hilton Cincinnati Airport