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ETHS to offer Zoom program on the mystery of ‘Nancy’

From Staff Reports

Join the East Tennessee Historical Society on Wednesday, April 21, at 1 p.m. via Zoom for a program by Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia Heritage Alliance Executive Director Anne G’Fellers Mason.

She plans to share her search into the story of Nancy, an enslaved woman in 19th century Jonesborough, Tennessee, whose experience will be dramatically voiced through a piece of museum theatre, scripted by Mason and based on the original, primary sources uncovered during her research.

In 1820, Elihu Embree published Jonesborough’s The Emancipator, the first periodical dedicated solely to the cause of abolitionism. In reality, Embree never truly lived up to his principles. Mason has worked to track Embree’s journey with abolitionism and the lives of the people he enslaved, including Nancy and her children who were manumitted in Embree’s will.

This program is the first in a series of Zoom Brown Bag programs and Saturday lectures to be offered this spring and summer. Sponsored by the Albers Family Foundation in memory of Harriet Z. Albers and by Gentry-Griffey Funeral Home in Knoxville, the East Tennessee Historical Society is privileged to share the good work of history being done around East Tennessee, by East Tennesseans and about East Tennessee’s story with its members and the public.

The “Desperately Seeking Nancy” program is free. The organization does ask that those interested in participating in the live Zoom program email [email protected] to register. The organization will share the Zoom link in an email just prior to the program.

Established in 1834, the East Tennessee Historical Society is widely acknowledged as one of the most active history organizations in the state and enjoys a national reputation for excellence in programming and education. For 187 years the East Tennessee Historical Society has been helping East Tennesseans hold on to their unique heritage — recording the events, collecting the artifacts, and saving the stories that comprise the history everyone shares.