Museum hosting traveling exhibit about Emancipation and Reconstruction through June

Posted on 15 May 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

Kim Crowell, a graduate student intern at the Doak House Museum this summer, reads one of the "Free at Last!" exhibit panels now on display at the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library.

The Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area has expanded its traveling exhibition, “Free at Last!” to include the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library at Tusculum College. The exhibit expansion comes with the concluding year of the multi-year celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

“Free at Last!” tells the story of the transition from slavery to freedom and the development of citizenship among formerly enslaved African-Americans. Doubled in size to eight banner stands, the exhibition now has panels focused on each of Tennessee’s three grand divisions.  “Free at Last!” will be on view at the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library on the Tusculum College campus from May 4 to June 30.

“As the sesquicentennial of the Civil War draws to a close, we are gratified to be continuing the exploration of our history,” said Dollie Boyd, director of museum program and studies at Tusculum College. “In this region we are still feeling the effects of the Reconstruction period even 150 years later, this exhibit helps us understand why. We want to thank the outstanding staff at the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University for creating such an outstanding exhibition. We are pleased to host it this summer and offer it free of charge to visitors.”

More than 40 venues across Tennessee have hosted “Free at Last!” Sites will now have the opportunity to share even more of the story with visitors.  New panels on East Tennessee look at that region’s legacy of emancipation before the Civil War and consider how emancipation has been remembered in the region since the war.

The Heritage Area has also published a driving tour of Reconstruction sites across the state.  “The driving tour goes hand in hand with the expanded exhibition to provide Tennessee residents and visitors with in-depth knowledge about this significant and often misunderstood period in Tennessee’s history,” says Leigh Ann Gardner, interpretive specialist for the Heritage Area.

For more information, please contact Boyd at 423-636-8554 or dboyd@tusculum.edu.

The Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area receives funding from the National Park Service and is administered by the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University.  For more information about the exhibition, please contact Antoinette van Zelm at (615) 494-8869.

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