On October 26, the University Libraries invited donors to the Archives and Special Collections Gallery to learn more about a recent acquisition by the University Libraries, the pre-Civil War “Address to the people of Kentucky on the subject of emancipation.”
Written in anticipation of Kentucky’s August 1849 constitutional convention, the 12-page pamphlet employed statistics and other data to support the social, moral and economic evils of slavery, said Archivist for Regional History, ASC, Tom Owen.
“This document has significant teaching value,” said Owen said. “Imagine here in Kentucky, a slave state, someone would advocate – 11 years before the Civil War – that the state should emancipate the slaves.”
The pamphlet was penned by a committee that included prominent Louisville-area statesmen Reuben Dawson, James Speed, William E. Glover, William P. Boon and Bland Ballard. It advocated that the state constitution outlaw and gradually eliminate slavery from Kentucky.
Students, faculty, researchers and other visitors are welcome to peruse the document at ASC in the lower level of Ekstrom Library.