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Cecelia and Fanny
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Cecelia and Fanny: The Remarkable Friendship Between an Escaped Slave and Her Former Mistress

Brad Asher


In 1846, Cecelia, a 15-year-old slave girl traveled to Niagara Falls with her young Louisville mistress, Frances “Fanny” Thruston Ballard. During their stay, Cecelia made the bold decision to escape, to endure separation from her mother and brother, still enslaved in Kentucky, in order to begin life anew as a free woman in Canada. Yet the separation gnawed at her. So in the 1850s she opened a correspondence with Fanny, as a way of re-establishing connection with her mother. Fanny's return letters, preserved in Louisville archives for a century, allow a glimpse into the thoughts, feelings, and ... More

Keywords: slavery, Kentucky, Louisville, fugitive slaves, Canada, African American women, gender, slaveholders

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780813134147
Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2012 DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813134147.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Brad Asher, author