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

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

by Brad Asher


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Cecelia was a fifteen-year-old slave when she accompanied her mistress, Frances "Fanny" Thruston Ballard, on a holiday trip to Niagara Falls. During their stay, Cecelia crossed the Niagara River and joined the free black population of Canada. Although documented relationships between freed or escaped slaves and their former owners are rare, the discovery of a cache of letters from the former slave owner to her escaped slave confirms this extraordinary link between two urban families over several decades.

Cecelia and Fanny: The Remarkable Friendship between an Escaped Slave and Her Former Mistress is a fascinating look at race relations in mid-nineteenth-century Louisville, Kentucky, focusing on the experiences of these two families during the seismic social upheaval wrought by the emancipation of four million African Americans. Far more than the story of two families, Cecelia and Fanny delves into the history of Civil War-Sera Louisville. Author Brad Asher details the cultural roles assigned to the two women and provides a unique view of slavery in an urban context, as opposed to the rural plantations more often examined by historians.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813134147
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Publication date: 10/07/2011
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 430,456
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Brad Asher is the author of Beyond the Reservation: Indians, Settlers, and the Law in Washington Territory, 1853—1889. He lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations viii

Preface ix

1 Eight Minutes from Freedom 1

2 Fanny: Learning to Be a Slave Owner 18

3 Cecelia: Learning about Being a Slave 41

4 Fanny: A Woman's Place 57

5 Cecelia: A Family in Freedom 75

6 Fanny: The Civil War in Louisville 101

7 Cecelia: A New Life in Rochester 122

8 Fanny: Postwar Trials 142

9 Cecelia: Back in Louisville 163

Conclusion: The Bonds of Slavery 183

Acknowledgments 189

Notes 191

Bibliography 213

Index 223

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