Program Details

The “Torn Within, Threatened Without: Kentucky and the Border States in the Civil War” workshop will meet from Sunday evening to Saturday afternoon. The workshop will encompass over 20 separate sessions, which will include six classroom-type lecture sessions; four breakout/research sessions; and 10 historic site visit sessions.

The Sunday and Monday sessions will consist of classroom lectures and discussions that will set the context for much of what will be experienced on the site visits. Sunday evening will consist of a welcome to the workshop, introduction of staff and participants, and a presentation by lead scholar, Dr. Brian McKnight, on the unique and significant position of Kentucky and the border states in the Civil War.

Monday will provide a wealth of information via presentations by Dr. James Klotter, on Kentucky’s key part in the conflict, and Dr. Christopher Phillips, who will describe Maryland and Missouri’s roles in the war. Dr. William C. Harris gives a special presentation on President Abraham Lincoln’s relationship with the border states, followed by a discussion with him on his recent book “Lincoln and the Border States: Persevering the Union,” led by Dr. McKnight. Monday will end with a breakout session designed to allow participants time to consider what they have learned during the day and how best to use that information in their classrooms.

On Tuesday, we will travel to Lexington to visit the Mary Todd Lincoln House to learn about life in antebellum Kentucky. We will also visit Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate to hear about this leading Kentuckian in antebellum American politics. Here, Dr. Lindsey Apple will share from his research on the division experienced by the Clay family during the war. Tuesday will finish with a visit to nearby Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park to find out about this site’s importance for Kentucky’s African-Americans during the war. While at Camp Nelson, Robert Bell will perform “Freedom at a Terrible Price,” the story of Rev. Newton Bush’s Civil War experience.

On Wednesday, visits will be made to Lincoln’s Birthplace and Boyhood Home National Historical Parks in Hodgenville, and to Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site, where author Stuart Sanders will provide an overview of Kentucky’s largest battle.

Thursday will be spent visiting sites in Frankfort such as the Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum at the State Arsenal. Dr. Dwight Pitcaithley will share from his research about the politics of Kentucky’s brief attempt at neutrality and ultimate decision to remain in the Union. The day will end with a breakout session at the Kentucky Historical Society’s Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History designed to allow participants time to explore the Kentucky Historical Society’s collections and research their assignments.

Friday we will travel to Louisville and visit Farmington Historic Plantation for a tour of the home owned by Lincoln’s personal friend Joshua Speed. While at Farmington we will also hear Dr. Alicestyne Turley explain the methods of agency Kentucky’s African-Americans used to help bring about emancipation. In Louisville we will also visit the Lincoln Statue at Waterfront Park and discuss with noted sculptor Ed Hamilton how this artistic piece was conceived and produced. In addition, we will visit the Louisville Confederate Monument and hear from Dr. Juilee Decker, about the history of this monument and the role of commemorative public statuary in the post-war period.

The final day of the workshop, Saturday, will include lecture and discussion sessions on the Reconstruction era in the border states by Dr. Aaron Astor and the Lost Cause in Kentucky by Dr. Anne E. Marshall. The day will wrap up with a discussion on how participants plan to use what they learned during the week.

Continuing Education

KHS can provide you with documentation of your attendance and participation in this workshop to give to your school district for professional development credit.