Resources Related to Jefferson Davis and the Jefferson Davis Monument

The Kentucky Historical Society has published a great deal of scholarship related to the history of Jefferson Davis, Civil War memory and memorials, Civil Rights, and the relationship between Civil War history, African American history, and the Confederacy. As the commonwealth considers removing the Jefferson Davis statue from the State Capitol Rotunda, here are some articles from The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society that can provide greater context related to these complex and interwoven histories.

Most of these articles are currently free for the public to download. Links provided below.

Jefferson Davis

In 2009, KHS published a special issue of The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society focused on Jefferson Davis. Titled “Kentucky and the Contested Legacy of Jefferson Davis,” this issue includes articles and round table discussions with historians about Davis’s relationship to the commonwealth. Subscribers can access that issue on JSTOR, here: https://www.jstor.org/stable/i23387569

Jefferson Davis Monuments

This article by Dr. Joy M. Giguere, “Young and Littlefield’s Folly”: Fundraising, Confederate Memorialization, and the Construction of the Jefferson Davis Monument in Fairview, Kentucky, 1907-1924,” examines the memorialization of Davis in Kentucky. Access it for free via Project Muse, here:  https://muse.jhu.edu/article/641533

Civil War Memory

Articles in The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society have also examined Civil War Memory in Kentucky. See:

“Forging a Confederate Tradition in Kentucky: Memory, Politics, and Place: Review Essay” by Dr. W. Fitzhugh Brundage. Access it here: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/495858

“Unionism, Emancipation, and the Origins of Kentucky’s Confederate Identity” by Dr. Jacob F. Lee. Access it here: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/513399

African American History

In 2011, KHS published “Exploring Kentucky’s African American Past,” a special issue devoted to African American history in Kentucky. Articles include:

  • “Research on Kentucky Blacks, Revisited” by Dr. George C. Wright
  • “Kentucky African Americans: ‘So Much Remains to be Told’” by Dr. Gerald L. Smith
  • “’Upon This Rock’-The Free African American Community of Antebellum Louisville, Kentucky” by Dr. J. Blaine Hudson
  • “Kentucky is More or Less Civilized”: Alfred Carroll, Charles Eubanks, Lyman Johnson, and the Desegregation of Kentucky Higher Education, 1939-1949” by Dr. John A. Hardin
  • “Direct-Action Protests in the Upper South: Kentucky Chapters of the Congress of Racial Equality” by Dr. Gerald L. Smith
  • “’Even I Voted Republican’: African American Voters and Public Accommodations in Louisville, Kentucky, 1960-1961” by Dr. Joshua D. Farrington
  • “’It is Hard to be What You Have not Seen’: Brenda Hughes and the Black and White of the Zebra Shirt—Race and Gender in Kentucky High School Basketball” by Dr. Sallie L. Powell

Access that entire issue for free via Project Muse, here: https://muse.jhu.edu/issue/25020

Also see:

Dr. Luther Adams’ “My Old Kentucky Home: Black History in the Bluegrass State.” Access it here: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/582826

Dr. Luther Adams’ “Tipling Toward Freedom: Alcohol and Emancipation,” here: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/732568

Dr. Carole Emberton’s “Searching for Caroline: “Disciplined Imagination” and the Limits of the Archive.” Access it here:  https://muse.jhu.edu/article/732592

Dr. Crystal N. Feimster’s “Keeping a Disorderly House in Civil War Kentucky.” Access it here:

https://muse.jhu.edu/article/732593

Civil Rights

For information about the Civil Rights movement in Kentucky, see:

Dr. S. Zebulon Baker’s “On the Opposite Side of the Fence”: The University of Kentucky and the Racial Desegregation of the Southeastern Conference.” Access it here:  https://muse.jhu.edu/article/670741

Dr. Carolyn Dupont’s “White Protestants and the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky.” Access it here https://muse.jhu.edu/article/582831

Dr. Amanda L. Higgins’ “Mid-Twentieth Century Social Movements in Kentucky.” Access it here: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/582832

Additional Resources

Also see this blog post from our Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition project, “Grabbing Guns and Breaking Banks: The Short, Ambitious “Reign” of Kentucky’s Provisional Confederate Government.” Access it here: http://civilwargovernors.org/grabbing-guns-and-breaking-banks-the-short-ambitious-reign-of-kentuckys-provisional-confederate-government/

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