Anne G’Fellers Mason: Desperately seeking Nancy

Jay FitzOur Town Stories

The East Tennessee Historical Society welcomes Anne G’Fellers Mason, executive director of the Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia Heritage Alliance, to share her search for Nancy’s story; the story of an enslaved woman in 19th century Jonesborough, Tennessee, whose experience will be dramatically voiced through a piece of museum theatre, scripted by Mason and based on the original, primary sources uncovered during her research. The Zoom event streams live on Wednesday, April 21, at 1 p.m.


Anne Mason

In 1820, Elihu Embree published Jonesborough’s The Emancipator, the first periodical dedicated solely to the cause of abolitionism. In reality, Embree never truly lived up to his principles. Mason has worked to track Embree’s journey with abolitionism and the lives of the people he enslaved, including Nancy and her children who were manumitted in Embree’s will.

This program is the first in a series of Zoom Brown Bag programs and Saturday lectures to be offered this spring and summer. Sponsored the Albers Family Foundation in memory of Harriet Z. Albers and by Gentry-Griffey Funeral Home in Knoxville, the East Tennessee Historical Society is privileged to share the good work of history being done around East Tennessee, by East Tennesseans and about East Tennessee’s story with our members and the public. The “Desperately Seeking Nancy” program is free. Those interested in participating should email eths@eastTNhistory.org to register. The Zoom link will be shared in an email just prior to the program.

To learn more about the author, go here. To learn more about the East Tennessee Historical Society, go here.

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