FOR RELEASE: Oct. 21, 2010
EDITORIAL CONTACT: Antoinette van Zelm, firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-217-8013
Exhibit on Emancipation and Reconstruction in Tennessee
Travels to Grand Junction
Murfreesboro, TN— “Free at Last! Emancipation and Reconstruction in Tennessee,” an exhibit created by the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area will travel to Grand Junction, Tenn., this month.
The two panel exhibit emphasizes the significance of emancipation as a result of the Civil War and will go on view at the National Bird Dog Museum in Grand Junction starting Oct. 20. It will be on display at least six weeks.
The small railroad town of Grand Junction has a significant Civil War history. In fall 1862 in Grand Junction, Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant established the first contraband camp in Tennessee open to all former slaves, not just able-bodied men. Hundreds of former slaves obtained shelter, clothing, food, employment, medical care and education at the camp.
The National Bird Dog Museum, which houses memorabilia of the sporting breeds and educates the public about sporting-dog activities, also chronicles Grand Junction’s history.
The exhibit calls attention to the agency of former slaves in bringing about their freedom.
“Freedom for former slaves was a key outcome of the Civil War, and it was in large part the slaves themselves who made it happen,” says Antoinette van Zelm, historian for the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area. “They took advantage of the presence of the occupying Union army to break down the bonds of slavery.”
“Free at Last!” provides an introduction to the joys and challenges shared by African-Americans in Tennessee in the aftermath of slavery. The exhibit has been traveling throughout the state since 2007.
The Reconstruction years were crucial to the development of African-American communities throughout Tennessee, as former slaves founded scores of schools and churches. “Free at Last” highlights some of the emancipation communities that are wonderfully preserved in our state.
The exhibit debuted in February 2007 at the 26th Annual Conference on African-American History and Culture at Tennessee State University in Nashville and has traveled to museums, schools and churches across the state since then.
The Heritage Area provides the exhibit to museums free of charge.
“Our goal is to tell the whole story of the Civil War and Reconstruction in Tennessee,” says Laura Holder, federal liaison for the Heritage Area. “These venues are terrific places to tell the emancipation story.”
The Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area receives funding from the National Park Service and is administered by the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University.
The National Bird Dog Museum is located at 505 Highway 57 in Grand Junction. It is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free, though donations are accepted.
Founded in 1911, Middle Tennessee State University is a Tennessee Board of Regents institution located in Murfreesboro and is the state’s largest public undergraduate institution. MTSU now boasts one of the nation’s first master’s degree programs in horse science, and the Council of Graduate Schools in Washington, D.C., acclaims MTSU’s Master of Science in Professional Science degree—the only one in Tennessee—as a model program. This fall, MTSU unveiled three new doctoral degrees in the sciences.
For MTSU news and information, visit www.mtsunews.com.
ATTENTION, MEDIA: For color JPEGs of the Emancipation Exhibit at Granville Museum please contact Antoinette van Zelm, via e-mail at email@example.com or by calling 615-217-8013. Thanks.