The Richmond Register

February 23, 2013

Civil scholar to lecture Thursday on two forgotten Madison ex-slave abolitionists

Special to the Register

RICHMOND — Lewis and Milton Clarke, two brothers who spent 20 years as slaves in Madison County, will be the focus of a lecture at Eastern Kentucky University on Thursday.

The lecture, by EKU graduate and Morehead State history professor Dr. Ben Fitzpatrick, will begin at 7 p.m. in the Grand Reading Room of the John Grant Crabbe Main Library. Entitled “Slavery on the Border: The Lives and Labors of Lewis and Milton Clarke,” it is part of the University’s year-long observance of the Civil War Sesquicentennial.

“Although the Clarkes were popular speakers on the abolitionist circuit in antebellum America, today their narratives have largely been overshadowed by their more famous contemporaries, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs,” said Dr. Tom Appleton, professor of history at EKU and coordinator of the Sesquicentennial lecture series. “Nevertheless, their experiences provide an important opportunity for understanding the complexities of black life in the upper South, including the workings of slavery in Kentucky and the plight of fugitive slaves in the Ohio River borderland.”

Fitzpatrick earned his undergraduate degree from EKU in 1999 and completed his graduate work in history at the University of Notre Dame. He has served as an assistant professor of history at Morehead State since 2010.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more details, contact Appleton at or 622-1287.