Where the Past Is Present and the Arts Are Alive

The Untold Stories – Trail to Freedom Symposium

The Trail to Freedom Committee is pleased to announce the First Annual Trail to Freedom Symposium to be held on Saturday, April 27th 2013 from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.  Join us as we commemorate and honor the lives of the 10,000 enslaved who passed to freedom in the Fredericksburg region-many of whom crossed the Rappahannock River-throughout the Civil War.  These men, women, and children not only forged their own freedom in a reordered society but also gave birth to the 23rd Infantry Regiment of the United States Colored Troops (USCT).  This event is presented by the Trail to Freedom Committee of the John J. Wright Education Cultural Center Museum.

Untold Stories – Phase I (Free) 
Lecture and Swamp Water (Tea) Reception
9:00 – 11:30 am
Central Rappahannock Regional Library
1201 Caroline Street
Fredericksburg, VA

The weekend of April 27, 2013 will begin with Phase I of the symposium which will include an invocation and presentation of Colors by the 23rd United States Colored Troops and an introductory address led by the Mayor of Fredericksburg, Mary Katherine Greenlaw.  Phase I will also include a teacher resources session on bringing local stories of Emancipation to the classroom and feature a lecture on Emancipation and the United States Colored troops led by Dr. James K. Bryant, author of The Chancellorsville Campaign: The Nation’s High Water Mark and The Battle of Fredericksburg: We Cannot Escape History.  Phase I will run from 9:00 am to 11:30 pm at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library on 1201 Caroline Street.  Doors open at 8:45 a.m. Free and open to the public, registration required.

Untold Stories – Phase II ($25)
William H. Carney Award Luncheon and Conference
12:30 – 4:30 pm
Courtyard- Marriott
620 Caroline Street
Fredericksburg, VA

During Phase II of the symposium attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy a seated buffet luncheon and join us as we honor the first inductees of the Trail-to-Freedom William H. Carney Award for service to the community and excellence in preserving local history.  Phase II will also feature an African American genealogical research workshop led by Dr. Laurenette Lee of the Virginia Historical Society and a theatrical interpretation of the life of Mary Ann Shadd Carry, an African American abolitionist and USCT recruiter during the Civil War.  Phase II will also feature a lecture on Civil War soldiers and sailors led by reenactor and historian Lou Carter.  Mr. Carter has been in various movies including “The True Story of Glory,” “Sommerby” and others.   Phase II will run from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm at the Courtyard Marriott located at 620 Caroline Street.   Phase II is $25, registration is required.

 Participants may register and purchase tickets for both Phase I and Phase II sessions at The Museum Store at 215 William Street, Fredericksburg, VA. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.untoldstoriesva.com.  For more information about the symposium or for  a complete listing of events please contact Hashmel Turner at 540-371-5180, James Anderson at 540-898-2549 or Tramia Jackson at 540-371-3037 ext. 140 or visit our website at

The Trail To Freedom Symposium was conceived by the Trail to Freedom Committee of the John J. Wright Museum and Education Center and is a cooperative effort of the National Park Service, the Fredericksburg Area Museum& Cultural Center, Stafford County, Spotsylvania County, and the City of Fredericksburg.  Major funding for the program has been provided by Stafford County Tourism. 

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