Dorris Keeven-Franke

Author, blogger, wordsmith

I like to share the more difficult stories…


Join me as I research the difficult stories that bring our history to life…

How can we know how far we have come? As a historian, I see the Freedom (Emancipation) Memorial monument as a frozen moment in time. Its’ sculptor Thomas Ball was was a native of Boston. The result is a story that is a combination of both art and history.  It began as the emotions of a black woman named Charlotte Scott when she heard of Lincoln’s assassination in April 1865. She went to her former enslaver and gave him her first $5 ever earned as a free woman. He in turn saw that it was given to William Greenleaf Eliot in St. Louis. After eleven years of fundraising, where over $16,000 was given by the African Americans across the U.S., many consultations with the artist, Eliot shared a photo of the monument with Archer Alexander, and the formerly enslaved man portrayed on the monument said: “I’se free!”. Sometimes, perhaps we need to stop and think and listen to the story that the monument is meant to share, keeping in mind how we must look at it through the eyes of that time period. This is a chance to share with our grandchildren the story of how far we have come as a nation. Perhaps, if we can share this story and if people perhaps take a moment to listen, we all might come to a greater understanding of not only the monument but of each other. 


The backstory to the stories, as I share the discoveries…


Thirty years of research and some of the stories I have shared…

Not all those who wander are lost.


I find the best things when I am lost.

Discovery happens when we open our minds and allow new stories in.


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