March to Freedom History Conference

Friday, June 9
Saturday, June 10
Sunday, June 11
March to Freedom History Conference
Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park
10299 Maysville Road
Carlile, KY 40311
Carlile, KY
Bluegrass, Horses, Bourbon & Boone Region


March to Freedom History Conference
June 9 -11, 2023
Blue Licks Battlefield State Park
The March to Freedom History Conference will be hosted by Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park. The purpose is to examine the complicated and contested process of emancipation for enslaved African Americans of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It is the further intention to connect the regional cultural and natural resources that preserve and interpret our African American Heritage in both Kentucky and Ohio to foster heritage tourism. The conference features presentations by scholars and historians, and guided tours of sites that amplify the Black experience.

Conference Speakers

Friday, June 9th 6 – 8pm (adjust as needed)

"American Evangelicals and the Underground Railroad."

Dr. ALICESTYNE TURLEY, Commissioner Kentucky African American Heritage Commission

Public Historian, Educator & Author

Book signing to Follow Presentation


William Wells Brown: How I Got My Name

Virgil Covington, Jr, Kentucky Humanities Council

 Following the North Star to Freedom: Historic Hike of the Buffalo Trace

Park Manager Doug Brown, Kentucky State Parks – Blu Licks Battlefield


Saturday, June 10th – 9am – 12pm (adjust as needed)

Unknown Project: On The Banks of Freedom

Hannah Drake & Josh Miller– blogger, podcast host, activist, public speaker, poet, author


A Tour of the Underground Railroad along the Ohio River

Dr. Nancy Theiss, Executive Director Oldham County Historical Society

Book signing following presentation


For Their Own Cause: The 27th United States Colored Troops

Dr. Kelly D. Mezurek, Walsh University

Book Signing to follow presentation.



Afternoon Tours

General Young Birth Cabin – General Charles Young Bridge Builder

Mike Jones, Kentucky Humanities Council


Tour of Washington – Harriet Beecher Stowe House Exterior & Old Washington County Courthouse

John Park House & Rev Rankin House in Ripley, Ohio

Dinner – Blue Licks Battlefield State Park


Sunday, June 11th

Tours of Camp Nelson National Monument

The Buffalo Trace Trail preserved within Blue Licks Battlefield State Park was used by African Americans escaping to freedom in nearby Ripley, Ohio or to Nicholasville, Kentucky to join the union army at Camp Nelson to fight for their freedom. Mark your calendars for this informative weekend of learning and tours to regional cultural attractions.
For more information email [email protected]