Clever and Unusual Escapes from Slavery

This Class Has Been Cancelled!

EmpowerU Studio at Frame USA
225 Northland Blvd
Cincinnati, Ohio 45246
Tuesday, March 24, 2020

This Class has Been Cancelled–This Class Will Not Be Reschedule–Sorry!

Millie Henley of Historical Connections will wear 1860’s attire as she tells stories of some of the most ingenious ways enslaved people devised to get to freedom.

Desperate enslaved people of the pre-Civil War South did not let their terrible experiences crush them, but acted on their yearning to breathe free, by devising all kinds of ways to escape from bondage.  Some of their methods were creative and surprising.  From hiding in plain sight to disguises, to piloting a ship under Confederate cannons, brave people on the run used all their daring abilities to make a better life.

They faced horrific consequences if caught, but the attempt was worth it to them.  They ran for themselves and to protect their families.  Their escapes showed that they were able to hold on to their sense of self-worth and personhood despite the dehumanizing experience of being owned.  They stayed strong in their minds and souls and did not allow their victimized condition to define their lives.  They went on to make new lives of their choosing.  The people who ran were claiming the American promise laid out in the principles of the Declaration of Independence.  Their stories are very much a part of the American story.

This class will not be presented virtually.


Millie Henley has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and a Master’s Degree from Kent State University.  She was a professional librarian for 25 years and is an avid lifelong student of history, spending months researching each presentation.  She travels to historic reenactments of the 18th and 19th Centuries and delights in historic dancing.  Her great joy is to share her passion for history with audiences who may not have known how intriguing it is.  Millie wears historical style clothing to match the period of each program.  She specializes in people and events of the 18th and 19th Centuries. 

Millie agrees with Ken Burns when he says that the most engaging way to learn history is through stories.  They create a connection to the past that no other method can.  We still need data and trends, but engaging with people of the past deepens the experience and gives it meaning.  

In her Historical Connections presentations, she tries to humanize events and allow the audience to feel connected with people who came before.  If we don’t know our past, we can’t know who we are.  As Michael Crichton said, “If you don’t know history you don’t know anything.  You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.”  

Millie has presented at historical societies, Civil War Round Tables, historical reenactments, an adult education organization, historical sites, libraries, and special events, including U.S. Grant Days in Georgetown, OH, and Heritage Village Civil War Days in Cincinnati, OH.  


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