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Shadows of a Time Gone By:
Glimpses of the Lives of Enslaved People at the Historic Captain Charles McDowell, Jr. House

Doors open at 2:00 PM, Saturday, October 7th at the Historic Burke County Courthouse


Presentation of students’ works in the Courtroom at 2:30 PM

A project in collaboration with Historic Burke Foundation, Inc. and Appalachian State University
Copyright 2023

You are cordially invited to the opening reception and presentation on October 7, 2023, for Shadows of a Time Gone By, a new exhibit at the Historic Burke County Courthouse.

    The exhibit is the result of collaboration between Historic Burke Foundation and Appalachian State University and will feature information on enslavement in Burke County. It is a challenging and moving display. 


    Shadows of a Time Gone By highlights the work of six Appalachian State University honors students and their instructor Dr. Leslie McKesson. The students were enrolled in a class entitled “Interrogating Antebellum Slavery in Appalachia” during the spring semester of 2023. During the course the students developed an understanding of the regional impact of American chattel slavery through research, collaboration, and critical and comparative analysis.


    Class participants interpreted and created historically informed stories of seven enslaved people who lived and worked at the Captain Charles McDowell, Jr., House in Morganton. They will share their research projects at the exhibition opening. The exhibit contains a full description of the class process, items from Burke County that inspired the writings, and pieces created by the students to foster understanding of their characters.


    Doors will open at 2:00pm, followed by a presentation of students’ works in the Courtroom at 2:30. The Historic Burke County Courthouse is located at 101 S. Sterling Street, Morganton, NC. For more information contact the Historic Burke Foundation at (828) 437-4104 or


    October 7 looks to be a day of deeper understanding and empathy, and we hope that you will join us.



Historic Burke Foundation Exhibit Committee

Dr. Leslie McKesson

Scott Coley

Beth Spahn

Mary Charlotte Safford

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