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Nancy’s Story at Telford Ruritan

September 10, 2022 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

In 1820, Elihu Embree published hisnewspaper The Emancipator on MainStreet, Jonesborough. The seven edition paper is the first publicationdedicated solely to the cause of abolitionism. Embree passed away in Decemberof 1820. Even though the paper was short-lived, The Emancipator had over 2,000 subscribers and its reach went allthe way to Boston and Philadelphia. In spite of his abolitionist beliefs,Embree himself was an enslaver. Nancy was an enslaved woman owned by ElihuEmbree, and her story will be shared at the Telford Ruritan Club on Saturday,September 10th in the original play entitled “Nancy.”


Written by Anne G’Fellers-Mason,Executive Director of the Heritage Alliance, “Nancy” follows a year in thewoman’s life, from January 1820 when Elihu Embree wrote his will to January1821 when his will was read before the Washington County court. In his will,Embree tried to free Nancy and her five children, but were his wishes carriedout? What was Nancy feeling and thinking during this time? The play is based onprimary research relying heavily on documents from the Washington CountyArchives. The role of Nancy will be performed by local actress Ubunibi-Afia Short.“Nancy” won an Award of Excellence from the Tennessee Association of Museumsand an Award for History in the Media from the East Tennessee HistoricalSociety. The show has been performed twice in the region to sold-out crowds. Donot miss your chance to see this powerful performance. These performances wereoriginally scheduled for June 25th, but they had to be postponed dueto health reasons.


“It is an honor to bring the show tothe stage at the Telford Ruritan Club,” Mason says. “The Heritage Alliance isall about making connections with our community, and we are so glad we can dothat through Nancy’s story. We have performed this play in the Sarah SevierMemorial Chapel at the Embree House Historic Farm and on a stair landing atHarris Hall at Washington College Academy. Nancy’s story can be shared justabout anywhere. This time, we’re taking to the stage in the old, schoolauditorium. ”


There will be two performances onSeptember 10th at 2:00 pm and 6:30 pm. The show is a fundraiser for theTelford Ruritan Club and the Heritage Alliance. The show will be performedonstage in the old Telford School located at 101 Telford School Road. Ticketsare $15.00 and can be purchased directly through the Town of Jonesborough’sticketing system at Jonesborough.com/tickets or by calling theJonesborough Visitor’s Center at 423.753.1010. Seating is limited to only 50people per performance, so make sure you purchase your tickets in advance.


The Heritage Alliance is dedicated tothe preservation of the architectural, historical, and cultural heritage of ourregion and to providing educational experiences related to history and heritagefor a wide range of audiences. For more information, visit our website at heritageall.orgor call our office at 423.753.9580.


The Telford Ruritan Club has beenserving their community since 1961. They host a BBQ supper on the second Fridayof every month. They support various organizations including Wreaths AcrossAmerica, Tilted Tavern Animal Sanctuary, and St. Jude’s Second Harvest FoodBank. They maintain a Little Lending Library, a Community Produce Stand, and aroadside food pantry box at their site. 


September 10, 2022
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm