Archive for category: Featured Event

Book cover featuring President George Washington on a horse with the words "Washingtons End" at the top.

Washington’s End: The Final Years and Forgotten Struggle

Tuesday, September 22, 6:00 p.m.REGISTER HERE

Sponsored by Blue Grass MotorsportPopular historian and former White House speechwriter Jonathan Horn tells the astonishing true story of George Washington’s forgotten last years—the personalities, plotting, and private torment that unraveled America’s first post-presidency. 

Washington’s End begins where most biographies of George Washington leave off, with the first president exiting office after eight years and entering what would become the most bewildering stage of his life. Embittered by partisan criticism and eager to return to his farm, Washington assumed a role for which there was no precedent at a time when the kings across the ocean yielded their crowns only upon losing their heads. In a different sense, Washington would lose his head, too. 

In this riveting read, bestselling author Jonathan Horn reveals that the quest to surrender power proved more difficult than Washington imagined and brought his life to an end he never expected. The statesman who had staked his legacy on withdrawing from public life would feud with his successors and find himself drawn back into military command. The patriarch who had dedicated his life to uniting his country would leave his name to a new capital city destined to become synonymous with political divisions. 

A vivid story, immaculately researched and powerfully told through the eyes not only of Washington but also of his family members, friends, and foes, Washington’s End fills a crucial gap in our nation’s history and will forever change the way we view the name Washington. 

Jonathan Horn is an author and former White House presidential speechwriter whose Robert E. Lee biography, The Man Who Would Not Be Washington, was a Washington Post bestseller. Published in February 2020, Jonathan’s new book, Washington’s Endtells the forgotten story of the final years of America’s Founding Father.

Image of Frederick Douglass

David W. Blight – Frederick Douglass Prophet of Freedom

Gertrude Polk Brown Lecture Series

Thursday, September 10, 6:00 p.m. | Register online at filson.simpletix.com – As a young man Frederick Douglass (1818–1895) escaped from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland. He was fortunate to have been taught to read by his slave owner mistress, and he would go on to become one of the major literary figures of his time. His very existence gave the lie to slave owners: with dignity and great intelligence he bore witness to the brutality of slavery.

Initially mentored by William Lloyd Garrison, Douglass spoke widely, using his own story to condemn slavery. By the Civil War, Douglass had become the most famed and widely travelled orator in the nation. In his unique and eloquent voice, written and spoken, Douglass was a fierce critic of the United States as well as a radical patriot. After the war he sometimes argued politically with younger African Americans, but he never forsook either the Republican party or the cause of black civil and political rights.

In this “cinematic and deeply engaging” (The New York Times Book Review) biography, David Blight has drawn on new information held in a private collection that few other historians have consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of Douglass’s newspapers. “Absorbing and even moving…a brilliant book that speaks to our own time as well as Douglass’s” (The Wall Street Journal), Blight’s biography tells the fascinating story of Douglass’s two marriages and his complex extended family. “David Blight has written the definitive biography of Frederick Douglass…a powerful portrait of one of the most important American voices of the nineteenth century” (The Boston Globe).

David W. Blight is the Sterling Professor of History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University. He is the author or editor of a dozen books, including American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era; Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory; and annotated editions of Douglass’s first two autobiographies. He has worked on Douglass much of his professional life, and been awarded the Bancroft Prize, the Abraham Lincoln Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize, among others.

Filson Friday: Researching Your Historic Home with Danielle Spalenka

Learn how to navigate and discover resources to find out about the history of your historic home. The talk will provide basic guidance, highlight key resources, and present two case studies from Old Louisville that provide a glimpse of the twist, turns, and dead ends you may encounter when finding more about your historic home.

Danielle Spalenka is the Associate Curator of Digital Projects at The Filson Historical Society and a resident of Old Louisville. Prior to joining The Filson staff in April 2019, Ms. Spalenka held the role of Preservation Specialist at the Northeast Document Conservation Center; Project Director for the NEH-funded Digital POWRR Project; and Curator of Manuscripts at the Northern Illinois University Regional History Center. She holds a BA in history from Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame, IN) and a MA-LIS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

This event will be broadcast live online via Zoom, the cloud-based video conferencing provider, free of charge for the public.

Register online: https://filson.simpletix.com/e/53932

Venue Rental

Spaces Available for Rent Beginning 2021

The Filson Historical Society is a unique venue that blends the historic with the modern and provides a stunning background for any event. Several areas of the campus are available to be rented for dinners, retreats, meetings, receptions, parties, or weddings. The venues have access to 74 free parking spaces and wifi, as well as small catering areas. All of the Filson’s facilities have accessible parking.

View a virtual tour of our spaces!

Visit the Filson

1310 S. 3rd St., Louisville, KY 40208
(502) 635-5083

The Filson is temporarily closed to the public to protect our staff, volunteers, and patrons during the coronavirus pandemic. All events are currently postponed or virtual; to register for our live virtual events, please visit our Events Page; for information on recorded lectures and other activities, please visit us online at Bringing History Home.

We continue to provide remote research services; please email gro.l1601540100aciro1601540100tsihn1601540100oslif1601540100@hcra1601540100eser1601540100.

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