Posted 3 years ago
Berea College has a great history . This Giraffe was signed like an autograph item . He was an unusual find . I did have many Berea College industry craft, animals and dolls . I kept the photo of this one as he is so special .They Have a tag that says Berea College "Fireside Industries" On their crafts.
A bit of history on College . Students made these crafts to pay for tuition and sold them to public .
Located where the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains slope downward to meet the central plains of Kentucky's bluegrass, Berea College was originally founded in 1855 by an abolitionist, Reverend John G. Fee, with initial assistance from the American Missionary Association and a local antislavery politician and well-to-do Madison County landowner, Cassius M. Clay.
Fee accepted Clay's offer of a ten-acre homestead to move from northern Kentucky (Bracken County) to southern Madison County to establish an antislavery church, the Glades Church (1853).
Berea's school and church were dedicated to Christian principles of anti-rum, anti-caste prejudice, and anti-sectariansim but armed proslavery opposition forced the Berea workers out of the state in the winter of 1859. As the Civil War started, several exiled Bereans slipped back into Kentucky.
Among those returning was John G. Fee who preached to and taught thousands of slave men volunteering for the Union Army at Camp Nelson (Jessamine County), Kentucky. After the war ended in 1865, Fee returned to his home in Berea and resumed his work of building an interracial college and a new church, Union, based on anti-caste principles of impartial love and Christian brotherhood. He invited some of the African American families from Camp Nelson to come to Berea to make a new life and get an education. By 1870, several dozen families had arrived to help build the interracial town, churches and Berea College. An estimated 200 black families settled in the glades and valleys surrounding Berea.
Black Freedmen who migrated to Berea after the Civil War were not concentrated into one area. In fact, like white settlers, the freedmen lived on campus, as students, and in all four directions. By following one or more of the tour routes described, the visitor, or resident, will discover the rich legacy of African-Americans in the Berea area.
In Fee's first interracial church on the Berea Ridge, many members were African Americans and served as deacons and on committees. Rev. Anderson Drawford, a black minister, assisted Fee and also performed marriages among the freedmen.