The Filson Historical Society Digital Projects

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  • FHS Mss A G984 178 Hundley contract color image.jpg

    Women sometimes exercised greater power than the letter of the law accorded them. Annie Henry Christian, an early settler of Jefferson County, directed her husband's salt works operation south of Louisville following his death in 1786. Eliza Tevis, a free woman of color, consulted lawyers on multiple occasions--suing the estate of her former employer for withheld wages in 1838 and drawing up a prenuptial agreement prior to her marriage in 1843.

    A framed set of four documents from the Filson's exhibit "Women at Work." Documents start from the left and go clockwise:

    Hand-knitted and embroidered textile created in honor of Eliza Hundley Curtis Tevis Coleman.

    Eliza Tevis was born into slavery ca. 1800, most likely in Virginia. In her early life she was enslaved by John and Thomas Hundley, who owned an estate in southeast Jefferson County. She was emancipated in 1833, and Thomas Hundley left her property, money, and household furnishings in his will. When she married Henry Tevis in 1843, instead of forfeiting her legal rights and possessions to her husband, she arranged a prenuptial agreement with her lawyer, James Guthrie.

    Irene Mudd is a visual artist based in Louisville, Kentucky. Utilizing many different types of media, her work explores themes of women’s untold stories and how folklore and mythology interplay with this undocumented history. She originally created her knitted portraits for a Bachelor of Fine Arts show at the University of Louisville.
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