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Lizzy Keckly's life as a slave recounted

Published 3:51 pm, Monday, March 10, 2014
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The New Canaan Historical Society is presenting a Civil War lecture series, "The Civil War: A Feminine View," coinciding with Women's History Month.

"They Called Me Lizzy: From Slavery to the White House" takes place at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 13. Stephanie Jackson steps into the shoes of Elizabeth (Lizzy) Keckly, who was best known as dressmaker to Mary Todd Lincoln and author of "Behind the Scenes Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White Hous."

Born into slavery in 1818, Keckly eventually managed to purchase her freedom, making her way to Washington, D.C., where her dressmaking skills and entrepreneurial savvy brought her to the attention of many political families.

In addition to performing, Jackson is an assistant special education teacher with Oak Hill School for the Blind.

On March 20 at 8 p.m., Dione Longley will describe how Connecticut women created the nations' first Soldiers' Aid Society in her lecture "If I Could Only Go Too."

Each lecture takes place at the New Canaan Historical Society, 13 Oenoke Ridge. Admission is $5 for society members, Staying Put New Canaan members and students and $10 for nonmembers. For information, call 203-977-1776.