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November 6
1 - 3pm

Afternoon Lecture: An Early Louisville Murder

The Killing of Joesph Frederick at Oxmoor Farm

Event Details

Schedule: Refreshments at 1:00 pm, lecture at 1:15 pm.

In 1816 Armistead Churchill knocked on the cabin of Joseph Frederick who was working as the overseer at Oxmoor Farm. When Frederick opened the door Churchill shot him dead. The reason for the murder includes treatment of the enslaved people at Oxmoor Farm, and a jockeying for control of Oxmoor. Churchill went to trial in 1817 and was defended by John Rowan and Benjamin Hardin. This trial would drive a wedge between these early Kentucky families and even lead to a challenge to duel! Come hear how this early Kentucky murder trial ended and the ramifications it had for these early Kentucky families.




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About the Speaker

Shirley Harmon manages the day-to-day operation of the Historic Oxmoor Farm, the Bullitt family home since 1787. Shirley has 25 years of experience in archives and historic home management. During her college years, she worked as a docent at Farmington Historic Home and as a fact checker for the Louisville Encyclopedia. In 2009, she was appointed a member of the Lincoln Bicentennial Committee, which planned events in the Louisville area to celebrate Lincoln’s 200th birthday. She worked at the Filson Historical Society from 1999-2006 and again from 2011-2012, where her main focus was cataloging the Bullitt Family Papers. Shirley has been the archivist for Norton Healthcare since 2002. She is a member of Phi Alpha Theta, The Society of American Archivists, the American Association of State and Local History, the Interpretations Committee for Farmington Historic Home, and the Oxmoor Preservation Committee.

Shirley earned her bachelor’s degree in History at Xavier University and her master’s degree in History at the University of Louisville.