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Owensboro Museum Eyes Josiah Henson Documents

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The Owensboro Museum of Science & History is raising money in order to bid on a collection of documents from the Amos Riley plantation in Daviess County – famous for its association with abolitionist Josiah Henson.

Henson was a runaway slave whose autobiography would inspire Harriet Beecher Stowe’s "Uncle Tom’s Cabin." He lived on the Yelvington plantation for several years in the 1820s.

The documents will be auctioned this Friday in Cincinnati. Museum Director Kathy Olson said the collection's worth has been estimated at 10-15 thousand dollars.

“We are still working to make sure we can meet that range," Olson said. "We’re close to the low end of the range, but not the high end so we want to make sure we are competitive.”

The collection of 75 documents spans a century, with the most recent documents being from the 1920s. Besides the documents pertaining to Henson, the lot also includes Owensboro business receipts and early telephone records.

To contribute, contact the museum at 270-687-2732 or email Kathy Olson at kolson@owensboromuseum.com.

John Null is the host and creator of Left of the Dial. From 2013-2016, he also served as a reporter in the WKMS newsroom.
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