From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Francis, Edward and Eliza

Edward Francis (b. 1830 in VA) was a former enslaved person of slaveholder Edy Francis from Madison County, KY. He enlisted in the Union Army in 1864 and was trained at Camp Nelson, KY, becoming a member of the 114th Infantry Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops.

Francis and Eliza (b. 1839 in KY), the parents of three children, could not read or write, yet much of what is known about them comes from the letters that were written for them while Edward was away in the Army. Their letters are an example of how soldiers kept in touch with their families when neither was literate.

When the war ended, Edward Francis's unit was transferred to Texas; the unit served for two additional years. When he returned home to Madison County, Francis and Eliza had two more children. Edward married Susan Miller in 1893.

For more see M. Meyers and C. Propes, "I Don't fear nothing in the shape of man," Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, vol. 101, issue 4 (2003), pp. 457-478.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Madison County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Jessamine County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Camp Nelson, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

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NKAA Source: The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society (periodical)

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“Francis, Edward and Eliza,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed March 2, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-05-15 15:00:11