On May 21, 2003, the Board of Regents dedicated Farmington’s Memorial to the Enslaved to commemorate the lives of the people enslaved on this property between 1809 and 1865. Designed to provide a quiet spot to acknowledge the contributions of the people enslaved at Farmington, and to contemplate the local and national impact of slavery, the memorial consists of a bronze medallion set on a landscaped terrace fitted with stone benches. The medallion personifies some of the up to seventy enslaved people at Farmington prior to the Civil War and includes images of David and Martha Spencer, enslaved at Farmington until 1865. Rope strands on the medallion represent hemp, Farmington’s primary cash crop, the fiber that permanently bound the institution of slavery to the Commonwealth and the people to the Kentucky plantation system of agriculture. Every guided tour of Farmington stops at the Memorial to discuss the features of the medallion.
The medallion is the work and first public installation of sculptor William M. Duffy, a Louisville artist who has served as an instructor and artist in residence at a number of local schools and arts organizations. Duffy has been showcased in many Louisville art exhibitions and has done commissioned work for the Speed Museum, the Lincoln Foundation, the Louisville Orchestra, the Kentucky Minority Business Association, Historic New Harmony, and the (Un)Known Project.
The memorial is an ongoing effort by Farmington to interpret the two cultures that played such important roles here: the wealthy planter class represented by John Speed’s family and that of the enslaved people on the property.
Descendants of Abram and Rosanna Hayes, 2021
Cassandra Sea, mother and grandmother of descendants of David and Martha Spencer, leading a tour.
Klaire Sea, a descendant of David and Martha Spencer.
Artist William M. Duffy, May 21, 2003
3033 Bardstown Road
Tuesday - All tours must be pre-booked online
Wednesday - 10 am - 2 pm
Thursday - 10 am - 2 pm
Friday - 10 am - 2 pm
Saturday - 11 am - 1 pm
Tours begin promptly on the hour