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'No hero to us' - new exhibit takes on crafted myth of John Hunt Morgan

Alan Lytle

Outreach coordinator Jackson Osborne curated Making Morgan – Hopemont and Civil War Memory – which primarily deals with how Morgan’s family, especially his mother Henrietta Morgan, successfully controlled the post-war narrative of John Hunt Morgan as some sort of pro-southern hero.

But the exhibit makes clear that Morgan was anything but. And it uses the powerful words of one of the Morgan family’s harshest critics - 19 year old Frances Peter. Her father was a surgeon for the Union Army practicing at nearby Transylvania. The Peters lived in Gratz Park, right across the street from Hopemont during the war and Frances kept a diary of all of the Morgan’s comings and goings.

The trust’s executive director Jonathan Coleman says it’s important for museum visitors to see and know the truth of the man behind the myth.

You can see the mini exhibit when you tour Hopemont House in Lexington’s historic Gratz Park.


Alan Lytle

Here's our full interview with Jonathan Coleman and Jackson Osborne:

HopemontMAKINGMORGAN web.mp3

Alan Lytle has more than 25 years of experience as a Kentucky broadcaster. Over that span he has earned multiple awards for anchoring, writing and producing news & features for WUKY. He took home the Kentucky Broadcasters Association's Best Radio Anchor award in 2021.