Performance based upon the life of Elizabeth Keckley (1818 – 1907)

The first of our African American History Lecture Series this year, is also in celebration of Black History Month. Tryon Palace is excited to offer this inspiring performance.

Tami Tyree: Playwright, historian, actress will present her one-woman, one act play based upon the life and times of Elizabeth Keckley (1818-1907) inspired by Keckley’s 1868 memoir “Behind the Scenes Thirty Years A Slave Four Years in the White House.”

Elizabeth Keckley rose to fame as Mary Todd Lincoln’s exclusive dressmaker during her White House years. She is also recognized as America’s first black fashion designer/entrepreneur. Ms. Tyree’s dramatic portrayal takes flight from gently implied issues in “Lizzie” Keckley’s book. We delve into both the “glamour and grit” of her life: colored not only with silks and satin, scarred by sexual trauma, complications of mulatto status, motherhood, and the battle for she and her son’s freedom. Hers is a story of love, marriage, and the ultimate sacrifice: a son as a casualty in the Civil War.


Tryon Palace

529 S Front St
New Bern, NC 28560

Updated January 20, 2023