PARKERSBURG, W.Va. – “A Journey Through Time” theme binds five Sunday afternoon history programs in February and March, creating the 2012 Winter Lecture Series at Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park. The programs feature two first-person interpreters and speakers on a variety of Ohio Valley and West Virginia topics. For five Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m., the Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History In Parkersburg invites the public to attend the programs free of charge.
“’Black Odyssey: the Mid-Ohio Valley’s African American Experience’ will be on display as part of the lecture series,” according to Pam Salisbury, events coordinator at the park. The Smoot Theater Children’s Choir will perform on February 5 and the Smoot Theater Boys’ Choir will perform on February 26. Both choral shows will be at the museum prior to each history program. Dulcimer player Scott Cain will provide special music each Sunday.
The lecture series is made possible by Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park and Museum, the Blennerhassett Historical Foundation Inc., and the Friends of Blennerhassett. “We are able to offer this Winter Lecture Series free of charge due to the resources available from the WV Humanities Council’s History Alive program and its Sesquicentennial Speakers Bureau, and the Rivers Institute / Hanover College Speakers Bureau,” Salisbury said.
Light refreshments will be served. Attendees should confirm attendance and reserve seats in advance by calling 304-420-4800. Donations are accepted by the Friends of Blennerhassett to support programming costs. There is no charge to attend the lecture series programs. For more information, visit online at www.blennerhassettislandstatepark.com
“A Journey Through Time” Sunday Afternoon Presentations
February 5, 2012
HARRIET TUBMAN Underground Railroad Heroine (1820-1913)
Harriet Tubman was born into slavery in Maryland but escaped to freedom in 1849 through the Underground Railroad. She became the most famous leader of that network, aiding slaves in their escapes to both free states and Canada. When the Civil War erupted, her Underground experiences and knowledge of covert operations made her an invaluable resource to federal officers. Operating through that long conflict as spy, nurse, scout, and guide for Union troops, she was present at the ill-fated Union assault of South Carolina’s Fort Wagner. Harriet Tubman is portrayed by Ilene Evans of Thomas, W.Va. The Harriet Tubman presentation is made possible in part by the WV History Alive Program through the WV Humanities Council
February 12, 2012
CLARA BARTON – Civil War Nurse and Red Cross Founder (1821-1912)
Clara Barton is recognized as the first American woman allowed to tend the wounded on the front lines during the Civil War on an organized, official basis. She became known as “The Angel of the Battlefield.” She was tireless in delivering medical supplies, establishing field hospitals, cooking for the wounded, cleaning operating rooms and caring for all the sufferers whether they came from North or South, or were black or white. After the war, she led a four-year search for missing soldiers. She is chiefly remembered today as the founder of the American Red Cross. Clara Barton is portrayed by Fayette County actress and historical interpreter Karen Vuranch
. The Clara Barton presentation is made possible in part by the WV History Alive Program through the WV Humanities Council
February 19 2012
“WAS THE CIVIL WAR A JUST WAR?”
Dr. Aaron Sheehan-Dean
, Eberly Professor of Civil War Studies at West Virginia University, examines the framework of just law theory to consider fundamental questions about the nature of the conflict. How were non-combatants and prisoners of war treated? What were the roles of guerrillas and irregular forces? What was the relationship between civilian and military authority in the North and the South? The answers reveal much about how the war fits into the larger pattern of global warfare and democracy in the modern world. Dr. Aaron Sheehan-Dean is from Morgantown, W.Va., and represents the Sesquicentennial Speaker Bureau of the WV Humanities Council
February 26, 2012
PLEASE, DO YOU HAVE ANY NEWS? – The Civil War’s Devastating Effect on the Public
The Civil War was a trying time not only for the troops who served both North and the South, but also for the wives, friends, and families who were left behind. Wives took on the role of head of household and chief provider in order to run their farms, homes, or other jobs so that their families could survive. It was a time of great anxiety--of not knowing if a loved one were still alive or had become another victim of war. Debra Conner, local historian and first-person interpreter, will reveal how Americans dealt with the staggering losses that resulted from this bloodiest of all American wars. Conner is from Parkersburg, W.Va. and is also recognized as a first-person interpreter of Margaret Blennerhassett for the island special event series: “Brunch with Margaret.”
March 4, 2012
THE 1811 VOYAGE OF THE NEW-ORLEANS – The American West’s First Steamboat
In 1811, an unknown New York businessman named Nicholas Roosevelt did what many thought impossible: taking a steamboat down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans. Yet, the epic voyage of the New-Orleans, first steamboat to descend the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, changed the future of American civilization as well as the lives of its passengers and crew. Departing Pittsburgh in October 1811, the New-Orleans received enthusiastic welcomes at every port. Its voyage was accompanied by the Great Comet of 1811 streaking across the sky and by the New Madrid Earthquake, the greatest ever recorded east of the Mississippi. Dr. Larry DeBuhr
is the speaker and represents the Rivers Institute at Hanover College
, Hanover, Indiana.
Pam Salisbury, Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park