Speakers Bureau Civil War

Last Updated 4/30/2013 5:19:35 PM

Civil War Related Speakers Bureau Offerings

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Alec Turner: Journey's End, Destination of a Dream
Alec Turner was born a slave in 1845 on the John Gouldin
plantation of Port Royal, Virginia. He died a freeman, farmer, and landowner in Grafton, Vermont in 1923. His is a
remarkable narrative, told by Alec to his family and recounted
to Jane Beck by his daughter, Daisy, who was born in Grafton
in 1883. Alec Turner’s saga is rich in detail, with compelling
anecdotes painted on a well-textured canvas. We are drawn to the power of his spirit, his humanity, and the measure of the man himself.
Arming the Union: Vermont Gunmakers and the Technology That Shaped America
During the Civil War, the Union army fielded more than two million men, most of them armed with newly made, highly accurate rifles. How did the North produce all of those weapons in such a short time? What impact did the new rifles have on the conduct and outcome of the war? Then, after the war, how did the new manufacturing technology change American life and popular culture? In this illustrated lecture, historian and museum curator Carrie Brown explores the critical role that Windsor, Vermont, played in producing
technology that won the war and changed American life.
Edward Everett: The Other Speaker at Gettysburg
Had you stopped President Lincoln on his way to Ford’s Theater and asked, “Who delivered the Gettysburg Address?” Lincoln would have honestly replied: “Why, the Honorable Edward Everett from Massachusetts.” Jim Cooke, in the character of Edward Everett, offers a unique view of the events surrounding the consecration of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg. Recalling his invitation to speak, the
painstaking research that went into his Gettysburg Address and his tour of the battlefields, Everett recounts his time with President Lincoln on that momentous occasion.

Photo courtesy
Vermont Historical Society
George Houghton: Vermont’s Civil War Photographer

A hidden treasure of Vermont history is the photographic work completed by Brattleboro photographer George Houghton. He captured poignant shots of Vermont soldiers in the field, in camp, and at home. This program by Rutland Civil War historian Donald Wickman explains some of Houghton’s life and shows a number of the photographic images that brought the Civil War back to Vermont.

A High Price to Pay, A Heavy Burden to Bear: One Family’s Civil War Story
Abel Morrill, Sr., was an early settler of Cabot, Vermont. He was a respected farmer and maple sugar producer for much of the 19th century. His story reflects the hardship and heartbreak suffered by those who lived at the time of America’s greatest conflict, the Civil War. David Book’s portrayal of Abel Morrill profiles life before the war and life as it was affected by the war. Drawing on primary resources, Book’s monologue describes with historical accuracy life in mid-19th century Vermont and is a story that could be repeated by many families in every town in Vermont during this era.
Letters to Vermont

In the reporting of Civil War news, American newspapers came of age. Soldiers not only recorded their daily activities in journals and letters; they also shared their experiences in the home press. Thirteen correspondents wrote anonymously to the Rutland Herald from different regions of the U.S. Nearly all the letter writers have been identified. Civil War historian Donald Wickman introduces the audience to the eloquent prose of the writers, and tells of their careers during the war.

Lincoln and Vermont
Beginning with Lincoln’s preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, and continuing through to the consecration of the National Soldiers Cemetery at Gettysburg, historian Howard Coffin traces how Lincoln’s leadership of the Federal war effort and his political canniness shaped the relationship between the president and Vermont, a state Lincoln admired though never visited.

Photo courtesy
Francis C. Guber
One Regiment’s Story in the Civil War:
The 9th Vermont, 1862–1865

From guarding Confederate prisoners incarcerated at Camp Douglas, Illinois, to the woods of coastal North Carolina and finally to the gates of Richmond, the Ninth Vermont Regiment earned a reputation of being well-disciplined and steadfast under fire. Although lacking the renown of other Vermont units, it represented the state well throughout its history. Civil War historian Donald Wickman offers listeners tales of the 9th Vermont, highlighted by the stories of some of the 1,878 Vermonters who comprised it, as it became one of the most traveled regiments in the Federal army.

“Our faded and torn banners”: Vermont’s Civil War Flags

During the Civil War, flags were the heart and soul of a regiment. Today, the collection of battleflags is one of Vermont’s most important relics of the war. Civil War historian Donald Wickman details the history of these colors and how the state has conserved them for future generations.

Vermont and the Civil War

From Cedar Creek to Gettysburg, Vermonters were central to the Union cause. Vermont author and Civil War historian Howard Coffin addresses the Vermont contribution to the Civil War. He can speak on many aspects of the war, and will be happy to tailor his talk to the interests of your group. Topics include, but are not limited to, Vermont at Gettysburg, Cedar Creek, Lincoln and Vermont, Lincoln as Commander in Chief, Vermont and Grant’s Overland Campaign, and the Vermont Cavalry.

The Vermont Civil War Songbook

Dressed in period costume, Vermont singer Linda Radtke shares songs popular in Vermont during the Civil War as well as letters from Vermonters from the era. From sentimental songs about the girl back home to satirical ballads, Ms. Radtke traces the evolution of tone in Vermont popular song, from patriotic to elegiac as the war continued. The Vermont Civil War Songbook features the Vermont Historical Society’s sheet music collection.

The War before the War: Radical Abolition in Antebellum America
A new wave of antislavery thinking swept the country in the 1830s as some churches demanded immediate emancipation of slaves and equal rights for free blacks. In this illustrated lecture, Rokeby Museum Director Jane Williamson presents the philosophies, strategies, and tactics of these abolitionists, compares their efforts with those of earlier abolitionists, and explores their impact on American society.
“A Woman, Ain’t I?”

Born a slave in New Paltz, New York, Isabella Baumfree walked away from slavery, and in her travels evolved into Sojourner Truth—maid, laundress, evangelist, abolitionist, and suffragist. In this program, actress Kathryn Woods tells Sojourner Truth’s story in her own words, speeches, and songs.


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