Few sarcastic quips in all of southern history remain as famous as James Petigru’s reported comment upon receiving the news that South Carolina had seceded from the Union. South Carolina, Petigru mused sarcastically, was “too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum.” Petigru died in 1863, a devoted Unionist and southern … Read more
Through the stories of enslaved ancestors and notable relatives, The Thompson Family: Untold Stories from The Past (1830-1960) chronicles the rich history of a prominent African American family from the Wagener and Salley communities of Aiken County, South Carolina and features stories of individuals who were enslaved, served in the Civil War, achieved entrepreneurial success during the … Read more
Martha Kitchings Seawright Ellison was born enslaved on November 20, 1849, in Barnwell County South Carolina. This presentation tells the contextualized story of her life, featuring local history of the antebellum period and Civil War in Barnwell County during Martha’s enslavement; a personal account of Martha’s life on the Phillips Plantation during the Reconstruction Era … Read more
This presentation explores the reasons why South Carolina used African American labor during the war; the diverse roles of African American labor during the war; SC approval of Confederate pensions for African Americans; notable features of the pension application; and notable South Carolina African American Confederate Pensioners.
Lavinia was born enslaved on June 3rd, 1844, in Aiken County, and this presentation tells her personal story of slavery and survival during the Civil War. Lavinia would follow her master into battle in the Civil War, serving the Confederate army as a cook. Six decades later, she would be among about 100 black South … Read more
Counter to the national narrative which championed the patriotic manhood of soldiering from the Civil War through the 1920s, Dr. Pinheiro, Jr.’s research reveals that African American veterans and their families’ military experience were much more fraught. Economic and social instability introduced by military service resonated for years and even generations after soldiers left the … Read more
What role did black people play in preserving the Union and ending slavery? With (or without) a period uniform, including a Springfield rifle, Donald West will present a brief history of African Americans and the Civil War which includes data, facts, figures, and key people (men and women).
This is a stage reenactment which is approximately 35 minutes long in which Donald Sweeper portrays Robert Smalls Chautauqua-style, as if the current year is 1895. Donald Sweeper dramatizes the commandeering of the Planter boat on the early morning of May 13, 1862 as Robert Smalls piloted through the Charleston Harbor undetected by the Confederates … Read more
The art of leading American artists and photographers of the American Civil War era provides unique and compelling images of the experiences of soldiers, civilians and slaves. From the battlefield to the home front, this art includes insights into the viewpoints that motivated both sides of the conflict and eloquent depictions of the human face … Read more