Seminar Topics

These are included with registration and are free to all participants

An Artistic Endeavor: Labels from the Civil War

~Bob Sullivan

For years, living historians and museum sites have tried to stock their shelves with products from the mid-nineteenth century in order to create a more accurate representation of history. Colorful labels have decorated shelves, attracting buyers with their symbols and images.  Many colorful stories and legends have persisted about product labels. In this presentation, Bob Sullivan shows dozens of labels that are documented to the Civil War era, and will explore some of these myths and explain how to tell if the label is from the period or not.

“The Never Tiring Amusement:” Visiting the Circus

~Clarissa Doak

 Lions and tigers and acrobats, oh my! Prepare to be amused as Clarissa Doak, (list your title/certification) discusses her research about the history of the circus in the United States. Learn what people did, what they wore, and the societal expectations of those in attendance. Visitors beware; even pick pockets plied their trade alongside the performers! Primary sources will show that the traveling show was a popular pastime, one that shaped the modern perspective of performance art and entertainment. Threads from that history can still be seen in our amusements today.

The Mystery of the Groundskeeper:

Recreating the Frank family in Revolutionary America
~Shirley L. Green PhD

My great-grandfather, Thomas Henry Franklin, was a well-known landscaper in his small community of Annapolis Royale, Nova Scotia. He passed down the oral tradition of the Franklin family to his sons--this information was passed down only through male members of the family and stated that the first member of the Franklin family came to America from Africa by way of Haiti. Two of his descendants—two freeborn brothers with the last name of Frank—fought together in the Rhode Island Regiments of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. By using genealogical and microhistorical research methods, I was able to document the journey taken by the Frank/Franklin family as they lived through the turbulent years of the American Revolution.

Pianos, Parlors, and Polkas- American Popular Music

in the Home from 18th century through the 1860s

~Brian Shifflet

As is true today, music was an integral part of life through the 18th and 19th centuries in America. We know music was commonly played in the home and at social gatherings, but what types of music were played? And what types of instruments were used? This presentation will explore the everyday types of music played at parties, social gatherings, and evenings in the parlor with family and friends. Using research from primary sources, the Colonial Music Institute, and the Parlor Music Academy, the presentation will be a combination of lecture, performance, and some audience participation! In addition to the what, where, and why of popular song of the time, we will also discuss ways to use music as accurately as we are able in our impressions for various periods. The primary focus will be late 18th century, and mid-19th century (1840s-60s).

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