This September, the Paul Revere Memorial Association Lecture Series will look at the national and familial tensions engendered by the American Civil War. A War of Divisions: The Impact and Aftermath of the American Civil War will consist of four talks, occuring on Wednesday, that explore this subject.
September 4 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm: Freedom Rising: The Emancipation Proclamation, the 54th Massachusetts Regiment & Boston’s Black Community
On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all persons enslaved in territories not then under Union control. Several months later, the 54th Massachusetts, the first northern black regiment in the Union Army, was sent to South Carolina to take part in operations against Confederate forces. Beverly Morgan-Welch, Executive Director of the Museum of African American History, Boston and Nantucket, will discuss the profound influence that Boston’s Black Community had on these events, as well as the museum’s year-long sesquicentennial commemoration of this important history.
September 11 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm: A Grand Tour During the Civil War: The Wheatons Go to Europe
In addition to affecting the families of soldiers, the Civil War also had a profoundly disruptive effect on business. In April 1862, Eliza Baylies Wheaton embarked for England with her husband Laban Morey Wheaton and his cousin and business partner David Emory Holman on a business trip to Europe. Kathryn Tomasek, Professor of History at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, will show how all three travelers used this trip as an opportunity for tourism in English and European cities during the second summer of the Civil War, making the best of a bad situation at home.
September 18 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm: The Caning: The Assault That Drove America to Civil War
On May 22, 1856, ardent pro-slavery Congressman Preston S. Brooks of South Carolina strode into the United States Senate Chamber in Washington, D.C., and beat renowned anti-slavery Senator Charles Sumner repeatedly with a gold-topped walking cane, leaving him unconscious and covered in blood. Brooks’ attack was in retaliation for a speech Sumner delivered forty-eight hours earlier, in which he vilified slaveowners in general and Brooks’ cousin, Senator Andrew Butler, in particular. Author and historian Stephen Puleo will show how this shocking and provocative event destroyed any pretense of civility between North and South, and hastened America’s slide into Civil War five years later.
September 25 from 6:30 to 7:30: Revolutionary Memory, Civil War Sacrifice: Pauline Revere Thayer and Preserving the Revere Legacy
Two of Paul Revere’s grandsons, Edward H. R. Revere and Paul Joseph Revere, were killed during the Civil War, the first at Antietam and the second at Gettysburg. Paul Revere House Executive Director Nina Zannieri will examine the Revere Family’s Civil War legacy along with its connection to Revolutionary War icon Paul Revere, focusing in particular on Revere great-granddaughter Pauline Revere Thayer’s efforts to preserve the Revere family story.