FEBRUARY 2024 EVENTS NEWSLETTER
The Revolutionary Rumble
Unleash your patriotic spirit with our February Must-Dos
Huzzah and hoist the colors! Welcome to “The Revolutionary Rumble,” your one-stop shop for all things American Revolution 250th anniversary in Virginia! Buckle up, history buffs, because we’re about to embark on a powder-keg-packed journey through events that even King George III couldn’t veto (spoiler alert: he wouldn’t have approved of any of them).
February explodes with the vibrant colors of Virginia’s revolutionary spirit, inviting you to step into a whirlwind of heroism, sacrifice, and enduring love for liberty. From George Washington’s birthday to the often-overlooked heroes of Black History Month, each event is a testament to the unwavering spirit that birthed a nation. Join us, fellow patriots, and let the echoes of revolution rekindle the flames of liberty within us all!
Getting to Know James Lafayette
Step back in time and face a crucial question: would you choose courage or chains? Discover the untold story of James Armistead Lafayette, an enslaved man who risked everything to become a shadow warrior for liberty during the American Revolution. Witness history come alive as Stephen Seals of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation portrays James in a captivating historical reenactment. Feel the pulse of the Revolution as you witness his daring missions, uncover his clever deceptions, and grapple with the impossible choices he faced.
Black Patriot: A Visit with James Fayette
Did you know that Revolutionary War Hero and Double Agent James Fayette spied for the Marquis de Lafeyette in Portsmouth? His story, “Black Patriot” is the first interpretive presentation in Black History Alive’s Front Porch Series. Laugh, cry, and hear stories of our shared American History as it impacted African slaves and their descendants in Portsmouth, Hampton Roads, the State of Virginia, and Our Nation.
Genealogy and the Path to the Menokin Descendant Initiative Webinar
Part of the Virginia Quilt Museum’s project Stitching Together History: 250 Quilts Commemorating the Commonwealth of Virginia this webinar will focus on the topic, “We the People.” Kiana Wilkerson will speak about genealogy and how it can be used to tell and uplift untold histories of the enslaved population of a historic site. Learn more about genealogy’s impact on learning more about the enslaved people at Menokin, the Menokin Foundation’s Descendant Initiative, and its growing Descendant Collective.
February 6 & 13
Virtual Battle Brief – Washington’s Forts: The Colonial Frontier
George Washington got his first taste of war as a young frontier officer in the French and Indian War. He served at and traveled to dozens of forts, blockhouses, and stockades across hundreds of miles to oversee the defenses of Virginia and her neighboring colonies. Take a photographic tour of these backcountry outposts with historian John Maass, using period maps and modern images to explore Col. Washington’s service from 1754 to 1758.
Salem Museum Speaker Series: George Washington, An American Noah
Journey beyond the canvas and uncover the hidden message nestled within one of America’s most iconic portraits. This event dives into the captivating depths of Gilbert Stuart’s Lansdowne Portrait of George Washington, revealing a surprising connection to Noah and the Flood that sheds new light on our nation’s first president and the turbulent birth of a nation.
An Intimate Evening with George Washington
Join General Washington at the beautiful and historic Duvall House, where he was feted by leading Alexandrians upon his triumphant return from the Revolutionary War in 1783. The General will share his most poignant memories of the war and answer questions about his life and times. Libations and heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served.
Thomas Jefferson & the Declaration of Independence
Today, Thomas Jefferson is widely known as the author of America’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence. However, in 1776, few people outside of the Continental Congress were aware of his role in its authorship. Hear Thomas Jefferson tell his side of the story of how the Declaration of Independence came about and his part in its writing.
Fort Boykin Walking Tour
Isle of Wight County
Step onto hallowed ground, where the echoes of history still resonate. Join a free walking tour through Fort Boykin, a sentinel of American valor that has stood guard for centuries. From its humble beginnings as the “Castle” in 1623, a testament to early colonial resilience, to its imposing presence during the Civil War, Fort Boykin has witnessed the trials and triumphs of a nation in the making.
Conflict, Migration, and Early Settlement of the Northern Neck
During the earliest decades of English colonization of the Chesapeake, the Potomac River Valley was a politically complex borderland between the colonies of Virginia and Maryland and Native American tribal groups. In this enlightening talk, Dr. Barbara Heath explores the significant ways in which life on the borderland shaped the development of the Northern Neck of Virginia.
Love & Liberty Social
Step back in time and celebrate Valentine’s Day amidst the spirit of Revolution. Join us for the Love & Liberty Social, a captivating event that transports you to the heart of the 18th century, where the very air vibrates with the ideals of freedom and the promise of romance. The evening will feature music, food, and dancing. You’re encouraged to wear your best 18th century attire and join us for a fun social.
Washington’s Lieutenants: The Generals of the Continental Army
Step into the boots of history and stand beside the unsung heroes who marched with Washington. This event delves into the captivating stories of the Continental Army’s lieutenants, the brilliant minds and bold hearts who helped secure our nation’s independence. Who were the most important? Who were the worst? Join us and decide for yourself!
Incident at Griffin’s Wharf: The Boston Tea Party and After
Commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party with the Lovettsville Historical Society. Public historians Richard and Tracy Gillespie will share information on the actions by Great Britain’s Parliament that led to the destruction of 340 chests of East India Company teas on December 16, 1774, and similar incidents in other colonies. The program concludes with a tasting of three of the teas that were sacrificed in the name of liberty.
Red Hill Rediscovered: Patrick Henry in Love
On Valentine’s Day, join Patrick Henry’s 5th-great-grandson, Patrick Henry Jolly, for a live virtual discussion on the love life of Patrick Henry. Patrick will share about his ancestor’s relationships with both Sarah Shelton and Dorothea Dandridge, as well as other stories within the Henry family. We mostly hear about the serious side this American patriot; join us as we get personal about the man, and the lover, Patrick Henry.
Forgotten Patriots: Virginia’s Black Continental Army Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolution
Step back in time to 1781, when citizens of Chesterfield County witnessed the American Revolution come right through their community. Black Virginia men camped, marched, and fought side by side with their white neighbors in pursuit of liberty and independence from King George III and English rule. Their roles are still often overlooked but undoubtedly helped the ideas of the Revolution to take root, forging a nation built on ideals of liberty and equality for all.
Crossing of the Dan Commemoration
Join a captivating commemoration of the Crossing of the Dan, a daring feat that turned the tide of the American Revolution. The Halifax County South Boston Museum of Fine Arts and History will have a program on “Engineer of the Revolution” Colonel Tadeusz Kosciuzsko and his role in the Crossing; the meager rations Continental soldiers were expected to survive on, perform forced marches that would last for days, and then go into battle; and what women were doing on the home front. Come sample Revolutionary period treats.
The Moton Story and Civil Rights in Education
Part of the Virginia Quilt Museum’s project “Stitching Together History: 250 Quilts Commemorating the Commonwealth of Virginia,” this webinar will focus on the topic, Unfinished Revolutions. Before Selma, before Montgomery, there was Farmville, where young people made history. The Civil Rights movement came to Farmville, Virginia, thanks to the courage of students protesting inequality. Learn about the Moton story and how students became Civil Rights activists and helped change history.
Black History Month Archaeology Open House
In honor of Black History Month, the Monticello Department of Archaeology is hosting an open house featuring displays of recent excavations and artifacts, engaging activities for all ages, and walking tours. Join archaeologists for a 90-minute tour into the woodlands and visit the location of summer excavations, Site 30. In recent excavations, this site has already revealed important information about enslaved agricultural laborers at Monticello as well as the precolonial activities of Indigenous communities.
Presidents Day Weekend Liberty or Death Reenactment
This Presidents Day, don’t just remember the past, feel it! Immerse yourself in the electrifying atmosphere of the 2nd Virginia Convention, where the flames of American independence were first ignited. Witness history come alive as we reenact the legendary Liberty or Death Speech by the firebrand patriot Patrick Henry. Witness Henry’s raw passion and eloquence as he argues against British tyranny and inspires his fellow delegates to take up arms in the name of liberty.
George Washington Birthday Parade
The City of Alexandria’s George Washington Birthday Parade, the largest and oldest of its kind in the country, celebrates the legacy of General Washington in his adopted hometown of Alexandria. The parade is expected to feature 1,500 participants, including drum corps, color guards, bands, city and community dignitaries, community and fraternal organizations, youth groups and, of course, General Washington and Martha Washington.
Presidents’ Day Naturalization Ceremony
Explore Virginia’s place in America’s grand experiment this President’s Day! Commemorate the legacy of the founding fathers of the United States of America and celebrate as we welcome new U.S. Citizens in a naturalization ceremony at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, followed by cake, live music by the Richmond Brass Consort, and other special activities throughout the day.
Secrecy and Transparency in the Era of Revolutions
In a context where gaining public trust seemed to demand transparency, was secrecy ever legitimate during the French and American Revolutions? Join us for a conversation with Katlyn Carter, assistant professor of history at the University of Notre Dame, on her new book which explores how the American and French revolutionaries who sought to fashion representative government confronted the dilemma of state secrecy. Carter shows how the fight shaped the nature of the world’s first representative democracies.
That’s all for now. Be sure to visit our online calendar regularly, as new events keep popping up throughout the month. And tag us in your social media photos 📸. See you out there!