Chautauqua 2011: The American Civil War – A House Divided

As a border state, Maryland played a critical role in the Civil War, and beginning in 2011, the Maryland Humanities Council (MHC), regional historic sites, museums and other cultural organizations throughout the state will be observing the Civil War Sesquicentennial.

As part of this remembrance, MHC’s 2011 Chautauqua living history series will feature three key figures of the Civil War: Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman and Jefferson Davis.

Maryland was truly a state divided, with slaves and free blacks living in the same community, families split politically and emotionally between the North and South and political and military leaders in both camps. The Sesquicentennial gives us an opportunity to reflect on this pivotal period in our state and nation’s history and to consider what unites us and what divides us today.

Abraham Lincoln will be portrayed by Chautauqua veteran Jim Getty. Lincoln, our 16th president, led our country through its greatest internal crisis and is remembered as the savior of the American union and “The Great Emancipator.”

Harriet Tubman, brought to life by Chautauqua and Speakers Bureau presenter Gwendolyn Briley-Strand, was born a slave in Dorchester County, Maryland. Known as “The Moses of Her People,” she led scores of slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad and served as a union spy during the Civil War.

Jefferson Davis will be portrayed by another returning Chautauqua favorite, Doug Mishler. A fervent defender of Southern whites’ “right” to own slaves and an advocate of slavery’s expansion, Davis broke from the Union after deciding that Lincoln’s election might lead to its being further restricted or even abolished. Davis believed that peaceful secession was legal under the U.S. Constitution. He served as president of the Confederacy throughout the war.

Our 17th summer Chautauqua will take place July 5–13 in six regions throughout the state: Baltimore County, Cecil County, Charles County, Garrett County, Montgomery County and Talbot County.

Join us for these free events and engage in spirited conversation with celebrated figures from the past.


2011 Chautauqua schedule by date

July 5–7: College of Southern Maryland, La Plata

July 5–7: Garrett College, McHenry

July 6–8: Montgomery College, Germantown

July 8–10: Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville

July 8–10: St. Mary Anne’s Episcopal Church, North East

July 11: Thompson Park, Easton

July 12: Londonderry Retirement Community, Easton

July 13: Idlewild Park, Easton

Click here for more information

2011 Chautauqua Sponsors

Chautauqua would not be possible without the generous sponsorship of the organizations and individuals listed below, nor donors to our annual fund. Thank you to them and to you for your continued support!

Chautauqua in Catonsville is sponsored by Community College of Baltimore County.

Chautauqua in Easton is sponsored by Avalon Foundation; Hope and Anthony Harrington; and the Talbot County Arts Council, with funds from Talbot County  and the Towns of Easton and St. Michaels.

Chautauqua in Germantown is sponsored by Montgomery College.

Chautauqua in La Plata is sponsored by College of Southern Maryland.

Chautauqua in McHenry is sponsored by Garrett College, Garrett County Arts Council, and Garrett Lakes Arts Festival.

Chautauqua in North East is sponsored by Cecil County Arts Council, Cecil County Tourism, and Delmarva Power.

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