Part of the USA Today Network

Lincoln, Davis, Tubman living history presentations slated in Maryland

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hear famous historical figures talk about their experiences and accomplishments… in real life?
Join the Maryland Humanities Council at our annual Chautauqua where you will meet celebrated figures from our nation’s past and talk with them about their lives, ideas, and impact.
Since 1995, when Maryland’s Chautauqua began at Garrett College, this summer event has spread to six locations, providing free programs for communities in every region of the state. Chautauqua combines scholarship and performance to present an interactive program that engages thousands of Marylanders in thoughtful dialogue.
All Chautauqua events are free and open to the public!
This year’s characters which will be brought to life are Jefferson Davis, Abraham Lincoln, and Harriet Tubman. Popular living historian Jim Gettys will reprise his role as Lincoln, with Gwendolyn Briley-Strand as Harriet Tubman with Doug Mishler as President Davis.The performances will be given in six areas across the state of Maryland in early June.
Maryland was a divided state, therefore the 2011 theme, which commemorates the Civil War Sesquicentennial is “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.
For more information, please see the Maryland Humanities Council’s website.