We just returned from an outstanding weekend at Liberty University. In addition to our screening, which benefitted the National Civil War Chaplains Museum, we also hosted a Q&A panel to share our thoughts on education in regards to documentary filmmaking and how it can be used to preserve our history for the next generation. We had a crowd of hundreds and they were very receptive. Spending the weekend as guests in the Carter Glass Mansion, hanging out with our good friend Richard Williams, and worshipping with Jonathan Falwell at the famous Thomas Road Baptist Church was not a bad deal either. I will be posting a complete recap on our movie’s blog including radio interviews, event video, and plenty of photos over the next week. This positive response to our film continues to grow by leaps and bounds and we could not be more grateful. Check back over the next week and don’t forget about this weekend’s upcoming screening at the University of Mary Washington.
UPDATE: Here is an excerpt from our panel discussion in which our Motion Graphics specialist Darrin Dick discusses the possibilities of using emerging technology to present historical elements that are no longer there. (Video courtesy of Kathleen Warren)
To those interested in attending the Nov. 27 showing of The Angel of Marye’s Heights at the Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh, PA: You can now purchase tickets online. Includes a conversation with co-writer/producer (and Pittsburgh native) Michael Aubrecht, and a dessert reception. One showing only. Tickets also available at the Library circulation desk. 7:30 p.m. Music Hall $10. Programming made possible through the generosity of Northwest Savings Bank.
This will be a wonderful event at a historic venue. The Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall is home to a true national treasure: the Capt. Thomas Espy Post No. 153 of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). The Espy Post is one of a half dozen most intact GAR posts in the country. To put that number in perspective, there were over 6,000 GAR posts across the United States in the late 19th century. More details to come as the date approaches.
This weekend is our big Liberty University screening. I will have video and photos to share next week.
Yesterday I finished a 3,000 word article on the Black Loyalists of Nova Scotia. This feature is slated to be the cover story for the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of Patriots of the American Revolution. I really enjoyed writing this piece and could see myself publishing something longer on this far too neglected topic. What I find striking was the stark contrast in how the Continental Army and British Army looked at African troops. Gen. George Washington banned the enlistment of free and slave Blacks while the British government literally recruited them. Without giving away too much of my story, I would like to share two declarations that are quoted in my article. The first quote is from Royal Governor (VA) Lord Dunmore and clearly shows how the British were able to look past their prejudices in order to reap the benefits of enlisting Black troops. The second shows the Colony’s response to Dunmore’s decree which may have furthered England's efforts.
Lord Dunmore's Proclamation, November 1775:
...I do require every Person capable of bearing Arms, to resort to His MAJESTY'S STANDARD, or be looked upon as Traitors to His MAJESTY'S Crown and Government, and thereby become liable to the Penalty the Law inflicts upon such Offenses; such as forfeiture of Life, confiscation of Lands, &. &. And I do hereby further declare all indented Servants, Negroes, or others, (appertaining to Rebels,) free that are able and willing to bear Arms, they joining His MAJESTY'S Troops as soon as may be, for the more speedily reducing this Colony to a proper Sense of their Duty, to His MAJESTY'S Crown and Dignity.---
Representatives of the People of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia counter-proclamation, December 1775:
WHEREAS lord Dunmore, by his proclamation, dated on board the ship William, off Norfolk, the 7th day of November 1775, hath offered freedom to such able-bodied slaves as are willing to join him, and take up arms, against the good people of this colony, giving thereby encouragement to a general insurrection, which may induce a necessity of inflicting the severest punishments upon those unhappy people, already deluded by his base and insidious arts; and whereas, by an act of the General Assembly now in force in this colony, it is enacted, that all negro or other slaves, conspiring to rebel or make insurrection, shall suffer death, and be excluded all benefit of clergy : We think it proper to declare, that all slaves who have been, or shall be seduced, by his lordship’s proclamation, or other arts, to desert their masters’ service, and take up arms against the inhabitants of this colony, shall be liable to such punishment as shall hereafter be directed by the General Convention. And to that end all such, who have taken this unlawful and wicked step, may return in safety to their duty, and escape the punishment due to their crimes, we hereby promise pardon to them, they surrendering themselves to Col. William Woodford, or any other commander of our troops, and not appearing in arms after the publication hereof. And we do farther earnestly recommend it to all humane and benevolent persons in this colony to explain and make known this our offer of mercy to those unfortunate people.