As the 150-year anniversary of the Civil War continues, several activities are being planned throughout King County to remember the sesquicentennial and consider its meaning.
Historian Lorraine McConaghy has developed an interactive, living theater piece in which the audience reads the words of ordinary settlers, territorial military and administrative leadership. Preceded by a brief lecture to set context, the Civil War Reader’s Theater is next being performed at the National Archives on Seattle’s Sand Point Way on February 8 at 6 PM. The communal theater presentation will be followed by a conversation about the ideas and themes of the piece.
McConaghy also is spearheading an citizen-historians’ initiative to learn more about Washington Territory during the antebellum, wartime and early Reconstruction periods. In 2013, hundreds of researchers will fan out across Washington State, visiting archives, museums and libraries to read newspapers, manuscripts, and documents of all kinds from 1857-1871 in the hope of uncovering long-forgotten local activities relating to the Civil War, and documenting them in a permanent record. McConaghy is conducting training sessions for the Read-In through this May. If you are interested in attending a training and joining the Read-In, contact Lorraine at Lorraine.email@example.com.
And on February 23, the Greater Kent Historical Society, in partnership with other South King County historical societies that are tying the construction of South King County’s Military Road to the Civil War sesquicentennial, will present a talk by local historian and AKCHO board member Karen Meador. Meador will share information on the instrumental role Secretary of War Jefferson Davis played in obtaining funds to build the Military Road in Washington Territory – only a few years before he went on to become president of the Confederate States of America. The program will take place Saturday, February 23, 1-3 PM at the Kent Senior Center, 600 E Smith Street, Kent. Find more information on the AKCHO calendar.