On October 13, 2011, Graham Woodlief and Barbara Ramos delivered their lecture entitled The First Thanksgiving. Because of what they learned in elementary school, most Americans probably associate Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims in Massachusetts in 1621. Less well know outside Virginia is the fact that more than a year earlier, a hardy band of Englishmen landed at Berkeley Hundred on the James River and held the real first Thanksgiving. Captain John Woodlief and thirty-seven men sailed from Bristol, England, on the ship Margaret and reached Berkeley Hundred nearly three months later in December 1619. They marked their deliverance from the stormy north Atlantic with a simple service of thanks to God. Graham Woodlief and Barbara Ramos will tell the story of this first Thanksgiving in English-speaking America and of the origins of the Virginia Thanksgiving Festival, which led to President Kennedy's mention of Virginia in his Thanksgiving proclamation of 1963. This lecture is cosponsored with the Virginia Thanksgiving Festival. (Introduction by Thomas A. Silvestri, President and Publisher, Richmond Times-Dispatch).
Staggering numbers of sick and wounded soldiers placed unprecedented demands on the practice of medicine on both sides during the Civil War. This lecture will describe the state of medical science in the 1860s and its application in Virginia during the war, mostly on the Confederate side. It will assess the complicated issue of care on the battlefield, transportation of patients to fixed general hospitals, and the role of sanitation. Dr. Adrian Wheat practiced medicine for many years as an army surgeon and helped found the Society of Civil War Surgeons. Most recently he advised the VHS on surgical topics for the exhibition An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia. This lecture is cosponsored with the Richmond National Battlefield Park.(Introduction by Paul Levengood).
On August 8, 2013, Ray McAllister delivered a Banner Lecture entitled "Ocracoke: The Pearl of the Outer Banks." The Outer Banks have enticed Virginians with the lure of sun, sky, and sea for generations. Despite this idyllic appeal, these once-isolated barrier islands have also witnessed a turbulent past. Pirates, hurricanes, shipwrecks, and U-boats all make their appearance in the varied story of the Outer Banks. Ray McAllister, an award-winning former Richmond Times Dispatch columnist, has become the established chronicler of coastal North Carolina with his latest volume on Ocracoke, which follows earlier books on Hatteras Island, Wrightsville Beach, and Topsail Island.
On April 16, 2009, Lorri Glover delivered a Banner Lecture entitled "The Shipwreck That Saved Jamestown: The Sea Venture Castaways and the Fate of America." The wreck of the "Sea Venture" on Bermuda in 1609 and the role its survivors played in the eventual rescue of the failing colony at Jamestown are dramatic tales from the founding years of the nation. In a new book, authors Lorri Glover and Daniel Blake Smith retell this account of shipwreck, courage, mutiny, and deliverance. The authors make a forceful case that the "Sea Venture" bears no small part in the ultimate survival of English colonization in America. Dr. Glover teaches American history at Saint Louis University.
This lecture was cosponsored with the Society of Colonial Wars in Virginia.
(Introduction by Paul A. Levengood)