Galveston Historical Foundation
Friday, May 25, 2012
GALVESTON HISTORICAL FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES LECTURE SERIES AND SUMMER TOURS
AT HISTORIC MENARD CAMPUS
Galveston Island, Texas – Galveston Historical Foundation will host a series of civil war lectures from June through August at the Menard Campus. In addition, Galveston’s oldest residential dwelling, the 1838 Menard House, will be opened for tours in conjunction with the lectures and for the public the first Saturday in June, July and August.
The lecture series, held at the Menard Campus, 3302 Avenue O, will take place on Sunday June 3, June 17, July 15 and August 12 at 2 p.m. The price for the lectures is $12 for non-members and $10 for GHF members. A package price for the complete series is available for $40 for non-members and $35 for GHF Members. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (409) 765-3409.
The series kicks off on June 3 with speaker Dr. Don Willett, Associate Professor in the Maritime Studies Program at Texas A&M University at Galveston. Willet will provide an overview of the Battle of Galveston, which took place during the early morning hours of January 1, 1863, and is widely acknowledged as the most important military event in Galveston’s history. As a result of the battle, Galveston became the only Southern seaport ever recaptured by the Confederacy and the only major seaport still in rebel hands when General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse.
Prize winning author, Edward Cotham, Jr., will speak on June 17. His topic, “The General behind Juneteenth” will focus on Union General Gordan Granger who issued General Order No. 3 from his headquarters in Galveston on June 19, 1865. Granger's order confirmed that the Emancipation Proclamation was in effect in Texas. Cotham will describe the events that led to General Granger's arrival in Galveston and the reaction to the issuance of the Juneteenth order.
The third lecture, scheduled for July 15, will be presented by Andrew Hall, Marine Archaeological Steward for the Texas Historical Commission. Hall’s topic, “Patriots for Profit- Blockade Runners of the Confederacy”, focuses on blockade runners slipping in and out of Texas ports during the war. The discovery of the paddle steamer Denbigh in 1997 and of a wreck believed to be the famous Will o' the Wisp in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, opens the door to a long-overlooked story of patriotism, avarice and daring during those last desperate months of the conflict.
The final lecture of the series will be presented on August 12. The topic, “Yellow Fever in Galveston during the Civil War”, will be presented by James Schmidt. The lecture will examine the grim yet interesting role that yellow fever played during the Civil War in Galveston, including misconceptions of the causes of disease, precautions that could have been taken, heroism displayed in sick rooms and the voices of those who lived through it. Schmidt, a chemist by trade, has had a life-long interest in history, with a special regard for the Civil War.
In addition to the summer lecture series, the historic Menard House will be open for tours the first Saturday in June, July and August. Built in 1838 by John and Augustus Allen for the founder of Galveston, Michel Branamour Menard, the property passed between Menard and the Allen brothers (founders of Houston) in many complicated dealings in its early years. It is the oldest surviving residential dwelling in Galveston and the only structure to be owned by the founders of both Galveston and Houston. Tours will be available 12 p.m- 4 p.m. on June 2, July 7 and August 4. Admission is $7 per person.
For more information on the Menard Summer Lecture Series at Menard Hall or public tours of the 1838 Menard House, call Jami Durham at (409)765-3409 or e mail Jami.Durham@galvestonhistory.org.