April 2011 marked the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.In commemoration of this extraordinary milestone, BOAF sponsored a Civil War Sesquicentennial Lecture Series. The 7-part series began in December 2010 and concluded in June 2011.
On December 2 - the 151st anniversary of John Brown's execution - Ranger Dana Smith led a presentation entitled, Lunatic or Saint?: A Look at John Brown's Boston. Ranger Smith based the presentation on his popular walking tour, which is offered throughout the summer.
In January, Professor John Stauffer of Harvard University spoke about the life and legacy of Charles Sumner.This event also marked the first in a yearlong series of events celebrating the bicentennial of Sumner. BOAF is co-hosting the Sumner programs with partners, Harvard University, Massachusetts Historical Society and Longfellow/Washington Headquarters National Historic Site.
In February, local author Stephen Kendrick gave an outstanding presentation on the remarkable life of Frederick Douglass. His talk was based on his exhaustive research for his book, Douglass and Lincoln: How a Revolutionary Black Leader & a Reluctant Liberator Struggled to End Slavery & Save the Union.
For Women's History month in March, Dr. Lois Horton spoke about her upcoming book on the life of Harriet Tubman. Dr. Horton's talk explored the ways Harriet Tubman's bravery, eloquence, dedication, strong convictions and ties to both the African American and white communities helped make this poor illiterate black woman an American hero.
In April, Ranger Horace Seldon discussed the life of William Lloyd Garrison. Ranger Seldon has spent the last 12 years researching the life and work of this great abolitionist. Also in April, BOAF welcomed Dr. John Warner, Archivist of the Commonwealth. Dr. Warner discussed his book on the 5th Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry, the only African American cavalry regiment raised in the northern states during the
BOAF's Civil War Sesquicentennial Lecture Series concluded in June with a visit by our colleagues from New Orleans Jazz National Historic Site who presented an interactive night of music and songs of the Underground Railroad.
BOAF was proud to host this evening series of quality interpretative programs that showcased meaningful and powerful stories of the human face of the Civil War, as well as its causes and consequences.