MOUNT VERNON – On Thursday March 12, the Chautauqua Series welcomes Valerie Hamill Miss Major Cushman. Valerie is making her first appearance for the Chautauqua Series but is no stranger to the living history format, having performed Major Cushman for many years around Ohio. This donation based program will be presented at the Grand Hotel (12 Public Square) at 7 PM. Doors open at 6 PM. The Grand Hotel is fully accessible for those with special needs such as wheelchairs, walkers or strollers.
Pauline Cushman was a spy for the Union during the Civil War, eventually promoted to the rank of Major. Born Harriet Wood in New Orleans, she was raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, became a highly successful stage actress using the name Pauline Cushman. After the Civil War broke out, Pauline was in a traveling stage troupe and while in Louisville, Kentucky, many paroled Confederates asked her to make a toast to Jefferson Davis. She accepted and at the same time offered her services to the U.S. to spy on the Confederacy. She was captured and sentenced to death as a Federal spy, and was rescued at Shelbyville by the Union Army under Gen. Rosecrans. After the War, General Garfield bestowed on her the title of Major.
Opening the program will be FolkTails, playing songs of the era. FolkTails consists of Chris and Mike Petee and they use comedy and music arrangements similar to those they used as part of the group Elixir.
The Chautauqua Series presents monthly first person living history programs on a year round basis, the only programming of this kind in the United States. The programs are donation based so that all may attend, enjoy and learn. The series is organized by Elixir Presents and made possible in part by a grant from the Ariel Foundation and KPAC and supported in part by the Grand Hotel. The programs are presented on a donation basis, with all proceeds going to the performers.
For more information on this program and future programs in the series, visit www.elixirpresents.com or www.VisitKnoxOhio.org or call 740-392-3018. If you would like to receive a gentle reminder by email on the Sunday before each program, please send a request to Mike Petee at firstname.lastname@example.org.