2010 Two Rivers Chautauqua

Cross Orchards Historic Site in Grand Junction was once again the site for our annual Two Rivers Chautauqua festival hels on September 17 and 18. This year's theme is the Civil War, and will feature enlightening and entertaining afternoon lectures, evening portrayals and live music. Professional Chautauquans and historians lectured on Civil War-era topics and portrayed key figures including Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, Harriet Tubman, and William Lloyd Garrison. Saturday afternoon also included Young Chautauqua presentations from District 51 school students. The Young Chautauqua program is a series of workshops of scholarship, research, rehearsal, and performance in which students bring history to life by immersing themselves in the writings and lives of historical characters. We are very pleased to share these students' incredible achievements. For more information on Two River Chautauqua and Cross Orchards Historic Site, please click here. To learn more about other Chautauqua festivals in Colorado or the Young Chautauqua program, please click here.






Schedule of Events

Friday, September 17

Friday Morning - Professional Chautauquans perform in local middle and high schools and the Veterans' Hospital.

12:00 PM  "Great Slavery Debate"- lecture by Doug Mishler
Mishler will explore the issue that drove our nation to civil war, balancing the opinions of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison with those of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Both northern and southern arguments will be illuminated in this examination of American values.

1:15 PM   "About Mr. Lincoln"- lecture by Dennis Boggs
Boggs will focus on Lincoln's efforts to find the right commanding officers to lead the army.

2:30 PM   "Music from the Civil War" - lecture by Danny Agajanian, musician and historian

3:45 PM   "Confederate Settlers to the Grand Valley" - lecture by Gary Parrott, historian

5:30 PM   Live Music

6:30 PM   Robert E. Lee - "Warrior Saint of the South" portrayed by Ted Kachel "He lost a war, but gained the Heart of the South, and became the Hope for a New Nation." A few years after Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Lee is permitted to wear his Confederate uniform to discuss how "we lost a war, but not our true cause." Was it slavery or secession or something else that motivated Lee as he led the Army of Northern Virginia through three years of bloody battles from Seven Days, through Gettysburg, to the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse.

7:45 PM   Harriet Tubman - "Move or Die" portrayed by Gwendolyn Briley-Strand The most famous conductor of the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman was one of the country's greatest abolitionists. Known as the "Moses of Her People," Tubman led over three hundred slaves to freedom by way of the Underground Railroad, served as both a spy and a scout for the Union during the Civil War, and nursed fugitive slaves.


Saturday, September 18

9:00 AM   "Meet the Chautauquans" coffee hour at Barnes and Noble
Open to all interested - come Chat with the scholars behind the characters

12:00 PM   "Military tactics and strategies of General Robert E. Lee: Views from both sides now." - lecture by Ted Kachel
"Lee lost a war he could have won!"

Performances from local School District 51 students

1:15 PM   "Harriet Tubman--Meet the Woman" - lecture by Gwendolyn Briley-Strand
She discusses the life of this remarkable woman and provides a Power Point photo exhibit of plantations on which Tubman was enslaved, homes in which she lived as a free woman, and churches that she built, and relationships she had with other abolitionists.

2:30 PM   "Women's Roles during the Civil War"- lecture by Sara Swedberg, Mesa State College History Professor

3:45 PM   "Union Settlers to the Grand Valley" - lecture by Garry Brewer, historian

5:30 PM   Live Music

6:30 PM   William Lloyd Garrison - "All on Fire " portrayed by Doug Mishler Garrison was seen as either a madman or a saint depending on one's view of slavery. Yet whatever the label, all agreed he was the most despised man in the nation: despised because for 30 years he railed against the evil of slavery, an issue most wanted the nation to ignore. But Garrison would not let them forget, and the war came.

7:45 PM   Abraham Lincoln - "Finding a General" portrayed by Dennis Boggs It is Good Friday, April 14, 1865. Five days ago, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia. It looks like four years of bloody warfare are finally coming to an end. While President Lincoln is getting ready for an evening out with Mrs. Lincoln, he reflects back to the beginning of the war and the many problems he faced in finding a general to lead his army, end the war, and save the union.