Posts Tagged ‘Kentucky Humanities Council


Being Daniel Boone

By Julie Nelson Harris

There’s no question Scott New is serious about portraying Daniel Boone.

Just walk into the Kentucky County, Va., surveyor’s office at Fort Boonesborough and ask to buy a piece of land.

Especially if you’re a female.

Scott New portrays Daniel Boone for Kentucky Chautauqua. Photo by Alan Meadows

Scott New portrays Daniel Boone for Kentucky Chautauqua. Photo by Alan Meadows

In Daniel Boone’s most gentle, yet direct voice, New reminds the women who enter his cabin to make this transaction alone that in the 1700s, they could not purchase property. Not without their husbands.

“And not one of them has taken offense to it,” said Bill Farmer, living historian at Fort Boonesborough State Historic Site. After all, that’s the way it was in the 18th century — women were not afforded the right to own property. Farmer smiles as he talks about Scott New’s extraordinary effort to make Fort Boonesborough’s visitors feel like they’re living in the year 1775. When Scott began working as a character interpreter at Fort Boonesborough and the Kentucky State Parks system in April, he initiated the surveyor experience: Walk in, buy a piece of property, receive a signed deed from Daniel Boone, and all the while, feel like you’re in the presence of the man himself, learning about the man he really was.
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KHC seeks new magazine editor, public relations director

The Kentucky Humanities Council Inc. in Lexington, a private nonprofit organization affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities, is seeking someone for the position of assistant director for marketing and public relations and editor of Kentucky Humanities magazine.

Applicants should have editing and writing experience, academic training, and/or general interest in Kentucky history and culture, and public relations/ marketing skills.

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Kentucky Humanities October issue hot off the presses

In just a few days, the October issue of Kentucky Humanities magazine will arrive in your mailbox. Not on our mailing list? Fix that now by e-mailing your address to Editor Julie Nelson Harris at If you love Kentucky and appreciate its history, culture and heritage, you want to get this biannual publication.

October 2009 KH coverWhat will you find in this issue?

• Information about the 275th birthday celebration of Daniel Boone at Fort Boonesborough State Historic Site, plus an in-depth look at the work of Kentucky Chautauqua’s Daniel Boone, portrayed by Scott New. Also learn about the man responsible for the majority of Boone research, Lyman Draper.

• An excerpt from Kentucky author Charles Bracelen Flood’s latest book, 1864: Lincoln at the Gates of History. This chapter focuses on the events of Election Night, 1864, and is a fascinating read about this crucial time in Lincoln’s political career.

• Meet Lynn Horine, a Kentucky artist who began making pine needle gourd baskets after suffering from a degenerative disc disease.

• Read about two Kentucky universities — Campbellsville University and Northern Kentucky University — that are working to preserve history by cataloging it for the public to view.

Check the Kentucky Humanities Council Web site to download a PDF of the magazine, and join our mailing list today if you’re not already there!


Our Lincoln DVD on sale now!

If you weren’t able to travel to Washington, D.C., to see Our Lincoln at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, never fear. We’re bringing the experience to you.

DVD coverThe Kentucky Humanities Council, in partnership with Michael Breeding MEDIA, has produced a DVD of the musical, historical and theatrical performance that thrilled its audience in the nation’s capital on Feb. 2. Nearly 1,500 people from six states and D.C. purchased tickets to see this celebration of the life of Kentucky’s most beloved president, Abraham Lincoln. Our Lincoln featured more than 350 performers, many of them Kentuckians — including Metropolitan Opera stars Angela Brown and Gregory Turay, violinist Mark O’Connor, the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, UK Symphony Orchestra, the Lexington Singers and their Children’s Choir, Kentucky Chautauqua performers and the American Spiritual Ensemble. Public radio broadcaster Bob Edwards was master of ceremonies, and Nick Clooney was a narrator for the performance.

The DVD is $21.20 plus shipping and handling (price includes tax). Order your copy today by visiting the Kentucky Humanities Council’s Web site and filling out the order form.


Chautauqua characters Harlan, Green featured at battle reenactment

Oct. 8 marks the 147th anniversary of the Battle of Perryville — the most destructive Civil War battle in Kentucky. Kentucky Chautauqua performers and father-and-son duo Ed and Ethan Smith will participate in reenactment events this weekend, Oct. 3-4, as they portray Justice John Marshall Harlan and Orphan Brigade soldier Johnny Green.

Johnny Green was 19 when the Civil War broke out, and was one of the only soldiers in the Orphan Brigade alive when it ended. Orphan Brigade soldiers were unable to return to their home state of Kentucky until the war was over — lest they be tried for treason — because they chose to fight for the Confederacy. Though he had learned to love the Union, as his mother was from Boston, Green felt passionately that states should have the right to govern themselves. And when President Abraham Lincoln called for men and arms, Green left his job in Florence, Ala., to travel to Bowling Green, Ky., to join the Confederacy on the day before his 20th birthday. Green’s story, as detailed in a journal he wrote for his daughters years later, provides extraordinary accounts of courage and bravery, and brings the story of the Orphan Brigade to life.

During his 33-year tenure on the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice John Marshall Harlan dissented in some of the court’s most important civil rights cases, earning him the title of “The Great Dissenter.” In one of the most famous dissents in U.S. Supreme Court history, Plessy v. Ferguson, which upheld the constitutionality of segregation, Harlan wrote: “Our constitution is color-blind, and neither knows or tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law.”

His words were an inspiration during the Civil Rights Movement to Thurgood Marshall, NAACP chief counsel who would later be appointed to the Supreme Court. Marshall cited the dissent as he argued to end segregation in the 1954 case Brown v. Board of Education. Though Harlan was born in Boyle County to a prominenty slaveholding family, and was once a slaveholder himself, he fought for the Union during the Civil War after graduating from Centre College and earning his law degree at Transylvania. As he became involved in Kentucky politics—being elected as county judge of Franklin County and Kentucky attorney general, and running two unsuccessful campaigns for governor in the early 19702—his political leanings shifted, and he became a major force in the Republican Party. He was often chastised for contradicting himself politically, being once a slaveholder and later one of slavery’s biggest opponents. But Harlan always maintained that the law afforded him the right to change his mind—and his support for equal rights after the Civil War never waned.

For information and an event schedule, visit Perryville Battlefield’s Web site. For information about Kentucky Chautauqua, click here.


Grant funds support Civil War programs in Kentucky

The Kentucky Humanities Council recently awarded more than $2,250 to two Kentucky organizations for public programming.

Friends of the Lost River Inc. of Bowling Green will receive $1,064.50 to host several events during the Lost River Cave Civil War Living History Weekend. Scheduled for Oct. 16-17, the fifth annual event offers a glimpse into the period lifestyle of civilians and soldiers during the Civil War. Artisans and experts present exhibits, demonstrations, reenactments and guided participant activities. This year’s event features a Civil War Ball with period music and dance. Kentucky Chautauqua®’s Jim Sayre, portraying Abraham Lincoln, will give his “I, too, am a Kentuckian” performance.

Friends of Middle Creek Inc. will receive $1,200 for its project “First Ladies of the Civil War,” which will be featured Oct. 2-3 at the Apple Day festival in Paintsville and Oct. 10-11 at the Jenny Wiley Festival in Prestonsburg. Reenactors portraying Mary Todd Lincoln and Varia Howell Davis will actively participate with audiences at both of these festivals in period dress and settings, discussing their husbands, the causes and issues of the Civil War and how the Civil War affected women.  The reenactors will also offer a presentation to history and political science classes at Big Sandy Community and Technical College.

These grants are made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities and private contributions. For more information about applying for a minigrant through the Kentucky Humanities Council, click here.


Several University Press authors featured in Speakers Bureau

LEXINGTON (University of Kentucky News) − The Kentucky Humanities Council has released a list of scholars and writers who will serve on its Speakers Bureau for 2009. Among this year’s roster of featured speakers are five faculty and staff members from the University of Kentucky and 10 University Press of Kentucky authors, four of whom are new to the program this year.

The Kentucky Humanities Council Speakers Bureau brings together historians, scholars, writers and poets from across Kentucky. These speakers are available to speak to community groups with an audience of 25 or more about a variety of topics, from World War II to Abraham Lincoln, from how to become a fiction writer to tales of memorable Kentuckians in history. Programs are available at a reduced cost for nonprofit organizations.
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