The 56th annual Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture, held annually on November 19, will feature Dr. Thavolia Glymph, who will present, "I'm a Radical Girl:" Enslaved and Free Black Women Unionists and the Politics of Civil War History. The program will begin at 7:00 pm at the Majestic Theater (25 Carlisle Street, Gettysburg); free tickets can be obtained from the Majestic box office at 717-337-8200.
During the Civil War, enslaved and emancipated African American women sympathized with the Union cause. They fought, prayed, sacrificed, and died for it and thus, for their own freedom. They did so as soldiers’ wives and refugees, as laborers on abandoned plantations, and as cooks and nurses in the Union army and on hospital transports and gunboats. They fought for the United States on plantations, farms, towns, cities, and factories from which they could find no means of escape. In the process, they made these places sites of wartime resistance. But white Northerners rarely considered enslaved and emancipated women Unionist women or abolitionists. Nor have black Union women found a place in the historiography of the Civil War or women’s political history. Professor Glymph's lecture will explore this lacuna in our history and its intellectual and political legacies.
Thavolia Glymph is Professor of History at Duke University in the Departments of African & African American Studies and History and a Faculty Affiliate in the Duke University Population Research Institute (DuPri) and the Program in Women's Studies. Glymph is a historian of the nineteenth century U.S. South specializing in gender and women's history, slavery, emancipation, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. She has published numerous articles and essays and is the author of the prize-winning Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household (Cambridge University Press, 2008) and co-editor of two volumes of Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861-1867 (Series 1, Volume 1 and Series 1, Volume 3). Learn more about Glymph’s work.
The Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture is presented each year on November 19, the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. The goal of the lecture is to speak to the literate general public without abandoning solid scholarly moorings.