From the Harford County Public Library:
Fantastic! Special! So much fun! These are just a few of the comments spoken by guests after the Dr. Duke and Mr. President presentation on Saturday, June 1st. The evening started with a reception at the Havre de Grace Library hosted by General and Julia Grant, played to perfection by Will and Bernadette Boyce, longtime re-enactors. Shaking hands and conversing with their guests, the Grants were a special addition to the evening devoted to engaging the audience in history. Other costumed guests joined the gathering which included a tasting menu of dishes representing the North and the South during the Civil War period. Then at 7pm the Grants lead their guests next door to St. John’s Episcopal Church.
One hundred and ninety guests ranging from tweens to grandparents filled the small church that was built the same year as Lincoln’s birth. Dr. Duke Thompson opened the concert as himself, playing music he was inspired to write as he researched Abraham Lincoln’s interest in music during the Civil War. After an intermission, General Grant was proud to present the 16th President of the United States. Out came Dr. Thompson as President Lincoln looking every bit the part, talking about “his” presidency and playing music that reflected the times and his personal feelings.
“Thank you for inviting us to be a part of this night”, Will Boyce exclaimed at the end of the show. “It is one we won’t forget,” his wife Bernadette added. Jim Chrismer, who helped Dr. Thompson with his Lincoln research, was enthusiastic, “The Library has put together a stellar calendar of Civil War programs this past spring. Thank you!”
Dr. Duke and Mr. President was made possible with the support of The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, the Maryland State Arts Council and the Harford County Cultural Arts Board.
Additional Civil War 150 series’ events include the upcoming author presentation by Dan Toomey, author of The War Came By Train: The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad During the Civil War on June 13th at the Abingdon Library; Divided Allegiance: The Booths of Tudor Hall exhibition at the Abingdon Library through Saturday, June 8th; and The Mask of Lincoln: Photography and the Making of a President exhibition at the Bel Air Library through June 15th. For more information visit HCPLonline.org.