Cape Gazette

Slavery and Civil War topic of Feb. 6 program

Jan 28, 2010
The Old State House, located at 25 The Green in Dover, will present a program Saturday, Feb. 6, called “End Slavery! Stop the War!” that explores President Abraham Lincoln’s 1861 strategy to end both slavery and the Civil War.

Delaware played a key role in debating the issue which will be dramatized by Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs historical interpreters Curt Stickel and Dennis Fisher, who will take on the personas of two members of the Delaware General Assembly - one a Lincoln Republican and the other a “Copperhead” Democrat - as they argue Lincoln’s proposed legislation in the Old State House, the scene of the state’s original deliberations. Audience members are encouraged to ask questions and talk with the interpreters, who will remain in character throughout their appearances.

Programs begin at 10 and 11:30 a.m., and 1 p.m.

“End Slavery! Stop the War!” is presented in conjunction with First Saturday in the First State, a monthly series of events sponsored by the First State Heritage Park. Admission for all programs is free and open to the public. For additional information, call the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries at 302-744-5055.

Completed in 1791, The Old State House is one of the oldest state-house buildings in the United States, serving as Delaware’s capitol during the United States’ critical early years as a nation until 1933 when the General Assembly moved to larger quarters in Legislative Hall. The venerable structure’s first floor features an 18th century-style courtroom while the second floor houses the former chambers of the state Legislature.

The Old State House is administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs (HCA), an agency of the state of Delaware working in partnership with the First State Heritage Park. HCA enhances Delaware’s quality of life by preserving the state’s unique historical heritage, fostering community stability and economic vitality, and providing educational programs and assistance to the general public on Delaware history and heritage.

HCA’s diverse array of services includes administration of the state’s historic preservation office, operation of museums and a conference center and management of historic properties across Delaware.

Primary funding for HCA’s programs and services is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Park Service, a federal agency.

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The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.