Elaine Brenchley, First State Heritage Park, 302- 739-9194 firstname.lastname@example.org
, or Necia Beck, Delaware State Parks, 302-739-9175, Necia.email@example.com
First State Heritage Park Highlights Delaware’s Heroes of the War of 1812
Photos available upon request
DOVER (May 18, 2012) – On Saturday, June 2, the First State Heritage Park’s monthly First Saturdays in the First State programs turn a spotlight on the War of 1812 and Delaware’s notable military heroes during the second, and lesser-known, conflict between the United States and Great Britain.
Perhaps the best known of Delaware’s heroes is Commodore Thomas Macdonough, who led Americans to victory in the Battle of Lake Champlain. Visitors will see two portraits of the Commodore, one at The Old State House and another in the Governor’s house at Woodburn. The china given to Macdonough to commemorate this victory is also on display at Woodburn.
The Old State House presents noted artist Thomas Sully’s painting of Jacob Jones, the hero of the Battle of the Wasp and the Frolic. Jacob Jones’ love story will be unveiled during a living history performance at the John Bell House. Visitors will learn about Jones’ Dover connections and what happened before he captained the Wasp during its victory in the War of 1812. The reenactment of a conversation between neighbors who lived on The Green in Dover will reveal how Sully’s romance was nearly thwarted and later ended in tragedy!
A portrait of Lt. Col. Samuel B. Davis is on view at Legislative Hall in the gallery of military heroes. Defender of the town of Lewes, Davis’s steadfast refusal to comply with the demands of the British ship Belvidera resulted in the bombardment of Lewes on April 6, 1813.
In keeping with the War of 1812 theme, a lecture at the Delaware Public Archives features Suzanne Thomassen-Krauss, Senior Textile Conservator of the National Museum of American History. She will talk about the history and preservation of the flag that flew over Fort McHenry and inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the national anthem during the British bombardment in the War of 1812.
Other free First Saturday activities include tours of the two capitol buildings in Delaware’s capital city –The Old State House and Legislative Hall, tours of the Governor’s residence at Woodburn and Hall House, and walking tours of The Green, Dover’s 300-year-old public square. Exhibits are also on display at the Johnson Victrola Museum, the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, and the Biggs Museum of American Art, which features its monthly “Biggs Kids” program.
Admission to all park sites and programs is free. Centrally located free parking is available at the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, located at 121 Duke of York Street. For more information about The First State Heritage Park programs, the public may call (302) 739-9194 or visit www.destateparks.com/heritagepark
FIRST SATURDAY” ACTIVITIES ON SATURDAY, JUNE 2
10 a.m., Noon and 2:30 p.m.
We Poor Devils
First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries
Visitors will enjoy guided interpretations of the current exhibition, The Civil War: Five Delaware Soldiers’ Stories that explore the experiences of five of the more than 13,000 Delawareans who fought in American’s bloodiest conflict.
10 a.m., Noon and 2 p.m.
Living History Performance: The Surprising Love Story of Jacob Jones
John Bell House on The Green
The story about what happened before Jacob Jones was a hero of the War of 1812 is presented during this living history performance. Visitors will hear a conversation between neighbors who lived on The Green in Dover, and how his romance was nearly thwarted and later ended in tragedy.
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Tours of the Governor’s House
At Woodburn – The Governor’s House
The story of Commodore Macdonough is told through his portrait and the china given to him to commemorate his naval battle in the War of 1812. Guided tours of Woodburn, the official residence of Delaware’s Governor since 1965, and Hall House, the Governor’s guesthouse, are featured.
10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Last tour leaves at 3 p.m.)
Women of The Green Walking Tour
At the John Bell House on The Green
Many women were innkeepers, political leaders and social figures throughout the history of The Green. The lives and contributions of these often-forgotten figures are the subjects of these tours.
The Star Spangled Banner Project
Delaware Public Archives
Suzanne Thomassen-Krauss, Senior Textile Conservator of the National Museum of American History, details the efforts to preserve the historic flag that flew over Fort McHenry during the British bombardment in the War of 1812.
2 – 3 p.m.
Biggs Kids – Blue Photographs
Biggs Museum of American Art
Children will learn about antique photographic processes including cyanotypes. After finding leaves or branches outside, the children will work with a special paper and sunlight to create photographic blueprints or cyanotypes. For ages 5 to 10. Reservations are required, and can be made by calling (302) 674-2111.
OTHER JUNE FIRST SATURDAY FREE ACTIVITIES FROM 9 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
The First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries
121 Duke of York Street
The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs presents two exhibits:
USS Delaware: An American Battleship. The story of the USS Delaware (1909-1924), told through objects, photographs, and ceremonial silver.
The Civil War: Five Delaware Soldiers’ Stories
This exhibit recognizes the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the American Civil War. Through the state’s collection of objects, portraits and documents, personal experiences of the brutal journey through the War of the Rebellion are revealed.
Biggs Museum of American Art
Jewels of the Generations: The Legacy of Loockerman and Bradford Family of Dover
Featuring furniture, clothing, jewelry, ceramics and silver owned by this 18th- and 19th-century Dover family.
Picturing WWI: The American Illustration Collection of the Delaware National Guard
Guided Tours of Legislative Hall-Delaware’s Capitol
The gallery of Military Heroes at Legislative Hall includes portraits of two Delawareans who made important contributions during the War of 1812. Visitors will see the portraits Lt. Col. Samuel B. Davis and Col Allen McLane and find out more about the lives and exploits of these two men. Tours of the House and Senate Chambers provide insight into the legislature and Delaware history. Photo ID is required for all adults entering the building.
Delaware’s Heroes of the War of 1812
The Old State House on The Green
A celebration of the 100th anniversary of the War of 1812 includes tours of Delaware’s historic capitol building and the portraits by noted artist Thomas Sully that hang in the House Chambers. These portraits of Jacob Jones and Thomas Macdonough represent two heroic Commodores of the War of 1812.
Celebrate Black Music Month
Johnson Victrola Museum
375 S. New Street
Some of the Victor Records Company’s earliest and most successful recording artists were African-American singers and musicians. The Johnson Victrola Museum will salute the artists who captured the hearts of music lovers all over the world. Visitors can hear their music played on authentic talking machines.
The First State Heritage Park at Dover is Delaware’s first urban “park without boundaries” linking historic and cultural sites in the city that has been the seat of state government since 1777.The park is a partnership of state agencies, under the leadership of Delaware State Parks, working in collaboration with city and county government, nonprofit organizations and the private sector.
Vol. 42, No. 190