Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A Week Long Celebration of North Carolina's First Governor

Next week a number of organizations in the city of Kinston will embark on a week long celebration of the state's first governor, Richard Caswell. Keep in mind that Caswell was the first governor of the "state" so not including the colonial years. The schedule looks something like this:

Throughout the celebration, all events are free of charge and open to the public
SUNDAY - August 12
3 p.m. Caswell Memorial Service and Masonic Bible Presentation at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 800 Roundtree Street.

5 p.m. Wreath Laying Ceremony Followed by Military Salute to Caswell at the Caswell Monument, 130 S. Queen Street.

MONDAY - August 13
7 p.m. Governor and Mrs. Caswell Reception/Release of Caswell Biography at Community Council for the Arts, 400 N. Queen Street. The new book, The First of Patriots and the Best of Men, was written by Clayton Brown Alexander and edited by Dr. W. Keats Sparrow. It is being offered with the support of the Lenoir County Colonial Commission.

TUESDAY - August 14
7 p.m. Kinston Lenoir Community Chorale Patriotic Tribute Followed by Lecture on the “Black Experience in Revolutionary North Carolina” at the Performing Arts Center, 2601 N. Queen Street.

WEDNESDAY - August 15
5 p.m. Caswell Essay Awards Presentation and Social at Harmony Hall in the 100 block of East King Street.

THURSDAY - August 16
Museum Row Day: "Richard Caswell" will visit at several museum sites between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. along Kinston’s historic King, Queen and Herritage streets.

7 p.m. Kinston Indians Baseball: “Caswell” joins us to throw out the first pitch and enjoy a modern Carolina League game between Kinston and Salem at historic Grainger Stadium, 400 E. Vernon Avenue.

FRIDAY - August 17
8:45 a.m. Caswell Descendants’ Wreath Laying Ceremony at Caswell Family Cemetery at Gov. Caswell State Historic Site, 2612 W. Vernon Avenue.

9:25 a.m. Re-enactment of Caswell’s Masonic Burial Ceremonies by The Grand Lodge of NC Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Caswell Family Cemetery, 2612 W. Vernon Avenue.

11 a.m. Re-opening of the Caswell Memorial Museum, 2612 W. Vernon Avenue.

6 p.m. Richard Caswell Lecture by Dr. Keats Sparrow, Small Auditorium at Lenoir Community College, intersection of Highway 70 East and Highway 58.

SATURDAY - August 18
10:30 a.m Daughters of the American Revolution, Sons of the American Revolution, and the Colonial Dames Wreath Laying Ceremony, Caswell State Historic Site, 2612 W. Vernon Avenue.

7 p.m. National Guard Band Concert, Grainger Hill Performing Arts Center, 300 Park Avenue.

SATURDAY and SUNDAY - August 18 & 19
10 a.m.-4 p.m. Living Histories at Gov. Caswell State Historic Site, 2612 W. Vernon Avenue.

As you can easily see, it is going to be a full week. Some of this stuff is, in my humble opinion, very hokie and should never have been allowed to occur. The happenings at the State Historic Site will be top-notch for sure. Our staff has worked hard to ensure that. Inasmuch as I will be a participant, it will be in the capacity of doing living history on the weekend at the site. For those who are not familiar with Kinston, what they are referring to in the schedule as the "Governor Caswell State Historic Site" is the CSS Neuse State Historic Site and Governor Richard Caswell Memorial. They've done what they can to highlight Caswell (and rightfully so), but have had to downplay the fact that the CSS Neuse also resides at the same site. Anyway, our unit doesn't do a whole lot of RevWar so this will be an exciting event for us. If you're looking for something to do that next weekend come on over to Kinston and check it out!

BTW, also in honor of Richard Caswell week, the new header on the blog. A miscellaneous Rev War naval scene. Thanks to Chris Grimes for sending the image.

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