Mary Lincoln High Tea

Mary Lincoln High Tea

October 19, 2013 at 2 and 7 p.m.

JoAnn Peterson of Kingwood, a presenter with the West Virginia Humanities Council History Alive! program, will be portraying Mary Lincoln on October 19 at 2 and 7 p.m. The first-person presentation is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Hancock County Museum. Abraham Lincoln is undoubtedly the most revered President in American history, but the woman he loved, the center of his life, his wife, Mary Lincoln, has remained a historical enigma. The woman, who was the first presidential wife to be called “First Lady” in the press, was one of the most tragic and misrepresented 19th Century figures.

Mary Lincoln and her story symbolize the pain and loss of Civil War America, and are inextricably tied with the story of her husband’s presidency, yet her life was an extraordinary chronicle of its own. Born into a politically active slave owning family, she was her husband’s political adviser and encourager. Without Mary, Abraham Lincoln may never have become President. Mary’s story is one of enduring love, compassion, and a family divided by war. Mary was falsely accused of being a spy in the White House and was criticized and vilified in the press. In this portrayal, you will see Abraham Lincoln through the eyes of the woman who loved him throughout the tragedies that befell her family and the nation and gain a different perspective on his much maligned wife.

The West Virginia Humanities Council created the History Alive! program as a means of exploring history by interacting directly with noteworthy historical characters. Each History Alive! presenter has conducted scholarly research on her character.

In addition to presenting Mrs. Lincoln, JoAnn also portrays Jenny Lind, the Swedish Nightingale and Margaret “The Unsinkable Molly” Brown. JoAnn both acts and sings professionally, writes and directs murder mystery plays, is the owner of Mountaineer Country Tours, serves as Executive Director of the Preston Community Arts Center, and was recently filmed by WV PBS in a WV Sesquicentennial documentary as Julia Pierpont.

                                                                                                         Beverly Conley Photographer

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