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Lessons in History Presentation with Emily Lapisardi

June 4 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


"The Dangerous Mrs. Greenhow: A First-Person Portrayal" with Emily Lapisardi, June 4, 2022, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm, Education Gallery, first floor.

First-person interpreter Emily Lapisardi will portray Confederate spy and diplomat Rose Greenhow in a portrayal drawn from primary sources including Greenhow's memoirs and correspondence, bringing her vividly and realistically to life through her own words.  A native of Maryland, Rose Greenhow was a prominent antebellum society hostess in Washington, D. C.; she counted politicians such as James Buchanan, John C. Calhoun, William H. Seward, and Jefferson Davis among her friends and had familial ties to James and Dolley Madison, Stephen Douglas, John Tyler, and George Washington.  In 1861, Greenhow developed a network of Confederate agents which provided intelligence to General P. G. T. Beauregard.  She and her spy ring were credited by Jefferson Davis with ensuring the southern victory at the First Battle of Bull Run/Manassas.  Arrested by Allan Pinkerton on August 23, 1861, she and her youngest daughter were imprisoned in their home and the Old Capitol Prison for more than nine months before being released to the south in June 1862.  Although Mrs. Greenhow had proclaimed vehemently that she desired a public trial, this request was never granted because of concerns that she would reveal her high-ranking sources.  The Confederate government dispatched Rose Greenhow on a diplomatic/propaganda mission to Europe in the summer of 1863, where she published her memoirs and was granted a private audience with Napoleon III.  Rose Greenhow drowned off the coast of Wilmington, North Carolina while attempting to run the blockade following her European sojourn and was buried with full military honors by the Confederacy

The 2022 Lessons in History program is free to the public. Regular museum admission applies for entrance to the museum galleries. The National Civil War Museum will follow CDC and OSHA/HHS guidance as well as orders and recommendations from federal/state/local governments and our state and local health officials.

About the Speaker:

Emily Lapisardi is the editor of Rose Greenhow's My Imprisonment: An Annotated Edition, which debuted as the highest-ranking new release in Amazon.com's U. S. Civil War Women's History category in the spring of 2021.  She has presented first-person portrayals of historical figures in fourteen states and the District of Columbia.  Emily is currently Director of Musical Activities for the Catholic Chapel of the United States Military Academy (West Point, NY), where she directs the West Point Catholic Chapel Choir for services at the Academy and touring appearances including the nationally-televised funeral liturgies of medal of honor recipient Chaplain Emil Kapaun.  She has portrayed Civil War spy and diplomat Rose Greenhow at a range of venues including the International Spy Museum, Manassas Museum System, Manassas National Battlefield Park, the Lomas Center (Gettysburg, PA), Petersburg National Battlefield Park, the Surratt Society's annual dinner, book launch events with author Ann Blackman for her 2005 biography Wild Rose: Civil War Spy, and for numerous historical societies, reenactments, and round tables. She also serves on the board of the Society for Women and the Civil War.  Emily holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from West Virginia University (where she was named a WVU Foundation Outstanding Senior and received the university’s nomination for the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships), a Masters degree in Sacred Music from Duquesne University, and a certificate in Catholic Liturgy from the University of Notre Dame's STEP program.   As a musicologist, she received the Communal Studies Association’s research fellowship for her work on the hymnody of American communal societies.  Additionally, Emily founded the vocal music program, demonstrated sericulture, and served on the board at Old Economy Village, where she was named Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission 2006 Volunteer of the Year.


June 4
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


The National Civil War Museum