More val­ued Charles County his­tory

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

The per­for­mance of, “An Evening with John Wilkes Booth & Friends of Rich Hill”, was held Fri­day, Feb. 3, at the old Port Tobacco Court­house and it was fan­tas­tic. I am look­ing for­ward to the next in­stall­ment, “An Evening with the Con­spir­a­tors: A Con­ver­sa­tion with Ge­orge Atze­rodt & Mary Sur­ratt,” of the series on Fri­day, April 7, at the same venue. More will be re­vealed about Rich Hill’s im­pact on April 23 at the Rich Hill House off Bel Alton-New­town Road.

It was the sec­ond of a four-part series, pay­ing homage to our ex­ten­sive Charles County Civil War his­tory. Again, it was a stand­ing-room-only event and re­ceived well by all that could at­tend. Due to a max­i­mum oc­cu­pancy code, the doors were closed be­fore the per­for­mance be­gan and fel­low pa­trons were sadly turned away.

Af­ter John Wilkes Booth as­sas­si­nated Pres­i­dent Lin­coln, his path of es­cape was through South­ern Mary­land. He crossed the Po­tomac River from Charles County’s Pope’s Creek area and into Vir­ginia, where he died soon af­ter in a barn fire. David Tay­lor gave a riv­et­ing per­for­mance of the in­jured Booth, while Booth was hid­ing in some pine thick­ets near The Rich Hill House. The per­for­mance was given from an in­tense south­erner’s view, but af­ter the pre­sen­ta­tion Tay­lor an­nounced that the pres­i­dent’s as­sas­si­na­tion was not ac­cept­able then and is not now.

The event is co-spon­sored by the non­profit, So­ci­ety for the Restora­tion of Port Tobacco. The restora­tion ex­penses are paid for by mod­est mem­ber­ship and do­na­tion fees.

Jim McDon­ald, Port Tobacco

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