Natural State Chautauqua in Smackover Highlights Civil War Sesquicentennial

Zoie Clift


Chautauquas are local assemblies that flourished in the U.S.
in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They provided education combined
with entertainment in the form of lectures, concerts, and plays and were
modeled after activities at the Chautauqua Institution of western New York.
The annual Natural State Chautauqua at the Arkansas Museum of Natural
Resources in Smackover is a chance to step back into the past with performances
by living history characters who bring history to life. In observance of the
Civil War Sesquicentennial, this year the Natural State Chautauqua will focus
on the years and events leading up to the Civil War.
The Impeding
Crisis-Natural State Chautauqua is June 2-4. Each night a different character
presents a first person interpretation of the life of an influential person
during these years of expansion and disunion from 1820-1860. A question and
answer session with speakers, both in and out of character, allows
participants the opportunity to get answers from those that were
Thursday night
South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun will discuss state’s rights and the
“impending crisis” unfolding in the early 1850s. Friday night
abolitionist Harriett Tubman will discuss the Underground Railroad and her
life. Saturday night President Abraham Lincoln will discuss the division of the
nation in the years prior to the Civil War. All performances are free to enjoy.
For more details visit or call 870-725-2877.

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