Local Authors to Highlight Comprehensive New Charles County History Book Friday - Southern Maryland Headline News

Local Authors to Highlight Comprehensive New Charles County History Book Friday


athways to History: Charles County Maryland, 1658-2008 is a 400-page hardcover book with more than 370 illustrations and photographs depicting the history of Charles County from its earliest beginnings to present day.LA PLATA, Md. (Dec. 8, 2008)—Noted authors and historians Christine Arnold-Lourie, Julie King, Mike Sullivan, and Susan Shaffer will celebrate the release of their new book on Friday. Pathways to History: Charles County Maryland, 1658-2008 is a 400-page hardcover book with more than 370 illustrations and photographs depicting the history of Charles County from its earliest beginnings to present day.

The authors will present a panel-style lecture at 7:00 p.m. at the College of Southern Maryland (La Plata Campus), Center for Business and Industry Building, Room B1-113. They will discuss their contributions to the book, as well as discoveries and interesting facts about Charles County.

“We were very fortunate to have received so many rare photos, especially of the African-American community,” said local historian Mike Sullivan. “It would be great if people could attend the lecture, and maybe help identify some of these early Charles Countians. Who knows, they may recognize some of their living relatives or ancestors.”

The Charles County Heritage Commission was looking for ways to help observe the 350th anniversary and an opportunity presented itself to partner with the Smallwood Foundation and organize a year ending event to recognize both the anniversary and the recent publication of the commemorative book, noted Ronald Brown, president of the Charles County Heritage Commission and interim chair of CSM’s fine arts and humanities division.

“This lecture provides a chance for County residents to ask the authors questions about the County’s history, and discover new and interesting information about not only Charles County’s past but the impact of the County on our country,” said Brown.

King, a professor of archaeology and anthropology at St. Mary's College of Maryland, contributed to the book's first section. She provided insight on the County's history before the arrival of the English settlers, the colonial and Revolutionary War period.

Arnold-Lourie, a professor of history at CSM, provided information on the day-to-day lives of Charles County residents in the 1800s, the plantation society, and the impact of the Civil War.

Shaffer, a former County resident and historian, concluded the text-portion of the book with information on Charles County in the 1900s, especially the rise and fall of slots and the economic impact of the naval base on the County.

The evening's lecture will also feature presentations by Congressman Steny Hoyer, members of the Maryland Delegation, the Charles County Commissioners, and a special recognition of contributors and local archivists. The event will conclude with entertainment provided by Laura Hildebrand and Carolyn Surrick performing 18th and 19th century music along with light refreshments.

The lecture is sponsored by the Charles County Heritage Commission and the Smallwood Foundation, Inc. The Charles County Heritage Commission was created in 1982 by the Maryland Assembly to disseminate information about the history of Charles County and to promote an interest in local history. Members of the Commission include three County Commissioners’ appointees and one member each from the following organizations: African American Heritage Society, Dr. Samuel Mudd Society, Historical Society of Charles County, Society for the Restoration of Port Tobacco, Maryland Indian Heritage Society, and the College of Southern Maryland.

Pathways to History was published under the auspices of the Smallwood Foundation, Inc. The non-profit organization was formed in 1938 to restore the Charles County home of General William Smallwood, Maryland's highest ranking Revolutionary War officer. All proceeds from the sale of the book are pledged to fund research, restoration, preservation, and appreciation of Charles County's history.

Pathways to History will be available the night of the lecture and at area Border's bookstores.

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