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Lectures and Webinars

Throughout the year engaging lectures are presented at the Museum pertaining to local history topics. Museum members receive advance notification of scheduled talks and all program information is available on this website and on our Facebook page.

COVID Notice:
Non-vaccinated museum visitors, including children under the age of 12, should follow the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines on masking and social distancing when attending our programs. We request all visitors to mask when children are in attendance.


These programs are made possible in 2021 through funding from Virginia Humanities and the M. Meade Palmer Memorial Fund of the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation.

Upcoming Webinars & Lectures

Juvenile Injustice in the New South
Thursday, June 2, 6:00 PM

Catherine Jones, Associate Professor of History at the University of California, will discuss some of her recent research into the lives of African American Women during the Reconstruction Era, through the lens of the Virginia Judicial system. Mary Booth was fourteen years old when a Virginia court sentenced her to death for murdering Clara Gray, the wife of her employer, and Travis Jones, a farm manager, in 1882. Thirty years later, Virginia Christian, also a young African American woman employed in domestic service, was convicted of murdering her white employer, Ida Belote. Appeals from family members, jurors, and community leaders convinced the governor to commute Booth’s sentence to life in prison. Similar pleas on behalf of Christian, however, failed. Despite having recently passed a new juvenile justice law and in defiance of protests by national civil rights organizations, Virginia electrocuted seventeen-year-old Christian on August 16, 1912. This talk explores why Booth was ultimately spared execution while Christian was not, despite the state’s embrace of juvenile justice reform in the interim between their two cases.

Inside the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center
Thursday, May 19, 5:00 PM

Ever wonder what is happening in that mysterious building on Mount Pony? Join Gregory Lukow, Chief of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center located at the Packard Campus here in Culpeper, to learn about the institution’s mission and rich history!

Tracy Lawson Book Talk

Saturday, April 9th, 2:00-3:00 PM

Join us at the Museum of Culpeper History where Tracy Lawson will discuss her new book, Answering Liberty’s Call: Anna Stone’s Daring Ride to Valley Forge. Based on the life of her ancestor, Anna Ashbury Stone, a resident of Fauquier in the late 18th century. Legend has it, Anna rode to Valley Forge whilst carrying a message from George Washington. Lawson uses her family history to spark her entertaining telling of a brave female figure set in the Revolutionary War.

To register, please follow this link:

Past Webinars

DinoTalk: Women Who Dig

Thursday, September 15, 2021 5:00-6:00 PM

Join the museum for a virtual panel discussion of the contributions of women in the field of paleontology. Panelists include Beth Stricker, former Director of Exhibitions at the Paleontological Research Institution; Elizabeth Hermsen, Research Scientist at the Paleontological Research Institution; Michelle Stocker, Assistant Professor of Geobiology at Virginia Tech; and Alana McGillis, co-author of the children’s book Daring to Dig: Adventures of Women in American Paleontology.

Africulture: The Influence of African Agricultural Traditions and Foodways in Virginia

Thursday, February 10, 2022 5:00-6:00 PM

Agricultural consultant and agronomist Michael Carter Jr., will discuss the concept of Africulture, “which is a myriad of principles, practices, plants and people of African descent that have contributed to agriculture from antiquity to the present day.”
Settling the Piedmont
Thursday, February 24, 5:00 PM
Dr. Eric Jones will speak to us about his research into indigenous settlements in the Piedmont region, bringing to light information about some of the Siouan groups that once inhabited a broader scope of the Virginia Piedmont.
Dr. Eric Jones currently teaches at the University of South Carolina in the Anthropology department. Jones’ main area of focus concerns settlement patterns.

Witchcraft in Colonial Virginia: Live Webinar
Tuesday, October 19, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
FREE on Facebook Live

On October 19th, we will be joined virtually by Carson Hudson, military and social historian, who will guide us through the history of witchcraft in colonial Virginia! We’ve all heard about the Salem Witch Trials, but what about the women accused of witchcraft in Virginia? Go into Halloween with your eyes wide open to the real history of witches! Mr. Hudson will use primary source material and the history of witchcraft to unravel the truth behind witch trials in Virginia. This program is not available for streaming.

Past Lectures

Fire When Ready!: An Introduction to Historical Wargaming
Saturday, July 24, 2021 10:00 AM
Free with Museum Admission

Children of all ages stage homemade battles with toy soldiers. Generals and world leaders plan strategies with simulated conflicts using computers. Both are examples of wargaming, a hobby that attracts “armchair generals” of all ages around the world. Game designer Peter Schweighofer presents an introduction to the history of historical wargaming and how wargames are a useful tool for exploring historic events, followed by a simple Civil War game demonstration. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Culpeper Strategy Gaming: Kelly’s Ford 1863
March 19, 2:00 PM

“I wish you would put up your sword, leave my state, and go home. You ride a good horse, I ride better. If you won’t go home, return my visit, and bring me a sack of coffee.”

– General Fitzhugh Lee to West Point classmate General William Averell

Play out the Battle of Kelly’s Ford, March 17, 1863, on a digital tabletop battlefield hosted online through Zoom. After a brief discussion of the historical engagement – in which General Fitzhugh Lee’s Virginia mounted regiments repulsed a Union cavalry incursion into Culpeper County – game designer Peter Schweighofer will teach basic rules so participants can maneuver Confederate forces as they seek to stop the Union cavalry advance across the Rappahannock River. Suitable for wargaming newcomers, kids, and experienced gamers. Participants should have some scrap paper, a pencil or pen, and a six-sided die at hand. Advance registration recommended to ensure a game table spot. Sack of coffee not required. This will be a virtual online program using the Zoom meetings platform; to attend, follow the link

The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia

Thursday, January 20, 2022 5:00-6:00 PM

Historian Alan Shaw Taylor will share research from his book The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, which examines escapes by enslaved people from Virginia to British warships operating in Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812, their resettlement as free people in Nova Scotia and Trinidad, and the consequences of this story. Dr. Taylor is a professor of history at the University of Virginia, where he holds the history department’s Thomas Jefferson Foundation Chair in American History. His published work has been twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize in American History. He received the prize in 2014 for The Internal Enemy.

Culpeper Strategy Gaming: Trenton 1776
Saturday, February 5, 2022 2:00 PM

“I should not be afraid of an attack from Washington’s Army, which is almost naked and does not exceed 8,000 men.”– British Major General James Grant

 Fight the Battle of Trenton, Dec, 26, 1776, on a tabletop battlefield hosted through Zoom. Game designer Peter Schweighofer will briefly discuss the battle – in which General Washington fielded several Virginia regiments – then teach basic rules so participants can maneuver Patriot and Hessian units in the fight for Trenton. Suitable for wargaming newcomers, kids, and experienced gamers. Participants should have some scrap paper, a pencil or pen, and a six-sided die at hand. Advance registration recommended to ensure a game table spot. For more information or to register, visit the museum’s website at or call 540-829-1749.

You must register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

,Historic Wargaming Club
Saturday, August 7 2021
10:00 AM

Explore the wargaming hobby at the museum. Game designer Peter Schweighofer will teach and referee a simple tabletop wargame where participants will command Civil War ironclads. Open to all ages. Free with admission; advance registration recommended to ensure a game table spot. To regsiter, visit our Eventbrite page. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Reconstruction Era: African American Communites and the Freedman’s Village

Date: Thursday, March 17th at 5 pm

Dr. Lindsey Bestebreurtje will discuss her research into African American communities post Civil War, engaging her research into the Freedman’s Village. A community for freed slaves, created by the Federal Government in Arlington, Va during the Civil War. Learn how the seemingly progressive tactics of the Federal Government are interpreted from a modern point of view. 

The Truth Behind the Music

Date: Wednesday, March 30th at 5 pm

FREE live on Facebook

Most people would agree that the American Civil War produced a vast quantity of popular music that remains in use to this day. What is often overlooked is that what we call “popular” was in fact not popular with all people at that time. This presentation will look at examples of Civil War music to show how many songs were successful with certain audiences but met with hostility and rejection from other groups. For example, today “Battle Hymn of the Republic” is seen as exemplifying Northern patriotism even though Union soldiers preferred “John Brown’s Body.” “Dixie” eventually became the unofficial anthem of the Confederacy, but it was scorned by many elite Southerners. Songs such as “Kingdom Coming” may have promoted abolition but had little appeal to the enslaved population. When you separate the audience by class, race, gender, or military service, it becomes clear that popular music of the Civil War reflected and sustained the social and political divisions that had led to war.

Contact Us

Museum of Culpeper History
113 S. Commerce Street
Culpeper, VA 22701

Phone: (540) 829-1749


10am – 4pm
CLOSED: Thanksgiving Day, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day



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