The Walter W. Craigie Speaker Series
Named in Walter’s honor and to keep his legacy and vision alive, this series brings speakers to St. John’s to talk about a wide variety of topics related to history.
St. John’s Church Foundation’s longest serving trustee, Walter W. Craigie, a former past president of the board and first trustee emeritus, died on March 3, 2016 in Richmond, Virginia.
The Foundation is extremely grateful to Walter for his years of exceptional leadership and service. Walter served for over 20 years as a trustee of the Foundation (1990 - 2010) and served for 10 of these years as the president of the Board of Trustees. As our first trustee emeritus, he continued to serve the Foundation with his significant leadership skills and depth of knowledge.
We initiated the Walter W. Craigie Speaker Series in October 2016 with Dr. Charles F. Bryan, Jr., whose talk entitled Ill Suited to the Job: America's Worst Presidents, packed the Parish Hall.
2019 Speaker Series
Warner-Booker Distinguished Professor of International Law, University of Virginia, School of Law
A. E. Dick Howard
Wednesday May 8, 2019
presenting a talk entitled
Liberty’s Quest: American Ideas Here and Abroad
When Patrick Henry spoke of “liberty or death” at the Second Virginia Convention in 1775, America stood at the threshold of the age of constitutionalism. The next year, in Williamsburg, the Virginia delegates instructed their colleagues in Philadelphia to introduce a resolution for independence. The Williamsburg convention then proceeded directly to the drafting of Virginia’s Declaration of Rights and a frame of government.
These American beginnings resonated around the world. The Virginia Declaration of Rights directly influenced France’s Declaration of Rights of Man and the Citizen (1789). In succeeding centuries, American ideas were at the heart of an international conversation about democracy, constitutionalism, and rights. Especially was this true in the decades after World War II, when America helped build a new international order.
After the collapse of communism, many predicted a global movement toward constitutionalism and democracy. After the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, Professor Howard consulted with constitution-makers in Central and Eastern Europe as drafters sought to implant liberty’s seed in those countries.
Today, the international scene gives us pause. In Hungary, Viktor Orban proclaims an “illiberal democracy.” We see the rise of nationalism, authoritarianism, and populism in many countries. These developments invite us, in the words of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, to mull the need for a “frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.”
TICKETS ARE REQUIRED.
2401 E. BROAD STREET / AT 24TH
Questions? Call 804-643-0555 or alexa AT historicstjohnschurch.org
Division Head for Physical Anthropology
Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History
Dr. Douglas Owsley
Thursday October 25, 2018
presenting a lecture entitled
Forensic and Archaeological Investigation of Civil War Military Remains
A century and a half after the end of the Civil War, the bones of Confederate and Union soldiers are still being found. This presentation will demonstrate how a forensic investigative process contributes to American military history. We will also get a chance to learn about the bones found at St. John’s Church in 2016.
TICKETS ARE REQUIRED.
2401 E. BROAD STREET / AT 24TH
President and Chief Conservator for F. Carey Howlett & Associates
Former Director of Conservation at Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
F. Carey Howlett
Wednesday May 16, 2018
SCIENCE, SECRETS AND SYMBOLISM:
THE ART AND MYSTERY OF ST. JOHN’S SOUNDING BOARD
The wooden sounding board above the pulpit at Historic St. John’s Church is one of the most important colonial artifacts in Virginia. Dating to 1741 when St. John’s was built, it is one of four surviving colonial sounding boards remaining in Virginia. The sounding board features an inlaid sunburst bearing a human face, a unique feature among colonial Virginia churches. Unfortunately, previous refinishing and layers of aged varnish altered the original appearance of the sun.
The Sounding Board Restoration project, led by Conservator Carey Howlett, was a two-year journey to discover the original appearance of the sounding board and the best way to restore it. The project brought together high-tech science, cutting-edge restoration techniques and old-fashioned detective work.
Howlett will talk about his conservation work, the discoveries he made and the secrets they reveal.
Dr. Jon Kukla
Wednesday October 4, 2017
Patrick Henry: Champion of Liberty
Please join us for Dr. Jon Kukla’s talk about his new book Patrick Henry: Champion of Liberty. Kukla’s three previous books embody his personal goal of writing first-rate historic scholarship for the general readership. Jon was the former director of Red Hill–The Patrick Henry National Memorial. His latest book brings both newly discovered documents and new insights to the story of the patriot who played a central role in the movement to independence, the Revolution, the Constitutional era, and the early Republic.
His book is an important contribution to our understanding of the nation’s founding.
Dr. John A. Ragosta
MAY 10, 2017
Patrick Henry: Forgotten Father
John A. Ragosta is a Fellow at Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Randolph College. He is the author of Religious Freedom: Jefferson's Legacy, America's Creed (2013) and Wellspring of Liberty: How Virginia's Religious Dissenters Helped Win the American Revolution and Secured Religious Liberty (2010).
Dr. Charles F. Bryan, Jr.
October 5, 2016
"ill suited for the job: america's worst presidents"
Dr. Bryan retired in 2008 after a thirty year career as a public historian. He first served as assistant editor of the Papers of Andrew Jackson, a University of Tennessee documentary editing project. Then following stints as executive director of the East Tennessee Historical Society and St. Louis Mercantile Library Association, Dr. Bryan was appointed president and chief executive officer of the Virginia Historical Society in 1988. Dr. Bryan is a frequent contributor to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.