Female Reenactors of Distinction

South Carolina African American Heritage Commission

Civil War Reenactments

The focus on African American women

Ken Pauli
March 13, 2018 - 4:00 am

There are scores of untold stories about African American Women during the Civil War.  Now, FREED, Female Reenactors of Distinction, an auxiliary organization of the African American Civil War Museum in Washington, D.C., will be holding performances this week across South Carolina, thanks to the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission.  

They’re being staged as part of National Women’s History Month and will highlight six distinctive characters of the period.

  • Rebecca Lee Davis Crumpler (1831 – 1895,) the first African American Doctress of Medicine. A physician in Freedmen’s Camps, Dr. Crumpler cared for slaves freed during the Civil War, and she published a book about women’s health, and prenatal care.
  • Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield (1824 – 1876,) dubbed the Black Swan, this freed slave learned the art of classical singing. Greenfield became very popular in Great Britain and, in 1854, she sang for Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace.
  • Hallie Quinn Brown (1850–1949,) an abolitionist and powerful orator for the causes of temperance and women’s suffrage, her work as an activist in the Civil War era gave voice to the many social ills of the time. She was also an educator who served as Dean of Allen University in Columbia as well as and Dean of Women at Tuskegee Institute. Brown was even presented to Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle as a guest and notable elocutionist.
  • Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825 – 1911,) an African-American abolitionist who played an important role in helping slaves escape through the Underground Railroad. Harper wrote frequently for anti-slavery newspapers, earning her a reputation as the mother of African American journalism.
  • Harriet Jacobs (1813-1897,) author of Incident in the Life of A Slave Girl, which was written in 1861. The publication is among the most important slave narratives written by an African-American woman. The book details her abuse, escape, and extreme sacrifice to ensure her children’s safety. After the war, Jacobs joined the American Equal Rights Association and promoted education for freedmen.

The closest performance to us here in the Upstate is at Clemson.  Here are the details on all the performances around the state:

  • Clemson — 6PM, Thursday, March 15, at the Watt Auditorium at Clemson University, 405 S. Palmetto Blvd.
  • Columbia — 10:30AM, Friday, March 16, at the South Carolina Archives and History Center, 8301 Parklane Road.
  • Rock Hill — 10AM, Saturday, March 17, at the Union Baptist Church Life Center, 1195 Hands Mill Highway. 
  • Hartsville — 3PM, Sunday, March 18, at Center Theater, 212 North 5th Street



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