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Presidents' Tea offers glimpse of 19th century social life

Friday, February 15, 2013

(Photo)
Organizer Connie Grisier helps direct actors as they rehearse Tuesday, Feb. 12, for the Presidents' Tea, which will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at Windmill Gallery, 467 S. Odell Ave., in Marshall. The event is a fundraiser for the Battle of Marshall 150th Anniversary Commemoration. Above, from left, actors Jacob Hatfield, Connie Cunningham, Chris Nelson, Courtney Holland, Max Betz, Hannah Hatfield, Abigail Hatfield and Gabriella Hatfield rehearse their roles. The opening scene of the tableaux, "The Sons of Liberty Rise to the Defense of the Nation," is peaceful enough. See the photo below for a more dramatic turn of events.
(Eric Crump/Democrat-News) [Order this photo]
They didn't have texting.
They didn't have Facebook.
They didn't even have TV.

(Photo)
Connie Cunningham, left, portrays a grieving widow as her husband, portrayed by Chris Nelson, lies dead before her. In the background, Gerald Cunningham portrays the nefarious bushwhacker who gunned Nelson down and Abigail Hatfield, right, portrays one of the Virtues. The scene is from "The Sons of Liberty Rise to the Defense of the Nation," a tableaux that will comprise the entertainment at the Presidents' Tea starting at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, in Windmill Gallery, 467 S. Odell Ave., in Marshall. Tickets for the event are $10 and although seating is limited, a few tickets are expected to be available at the door, according to organizers.
(Eric Crump/Democrat-News)
So one of the things folks in the mid-19th century did for entertainment was have tea, a tradition inherited from England and a favorite social event of the day.

In the interest of bringing alive that time in Saline County's history, the Battle of Marshall 150th Anniversary Commemoration committee will hold the Presidents' High Tea at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at Windmill Gallery, 467 S. Odell Ave. in Marshall, according to a news release from Marshall Cultural Council.

Organizer Connie Grisier said people should not be daunted by the term "high tea." The Victorian period high tea refers to the menu rather than the level of formality. High teas traditional included more substantial food than afternoon teas.

"It's not meant to be a formal tea," she said. "It's February. We want people attending to be comfortable."

The menu for the event will include a course of savory selections -- mainly small sandwiches -- followed by a course of sweet pastries and other treats.

A brief history of tea traditions and etiquette will be presented, and there will be period entertainment, too.

"The Sons of Liberty Rise to the Defense of the Nation" is a series of five tableaux vivants (or "living pictures") accompanied by a narrator and music. In a tableaux, actors strike poses but do not move or speak. The narrator tells their story.

The event is co-sponsored by Marshall Cultural Council and three area Daughters of the American Revolution chapters -- Marshall, Arrow Rock and Patsy Gregg.

The event is a fundraiser for the Battle of Marshall project. Seating is limited. Tickets are $10 each and are available at Square Corner on the east side of the Marshall square, Windmill Gallery and the Marshall Democrat-News office, 121 N. Lafayette Ave.

All proceeds benefit the Battle of Marshall 150th Anniversary Commemoration fund. Marshall Cultural Council, the primary sponsor, is coordinating a year-long series of events designed to educate the community about life in 1860s Marshall and Saline County.

(Photo)
MCC is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization.

Online:
www.battleofmarshall.org



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