Emilie Davis’s Civil War

with Judith Giesberg, Ph.D.

Join Civil War scholar and author Judith Giesberg, ph.D. for an illustrated talk via ZOOM about the diaries of Emilie Davis. Emilie Davis was 22 years old in 1861 when the Civil War began.  Two years later she penned the words with which we were introduced to her, ‘Today has been a memorable day,’ opening up a small window into a black community in war.  In three slim pocket-sized diaries, Emilie wrote daily entries, recounting events big and small.  A seamstress by trade, Emilie recorded her sewing work in the pages of her diary.

Learn more about African American Emilie Davis’s diaries and her life on Sunday, September 19, 2021, at 1:30 pm. Reservations are required.

Cost: $8 Member cost: $7  MAKE RESERVATIONS ONLINE

Order your own copy of Emilie Davis’s Civil War

Dr. Giesberg will raffle one copy of Emile Davis’s Civil War during her presentation.

Haunted History of Delaware

with Josh Hitchens

Join author and paranormal historian Josh Hitchens as he reads from his new book Haunted History of Delaware, focusing on First State ghost stories and legends from the Victorian era. Hear spine-tingling tales of Civil War phantoms at Fort Delaware, sinister spirits of the Rockwood Mansion, and the tragic legend of an enslaved Black man whose spectral music can still be heard echoing from Fiddler’s Bridge. A short Q&A will follow the reading, and copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing by the author.
October 22, 2022, at 7:00 p.m.
TICKET PRICE: $10.00 – Book cost will be $22.00 for purchase & signing.



Morris & Company: A Victorian Lifestyle Brand

by Concetta Martone, Ph.D.

One of the most influential figures of the nineteenth century, William Morris, was a poet, a designer, and an activist for social reform. His ideas about art and production stimulated a new way of thinking about the design and making of household objects. Morris established a successful commercial enterprise in the 1860s. His involvement in business bridged the gap between art and skilled manual work when industrial production was becoming the norm and stimulated consumption patterns by making readily available artful goods needed to create the sophisticated home look sought after by the flourishing Victorian middle class. This talk concentrates on Morris’ entrepreneurial efforts, investigating the relationship between his design/production methods, marketing strategies, and socialist ideals.

Sat., January 22, 2022, at 1:00 PM via ZOOM. Tickets are available until 11 AM on January 22

Cost: $10  Member cost: $8 TJU students: $6 Buy tickets online

Concetta Martone is an art and architectural historian and a founding principal of dMAS, an award-winning design studio in Philadelphia. She was born in Naples, Italy, where she began her studies, later moving to the United States to complete her education. Concetta holds a Ph.D. in Art History from Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University. She teaches courses in the history and theory of art and architecture at Thomas Jefferson University and Temple University. As a historian, she searches for meaning in art and architecture; as a designer, she aims to create spaces that embody and express the values, ideals, and aspirations of the people that occupy them.

“No Limit to Space”

Popular Astronomy in 19th-Century Philadelphia

with Robert Hicks, PhD

Visitors to Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion might discover a curious object in the children’s room, a large 1871 cardboard planisphere that shows the stars, a rotating disk adjustable to the appearance of the night sky at any date or time. Designed for schools and the curious public, the planisphere speaks to the widespread interest in astronomy during the mid to late 1800s. This presentation surveys what discoveries were made in astronomy during the era and how it was promoted and taught. What did people then think about intelligent life elsewhere? The size and nature of the universe? Robert Hicks explores these topics through the work of a journalist who wrote the most popular guide to astronomy in America; the first professional woman astronomer and the first American scientist to discover a comet; and a lawyer, astronomer, and Civil War general who was the pre-eminent public lecturer on astronomy in the country. The presentation concludes with a virtual 1870s public observing night with a telescope!

Robert D. Hicks, Ph.D., is the former director of the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia and a lifelong amateur astronomer whose doctoral study included the history of astronomy. As a college student, he worked at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, DC.

Saturday, March 12, 2021, at 1:00 PM  Cost: $20; Member cost: $15



“The House Beautiful” – The Aesthetic Movement and the American Home

If you missed Dr. Concetta Martone’s fascinating illustrated talk entitled “The House Beautiful” – The Aesthetic Movement and the American Home, you can now view this on Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion’s YouTube Channel