A presentation set to sail through history

Alex Seidler, Staff Reporter

Adults in Charleston will have the opportunity to learn about the history behind a whaling boat called Charles W. Morgan in a program hosted by Charles Foy at the Charleston Carnegie Public Library noon on Wednesday.

Foy, a history professor, said the purpose behind this event is to refocus people’s understanding of history.

“I want people to get to reorient their understanding on how American history was,” Foy said. “Who we once were as a nation.”

Foy rode the Charles W. Morgan ship in the summer of 2014. This was the first time the boat had sailed since 1921.

Marita Metzke, the project coordinator, said the event would provide an educational experience aimed at adults.

Metzke is also coordinator of the Academy of Lifelong Learning, which provides educational experiences to adults that are not related to academic education.

Metzke said she hopes this event reaches many adults in the community; she said the event and organization does not offer any college credit courses. Rather, it is purely for people who want to learn more about history, politics and other subjects.

Metzke said the organization holds different events each semester, and said next semester there would be an event covering the 1855 murder on Sixth Street and Monroe Avenue in Charleston.

The murder involves a son-in-law who did not get along with his in-laws and ended up fighting with his father-in-law, resulting in two pistol shots being fired.

“We’re very rich in history and people are fascinated by it,” Metzke said. “You don’t have to know anything about it before coming.”

Metzke said she would suggest people bring pencil and paper, in case they want to take notes, and their library card, if they want to look up more about the event afterwards.

Foy said he would talk about history that will give a more honest interpretation than popular beliefs.

He said that the history includes the accurate representation of the role of Native Americans and American lifestyle in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

“I hope people come away with a greater sense of the importance of whaling and what our history tells us what America was,” Foy said.

To reserve a seat for the event, call 217-581-5114.


Alex Seidler can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]