Upcoming Events

Sunday, August 21

Dr. Chris E. Fonvielle Jr., Professor Emeritus in the Dept. of History at UNC Wilmington, in the fifth in the series of history-themed tours for Wilmington Water Tours from 10:00 to noon. Dr. Fonvielle will discuss the Civil War in the Lower Cape Fear when Wilmington played a more important role in our nation’s history than at any other time. In 1860 Wilmington was North Carolina’s most active seaport and populated city. By 1863 Wilmington was the Confederacy’s major seaport for the blockade running trade and known as the “Lifeline of the Confederacy.” By late 1864 Wilmington was the most significant city in the Confederacy. “If Wilmington falls,” cautioned General Robert E. Lee, “I cannot maintain my army.” Dr. Fonvielle will also tell fascinating stories of Cape Fearians during the troublesome time like the great escape of William B. Gould and other enslaved Blacks during the horrific yellow fever epidemic in 1862; the successful blockade running Captain Michael Usina and his renowned dog Tinker; and the tragic death by drowning of the famous Confederate spy Rose O’Neale Greenhow off the blockade-runner Condor near Fort Fisher in 1864. “A splendid time is guaranteed for all.”

 

Wilmington Water Tours:

https://wilmingtonwatertours.net/

(910) 338-3134

Sunday, September18

Join Dr. Chris E. Fonvielle Jr., Professor Emeritus in the Dept. of History at UNCWilmington, for the sixth in a series of local history-themed tours for Wilmington Water Tours from 10:00 to noon, Sunday, September 18. Dr. Fonvielle will discuss issues
that affected Cape Fearians in the post-Civil War years and to the end of the nineteenth century. Wilmington experienced turmoil as a result of the U.S. Army occupation and unexpected arrival of thousands of released Union prisoners-of-war
and homeless refugees. As conditions deteriorated, citizens and displaced persons alike suffered. African Americans, however, relocated to Wilmington in droves as they came to see the city as a Mecca for economic and political opportunities. But
growing racial tensions led to confrontations and eventually the Riot of 1898, which uprooted the Black community and dramatically affected race relations to this day.
Wilmington maintained its status as North Carolina’s most populated city and busiest seaport in the second half of the nineteenth century. Maritime businesses
grew as shippers and merchants exploited the cotton trade with Europe that had been so vital to the Confederate war effort. Dr. Fonvielle will also share human interest stories from the time period. A young German immigrant named William
Ellerbrock tragically died with his best friend, a dog named Boss, by his side in a terrible fire in downtown Wilmington in 1880. Folks who lived a rural community called Maco near Wilmington began seeing a mysterious and an inexplicable
glowing orb that moved up and down the railroad tracks and became known as the Maco Light. More stories and more fun. “A splendid time is guaranteed for all.”

 

Wilmington Water Tours:

https://wilmingtonwatertours.net/
(910) 338-3134

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Contact Chris for inquiries and bookings.