‘New Look at Patrick Henry’ topic for Oct. 24 lecture

Jon Kukla, author and Richmond historian, will talk about his new book, “Patrick Henry, Champion of Liberty,” on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. at Christ Lutheran Church, corner of Grandin and Brandon avenues, Roanoke. His appearance is part of the Kegley Lecture Series. A November talk will feature a leader of the Monacan Indian Tribe.

Kukla has served as director of historical research and publishing at the Library of Virginia, curator and then director of the Historic New Orleans Collection, and as director of Red Hill, The Patrick Henry National Memorial in Charlotte County. He also is the author of “A Wilderness So Immense: The Louisiana Purchase and the Destiny of America” and “Mr. Jefferson’s Women.”

The book shows that Henry is much more than the speech line: “Give me liberty or give me death.” He was a leading patriot of the Revolutionary era, Virginia’s first governor after independence, a powerful voice in the early republic, and a great orator and statesman who played such a crucial role in shaping the course of Revolutionary Virginia’s history.

Kukla’s book on Patrick Henry “restores Patrick Henry to the front rank of American Revolutionary” patriots, according to reviews, which place Henry, a contemporary of Washington, along with John and Samuel Adams as a leaders of the colonial resistance to Great Britain that ultimately created the United States.

Monacan Indians

On Nov. 28, Victoria Ferguson, who heads up the Indian life demonstrations at Natural Bridge, will discuss some of the current issues of Native Americans. Ferguson is manager of the Monacan Indian Wolf Creek exhibit.  There was no Indian settlement at Natural Bridge. The exhibit is based on the Buzzard Rock Native America site at what is Jamison Avenue and 13th Street in southeast Roanoke.

Roanoke County Communities Explored

In February, currently scheduled for Feb. 27, author Nelson Harris, who has published numerous books on the Roanoke region, will discuss his new book about Bent Mountain and Poages Mill, Cave Spring and Starkey areas in Roanoke County. The book includes vintage images of businesses, churches, stores, farms, civic events, schools, orchards and rural life.  Harris is the pastor at Heights Community Church in Grandin Village, a former Roanoke City mayor and a past president of the Historical Society of Western Virginia.

All lectures begin at 7 p.m. at Christ Lutheran. Admission is free for members of the Historical Society and $5 for non-members. Light refreshments are served.


Board Member, Historical Society of Western Virginia Graduate: Hollins University, BA and MALS in English; Virginia Western Community College, AA in Business Administration Profession: Writer, editor