One of our readers sent in a story from the Springfield News-Leader regarding the legacy of race, slavery, and family in Missouri. Although the story does not feature anyone from the Joplin area, the story of Moses Berry and Thulani Davis is one that undoubtedly echoes the lives of some of Joplin’s residents. Unsurprisingly, African American history in Jasper County, Missouri, has long been overlooked by local and academic authors. With the exception of White Man’s Heaven, by Kimberly Harper, which recounts the 1903 lynching of Thomas Gilyard in Joplin and Lori Bogle’s Missouri Historical Review article, “Desegregation in a Border State: The Example of Joplin, Missouri,” little has been published. What stories are waiting to be uncovered in Joplin?
We previously mentioned the impending opening of the traveling Lee – Grant Exhibit, but wanted to bring to attention some coverage of it by the Joplin Globe. The article includes a nice list of events happening in relation to the exhibit such as lectures, and reminds us, the exhibit is only around until the 20th of this month! Also touched upon is Amanda Shurlds, the wife of General Grant’s brother-in-law. With the impending 150th anniversary of the Civil War about to begin next year, now is the time to refresh yourself with the generals who helped brought about the war’s end.
The much talked about Lee & Grant traveling exhibit will be opening September 1st at the Powers Museum in Carthage. The exhibit features,”a major reassessment of the lives, careers, and historical impact of Civil War generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant.” Furthermore, the exhibit, “encourages audiences to move beyond the traditional mythology of both men and rediscover them within the context of their own time — based on their own words and those of their contemporaries.” To do this, the exhibit uses a great variety of items, such as photographs, paintings, accouterments, coins, prints, and reproduction clothing. Also used are documents written by each of the famous generals.
Unknown to many, Julia Grant, Ulysses’ wife, had relatives who lived in Carthage, which created a connection to the Jasper County city and the Grants. Lee also has a connection to Missouri, where while in service with the Corps of Engineers, he helped to prevent the Mississippi from flowing away from the bustling city of St. Louis.
For a sneak peak of the exhibit, check out this link on the exhibit from the National Endowment For the Humanities.
Of course, available all year round is the Powers Museum, a great place for local history.