June Festival: COURAGE (June 18, 19, 20, 21)

Out-fox the British with FRANCIS MARION, the elusive “Swamp Fox.”

Join HARRIET TUBMAN on the Combahee River Raid to free the slaves.

Fight for a woman’s right to vote with ALICE PAUL.

Stand with WINSTON CHURCHILL – and “never, never, never give up!”

Meet courageous people – hear their stories – ask them how they survived. You’ll laugh – you’ll cry – you’ll have lots of questions. And they’ll be answered. Bring your stories. Share your experiences. Get inspired. Because it’s not just history – it’s personal.

All Spartanburg performances will be held at the Headquarters Library in the Barrett Room, . Free parking is available in the lot behind the library. | MAP

All performances are free and open to the public.

Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox | portrayed by Ken Johnston

Monday June 18 at 7pm – Headquarters Library, Spartanburg, FREE

Music by Pamela and Fred Stoll

Join the crafty and elusive, Francis Marion as he outwits the British in the American Revolution. Marion’s devastating guerilla warfare that earned him the title of “Swamp Fox.” Although virtually in a sea of enemies, Marion and militia leaders Thomas Sumter and Andrew Pickens kept resistance alive in South Carolina until the Continental Army could recapture the region.

Meet the Man behind the Myth, the unquestioned leader of, as Dr. Walter Edger pointed out, “a ragged band of both black and white volunteers” who just kept fighting until the Revolution was won.


Alice Paul, Iron-Jawed Angel | Portrayed by Leslie Goddard

Tuesday June 19 at 7pm – Headquarters Library, Spartanburg, FREE

Music by Wendi Arms and Mildred Roche

How did a nice young Quaker woman with BA from Swarthmore and an MA & PhD from U Penn, end up being force-fed in a city jail and confined to a prison psychiatric ward? As the psychiatrist who examined her said: “Courage in women is often mistaken for Insanity.”

Alice Paul and her “Silent Sentinels” were beaten, jailed and force-fed on their crusade to obtain the right to vote for American women. Their charge for arrest: blocking traffic. In 1923 she proposed an Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. She fought for it until her death in 1977. A revised version was passed by Congress in 1974, but has yet to be ratified.


Winston Churchill, British Bulldog | Portrayed by Larry Bounds

Wednesday June 20  at 7pm – Headquarters Library, Spartanburg, FREE

Music by Fayssoux McLean and Randy Foster

How did Winston Churchill rise above the personal tragedies and frustrations of his own life to rally the people of his beloved English-speaking world – when defeat seemed inescapable – to deny the oppression of Totalitarianism?

“We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”


Harriet Tubman, “General,” Scout and Spy | Portrayed by Becky Stone

Thursday June 21 at 7pm – Headquarters Library, Spartanburg, FREE

Music by: Monalisa Smith and Winona Baker

Harriet Tubman is best known for escaping slavery and helping others to do the same along the famed Underground Railroad. But no single act in Tubman’s life would free more people than the Combahee River Raid, right here in South Carolina.

What kind of courage does it take for a fugitive slave to return to the South to serve the Union army without pay – nurse the wounded – sneak into Confederate South Carolina to spy and recruit slaves – and ultimately lead soldiers with Col James Montgomery to raid rice plantations along the Combahee River in South Carolina freeing 700 or more slaves?


Spartanburg Chautauqua programs are generously sponsored by the Spartanburg County Public Libraries. They have sponsored Spartanburg Chautauqua History Alive performances at the Headquarters Library since 2011.