2019 Summer Teacher Institute at Stratford Hall

Realism, Reaction, and Possibility: Reconstruction in Virginia 1865 – 1885.

July 24 – 27, 2019

Stratford Hall, Virginia

The Stratford Hall Summer Teacher Institute is an annual residential opportunity for educators located on the grounds of Stratford Hall in Westmoreland County, Virginia. This year’s Summer Teacher Institute is titled: Realism, Reaction, and Possibility: Reconstruction in Virginia 1865 – 1885.

Overview of 2019 Stratford Hall Summer Teacher Institute

The 2019 Institute Realism, Reaction, and Possibility: Reconstruction in Virginia 1865 – 1885 will explore the turbulent times following the Civil War and Lincoln’s assassination.

The South lay in waste and was fueled with bitterness towards the victorious North. Reconstruction began even as the Civil War was still being fought. The United States government, including President Lincoln, had defined no explicit and coherent plan for the postwar South. Lincoln’s assassination and Andrew Johnson’s rise to the presidency threw things into even greater uncertainty. Johnson, who had defended the Union as a United States Senator and wartime Governor of Tennessee and who was elected Vice President with Lincoln in 1864 at the head of the Union Party, proved surprisingly lenient with white Southerners and unsympathetic to the people who had been held in slavery. Johnson hoped to create a national party devoted to the Union and sought the support of the former leaders of the South. He was unconcerned about sacrificing black Southerners’ interests in the process.

In 1865 the ingredients for Southern societal uncertainty included: a humbling and humiliating defeat, persistent racism, lack of economic possibilities, and the absence of continuity of political purpose from the victorious Republican Party.

The Institute seeks to offer educators opportunities to learn from the best scholars on this important and relevant time period in our history.

Registration & information

To apply:

The Institute is open to all public and private certificate-holding school teachers K-12. Past Institute attendees are allowed to apply.

Download and print the 2019 Summer Teacher Institute Application. Compose a 400-1000 word essay on this year’s topic: Realism, Reaction, and Possibility: Reconstruction in Virginia 1865 – 1885.

Candidates may apply any time after February 1, 2019.

To apply, email the application to Jon Bachman, Public Events Manager, jbachman@stratfordhall.org, or mail the application to Stratford Hall: 483 Great House Road, Stratford, VA 22558.


Participants are responsible for the costs of transportation to and from Stratford and three evening meals. All other Institute costs (full tuition, housing and most meals) are covered by fellowship funding sources.

Lecture Topics

July 24 –Dr. Ed Ayres, Keynote: from Appomattox to the Fifteenth Amendment

July 24 – Social for Institute attendees, faculty, and Stratford Hall staff

July 25 – Emmanuel Dabney, the Freedmen’s Bureau in Virginia

July 25Arlisha Norwood, “Time Too Sad” African American Women in post-Civil War Virginia.

July 25 – tours of Stratford Hall, the Payne Cabin, and Reconstructed Slave quarters

July 25 – All Faculty Discussion: How did Black Virginians begin reconstructing their own lives?

July 26 – Dr. John d`Entremont, Virginia’s Second Reconstruction: the Re-adjusters, 1879-1885.”

July 26 – Dr. Kelley Fanto Deetz, Stratford’s Enslaved Community

July 26 – All Faculty Discussion: The political landscape of the New South 1865-1885 and/or the invention of segregation

July 27 – Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson, African American Foodways and Gender in the Chesapeake

July 27 – Dr. John L. Johnson, Understanding and Teaching “Slavery”: What do we have to learn?

Institute Faculty

Dr. Ed Ayres, Keynote speaker.  

Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities and president emeritus at the University of Richmond

 Dr. Kelley Fanto Deetz

Director of Programming, Education and Visitor Engagement at Stratford Hall

Dr. John d`Entremont

Theodore Jack Professor of History at Randolph College

Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson

Associate Professor & Chair, Department of American Studies, University of Maryland

Arlisha Norwood

Howard University, History Department Doctoral Candidate

Emmanuel Dabney

Chief Historian, NPS Petersburg Battlefield, Petersburg, Virginia

Dr. John L. Johnson

Retired University of Mary Washington professor and Jungian psychologist and former founder of the Syracuse University African American Studies Department