Presentation Topics

  • Cinders and Silence:  A history of the Missouri Burnt District.  Explores the origins of the destruction and the reasons why it has been forgotten.  A must see for every western Missouri resident.

  • R.L.Y. Peyton:  Harrisonville attorney Lud Peyton represented the Burnt District in the Missouri Senate and later in the C.S.A. Senate.  Missouri's greatest orator, his life is informative and dramatic.

  • The Exodus:  Using a mural drawn by Brian Hawkins, this presentation tells the true stories of refugees expelled by Order No. 11.  Each member of the audience receives a reduced copy of the mural.

  • Border Stories:  The people who lived in the Burnt District were extraordinary people.  Their true stories  seem unbelievable but they are inspirational and instructive.  I make their stories live!

  • Hemp Breaks & Slavery:  From 1840 to 1860 the hemp industry fueled Missouri's agricultural economy.  Dependent upon slave labor it required cruel and brutal work.  See a hemp break & step into the past.

  • The National Road:  From 1820 until 1850 the National Road, our first interstate highway, funneled thousands to the American west!  Take this exciting trip.  Build the road and walk the road!

  • Music & Stories:  Stories from Caught Between Three Fires are retold through ballads written by Hank Roberts.  Experience western Missouri history through song and narrative.

  • The Southwest Expedition:  From November 1861 through April 1862 Missouri State Militia protected western Missouri from jayhawkers.  Learn how this expedition linked the border war and the Civil War.

  • Connecting the Dots:  Retrieving Burnt District history often requires finding and then connecting "the dots."  Enjoy the "dots" of local history as they are connected by stories.

  • Viva Voce:  The secret  ballot did not exist in the 1850s.  Enjoy a journey to polling stations in the 1850s and early 1860s.  Do you have the courage to vote in public?

  • Sharps Rifle:  The Sharps Rifle shaped the Border War.  This presentation explores the nature of the rifle and how it transformed the battlefield.  I exhibit my Sharps Carbine and a replica 1851 Naval Revolver.

  • Dueling:  Dueling was ingrained in our culture until the late 19th Century.  The rules and stories of duels are riveting.  Want to learn about "Blood Island?"

  • Our Issues Never Change:  In many cases today's political issues mirror those of the 1850s.  Step into a time tunnel on issues we still debate.