FARMINGTON, Pa. – As part of National Park Week Fort Necessity is unveiling a new traveling exhibit on Saturday April 21, 2012. Emissaries of Peace: 1762 Cherokee & British Delegations, 250th Anniversary Traveling Exhibit will be presented in partnership with the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and the Friends of Fort Necessity. The Museum of the Cherokee Indian is located on Cherokee, North Carolina, and represents the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, a federally-recognized tribe. Emissaries of Peace showcases Cherokee War Chief Ostenaco’s and Lt. Henry Timberlake’s journey to each other’s countries as Emissaries of Peace two hundred and fifty years ago. Admission to the park will be free for the day.
To celebrate the opening of the Emissaries of Peace exhibit, Lt. Henry Timberlake will visit Fort Necessity. Travis Henline, Site Manager for West Virginia’s Independence Hall will present a living history program beginning at 1:00 p.m. During the forty-five minute program, Timberlake, a young Virginia Regiment officer sent as an emissary among the Cherokee people in 1762 during the French and Indian War, recounts the circumstances that brought him among the Cherokee towns. He shares his observations of Cherokee life, customs, diplomacy, and material culture. The presentation will conclude with a question and answer session with the audience. Henline is an Adjunct Professor at West Virginia University in the Native Studies Department, and is the former Coordinator of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s American Indian Initiative.
Park Superintendent Jeff Reinbold voiced his support of this new partnership between Fort Necessity and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian to present Cherokee History. “This exhibit and this summer’s Cherokee Cultural Heritage Festival provide visitors with the opportunity to learn about the two cultures that had leading roles in the French and Indian War,” said Reinbold.
Dr. Barbara Duncan, Director of Education at the Museum of the Cherokee will be on hand to explain how the exhibit was developed and its impact on the Cherokee people. The Emissaries of Peace exhibit includes, freestanding displays, three short audio visual programs, original artwork commissioned by the Museum of the Cherokee, examples of Cherokee pottery, baskets and traditional dress of the Cherokee. An author and editor, Duncan will also be available to sign the Emissaries of Peace Exhibit Catalogue and her other books: Culture, Crisis, & Conflict: Cherokee and British Relation 1756-1765, Living Stories of the Cherokee, and Cherokee Heritage Trails Guidebook.
Rare archeological artifacts including pottery, trade beads, a digging hoe, decorative bells, a chunky stone, earrings, trade silver and armbands, on loan from the McClung Museum at the University of Tennessee are included in the exhibit. These items were uncovered when archeologists excavated at the site of a 1762 Cherokee village beginning in 1967. They provide a glimpse into Cherokee life at Chota in the 1700’s.
“We are looking forward to sharing this exhibit and these exciting events planned for 2012, and taking this story of two cultures to a wider audience,” said Ken Blankenship, Executive Director of the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and enrolled tribal member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
After the living history presentation visitors will also be able to experience new programs being offered at Fort Necessity during this season including the “Young George Washington” Web Ranger Program, a new cell phone tour with ten stops from the Visitor Center to the Fort Area and a new audio tour for children of the exhibit.
Park Ranger James Tomasek will present a guided tour of the Cherokee archeological artifacts on display and guide visitors to the Fort sharing the archeological discoveries made at Fort Necessity in 1954. Park Volunteer living history soldier Paul Mackowick will answer questions about the life of soldier in the Fort area, weather permitting. Volunteers from the Friends of Fort Necessity will serve light refreshments following the one o’clock presentation.
The event coincides with the National Park Service Junior Ranger Day. Children ages 6 to 12 will be given Junior Ranger booklets and when completed will receive a Junior Ranger National Park Service Patch. Special children’s activities will be available for the new exhibit.
For more information, visit www.nps.gov/fone and www.cherokeemuseum.org/exhibits-emissaries.htm.