CLEO REDD FISHER 
  MUSEUM

 

Upcoming Events

    • Monday, February 20, 2023
    • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • CRF Museum (203 E. Main Street Loudonville OH)

    In the nineteenth century, British politicians and writers agreed: Britain ruled India “by the sword.” This is hardly surprising as empires almost inevitably rest on force, but Britain’s metaphorical “sword” in India was unusual by any measure. Its armies in India, amounting to hundreds of thousands of soldiers, were not under the control of the Crown. Instead, they were employed by the British East India Company, a private corporation turned colonial state. Restricted from enlisting men from the British Isles, the Company relied mostly on local Indian soldiers, called sepoys, who were in turn commanded by a tiny corps of white officers at the top of a highly segregated military system. Historians have long recognized this body as one of the most indispensable tools of empire—literally, the means through which it expanded and conquered. Less well explored, though, is the role that the Company’s armies played in defining the ideologies and policies of the colonial government.

    Historian Dr. Christina Welsch will focus not on battlefield victories or slogging campaigns, but rather on a hidden history of disorder within the army.  In 1809, over twelve hundred white officers in southern India mutinied against the Company’s civilian government. This was no orderly protest: mutinying officers even fired on British royal forces sent to restore peace. British onlookers were horrified, condemning the violence as an act of treason that would lead to imperial collapse. Yet, astonishingly, the officers emerged from the chaos with increased power, while their opponents faced disgrace within colonial society. Understanding this spectacular and befuddling drama requires a careful analysis of how the rebelling officers portrayed their role in the empire—not just as military actors, but as the sole guarantors of colonial stability and security. The sepoys they commanded often had very different views on such claims of authority, but the officers’ self-aggrandizement proved convincing to many Britons. Not only does the success of the officers’ claims help explain the events of 1809: it offers new insight into the Company’s rise and fall as a colonial power. More broadly still, it highlights the alarming ways that institutional inequities ripple across state and society.

    Christina Welsch is the associate professor of Britain and its Empire in the history department at the College of Wooster (Ohio). She received her BA from Emory University in 2010 and PhD from Princeton in 2017. Her first book, The Company’s Sword: The East India Company and the Politics of Militarism, 1644-1858 (Cambridge University Press, 2022), explores how military actors influenced the ideology of the colonial state in India. Her second project is an examination of the wars between the British Company and the Indian state of Mysore, arguing that these conflicts were part of a broader, global history of power. She hopes to shed light on the movement of mercenaries, camp followers, soldiers’ families, and others who reshaped the world the colonial state sought to control.

    This program is free and open to the public. The event will be held in the lecture hall of the Cleo Redd Fisher Museum, located at 203 E. Main Street in Loudonville, OH. Doors open at 6:30, while the event begins at 7:00 pm.

    • Monday, March 20, 2023
    • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Cleo Redd Fisher Museum (203 E. Main Street Loudonville OH)

    From 1096 to 1291, Europe waged a series of religious wars against Muslims to secure control of holy sites considered sacred by both groups. In all, eight major Crusade expeditionsvarying in size, strength, and degree of successoccurred. The first Crusade was ordered by Pope Urban II at the request of the Byzantine Empire, which was losing territory to the expanding Islamic Empire. The costly, violent and often ruthless conflicts enhanced the status of European Christians, making them major players in the fight for land in the Middle East.

    In a recent Sunday sermon in Moscow, the Russian Patriarch of the Orthodox Church proclaimed that “sacrifice in the course of carrying out your military duty cleanses away all sins.” The Russian Church’s overt endorsement of the military conflict in Ukraine recalls the medieval papal indulgence that was granted to crusaders who died en route to the Holy Land. The museum welcomes Alex Novikoff, who will first explore the crusading origins of a theology of violence—how and why it developed, and how the Muslim world responded. It will explain what a crusade was, and was not. Novikoff will then look at how the ideology of crusading has continued to resonate down the halls of history, from Colonialism, to Al-Qaeda, to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

    Alex J. Novikoff teaches medieval history at Kenyon College and history and comparative religion at Franklin University Switzerland. He is the author of The Medieval Culture of Disputation: Pedagogy, Practice, and Performance, the editor of The Twelfth-Century Renaissance: A Reader, and the author of numerous articles on medieval intellectual history and interfaith relations. A recipient of the Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin and an elected fellow of the UK’s Royal Historical Society, he lectures widely across North America, Europe, and the Middle East. More recently, he was a featured commentator in episode 3 of the CNN documentary Jerusalem: City of Faith and Fury (2021).

    This program is free and open to the public. The event will be held in the lecture hall of the Cleo Redd Fisher Museum, located at 203 E. Main Street in Loudonville, OH. Doors open at 6:30, while the event begins at 7:00 pm. 

    • Monday, April 17, 2023
    • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • CRF Museum (203 E. Main Street Loudonville OH)

    The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a work relief program that gave millions of young men employment on environmental projects during the Great Depression. Considered by many to be one of the most successful of Roosevelt’s New Deal programs, the CCC planted more than three billion trees and constructed trails and shelters in more than 800 parks nationwide during its nine years of existence. The CCC helped to shape the modern national and state park systems we enjoy today.

    Among the first camps established was Camp Mohican, enabling four different companies of workers to live in--and help develop--forestry projects in Mohican State Forest. Despite uncertainty surrounding the future of the camp after only one year, the project would prove to be worth funding and in the end was a staple of Mohican for nearly a decade. Kenny Libben, curator of the CRF Museum, will build off of last year's look at the greater role the CCC played across the state and the nation, and delve into the history of the CCC specifically in the Mohican area. With the help of original documents, photographs, and interviews from camp residents, Libben will explore the establishment of the camp, the lives of those who lived and worked there, and ultimately the work they completed and legacy left behind.

    Kenny Libben has been the Curator at the Cleo Redd Fisher museum for 12 years, having received national recognition from both the American Alliance of Museums and the American Association for State and Local History. He is a 2015 recipient of the Outstanding Individual Achievement Award from the Ohio Local History Alliance. Libben also serves as co-editor of the international publication "Voices of Regional Museums," part of the International Council of Museums. He is the author of Image of America: Loudonville (2013) and A Short Primer on Early Perrysville History (2013).

    This program is free and open to the public. The event will be held in the lecture hall of the Cleo Redd Fisher Museum, located at 203 E. Main Street in Loudonville, OH. Doors open at 6:30, while the event begins at 7:00 pm.

  The Cleo Redd Fisher Museum is a subsidiary of the Mohican Historical Society.  All rights reserved.   

The Mohican Historical Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 203 East Main Street  Loudonville, OH 44842

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