Richmond Discoveries

Richmond Alive!

"Our hats are off to you and your staff for providing such an interesting, exciting and entertaining way to learn about and experience history.  We are certainly hoping to spend more time in the future with you and your associates, and will definitely recommend Richmond Discoveries to any all we come in contact with.  Thanks again from the Hagerstown Civil War Round Table!"

Sarah, Secretary, HCWRT

"...With the use of historical interpreters, [Richmond Discoveries] has allowed the students to get a very vivid idea of hardships endured by people in the 1860's versus [the present]... With no reservations, I wholeheartedly recommend a tour with Richmond Discoveries, where, for a minimal fee, students can see and learn things that will last a lifetime!"

Susan, Rogersville, Tennessee

"The Life of the Civil War Soldier Program added good information to my Civil War unit that we could never learn from a textbook. The speaker kept my students fully engaged and the information they were able to retain was amazing."

Suzanne, Spring Arbor, MI

RICHMOND DISCOVERIES specializes in unique living history programs.  Our authentically-dressed characters will bring history to life for your groups.  They can be added to any part of your tour route, or provide entertainment for your group as part of a meal package.  Don’t forget about our popular Confederate Richmond Dinner!


Life of the Revolutionary War Soldier
Life of the Revolutionary War SoldierHow did the patriots live who fought for our country’s independence?  With a complete display of military and personal equipment, our Revolutionary War Soldier will cover everything from medicine and diet to music and firearms.
Thomas Jefferson
Marquis de LafayetteThomas Jefferson is one of the best known, yet among the least understood of the Founding Fathers.  Often referred to as “the pen of the Revolution” for authoring the Declaration of Independence, this document reflects Jefferson’s enlightened philosophy on Natural Rights and the relationship between government and citizen, as well as his seeming contradiction pertaining to the question of slavery and his belief that “all men are created equal”.  An accomplished lawyer, farmer, architect, and politician; Jefferson’s amazing and long career in public life included serving in Congress, governor of Virginia, secretary of state, vice president, and president of the United States.  He also penned the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom, which, guaranteed freedom of religious conscious to all people of all faiths and prefigured the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.  A strong believer in an informed populous as essential to maintaining a democratic society, Jefferson supported public education and founded the University of Virginia.  Meet and hear this remarkable man discuss his life and many accomplishments.
James Madison
James MadisonHistorical Interpreter Charles Wissinger portrays James Madison in order to tell Madison's stories from an entertaining and educational point of view.  When our nation was struggling to find their own government, Madison organized the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and helped to establish the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. A few years later Madison married Dolley Payne Todd, the perfect wife for the introverted Madison. Learn how the Articles of Confederation led to the development of the Constitution, how the Bill of Rights saved the Constitution, and how Dolley saved Madison’s presidency.
Patrick Henry Remembers
Patrick Henry RemembersPatrick Henry, the Voice of the Revolution, will visit with your group following dinner to reminisce about his life and career.  Henry grew up just north of Richmond, and will share some of the early memories of his formative years, as well as thoughts on the beginnings of his illustrative career.  Of course, he will also include a discussion of events surrounding the famous “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech in Richmond at St. John’s Church.
Marquis de Lafayette
Marquis de LafayetteBorn into nobility and baptized Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, the young Marquis de Lafayette sympathized with the colonies in British America and longed to stand up for the patriotic cause. Lafayette funded his own way to America, vowing to fight for Liberty and agreed to serve without pay. The Marquis de Lafayette served close at General Washington’s side, and soon Washington referred to Lafayette as his adopted son. Meet the boy general without whom America would never won the fight for independence.
Benedict Arnold
Benedict Arnold is one of the most reviled figures in American history and his name has become synonymous with treason. However, before he conspired with Major John Andre to handover the important fortifications at West Point, New York, and turn his back on the Patriot cause to join the British, Arnold was George Washington's ablest battlefield commander. Meet and hear Arnold discuss his early life, military career in the Continental and British armies to include his January 1781 raid on Richmond, and explain his motivations for abandoning the fight for American independence and taking up arms against his young nation.
The Life and Times of Mrs. Eliza Poe
The Life and Times of Mrs. Eliza PoeMeet Elizabeth Arnold Poe, and hear about the triumphs and sorrows of Edgar Allan Poe's birth mother.  A very talented and highly-praised actress, Mrs. Poe passed away in Richmond in 1811 at the age of 24.  She will share her tragically-short life story and perform monologues and songs from her vast repertoire.
Edgar Allan Poe
Born the child of actors in Boston, Edgar came to Richmond, Virginia with his talented mother and lived with the Allans upon her death. Poe showed remarkable talent as a youth for poetry and prose, and went on to be America's first great native-born author. Hear about his eccentric and often-tortured life and enjoy readings of some of his best works.
Life of the Civil War Soldier - Our Most Popular Program!

Life of the Civil War SoldierWith a full display of Civil War artifacts, our Soldier will educate and entertain your group as they learn about the life of the common soldier.  From a demonstration of the use of flags and drum signals on the battlefield to life in the camps: including food, music, games and personal entertainment, our soldier presents a complete picture of the average enlisted man in the Civil War.  Add to this a healthy dose of humor and you have a program that your group will long remember!

Making Do: Life on the Civil War Homefront

Making Do: Life on the Civil War HomefrontWhat would you do if you could no longer get items that you used to?  During the Civil War, civilians in the South had to be very resourceful coming up with new ways to “make do.”  Meet a civilian woman and find out about family life in general, as well as what substitutes were being used for coffee, candles, shoe polish, and more.

19th Century Musician
19th Century MusicianThe music of the 1800’s was a mixture of patriotic, lively show tunes, and ballads of home.  It was the first truly American music– a mixture of African and European styles, having been popularized in the 1840’s and 50’s.  Our musician will entertain on a variety of instruments, including the banjo, fiddle, bones, and more in this interactive program.
Benjamin “Frank” Stringfellow
At the start of the Civil War, a thin young man named Benjamin Franklin Stringfellow wanted to enlist in the Confederate army, but was turned down in four different counties.  In this exciting program, hear what he did to join the cavalry and why he posed as a dentist, a merchant, and a woman. Learn why he was called “the most dangerous man in the Confederacy.”
Captain Sally Tompkins

Captain Sally Tompkins"Captain Sally" was the first woman in American history to receive commission as a military officer, and ran the most efficient hospital in Richmond during the Civil War.  This interactive program will discuss Sally’s life, as well as medical practices and experiences in her hospital and others in Richmond during the Civil War.


Also available upon request:  Elmira Shelton and Lewis Ginter.  Contact us if you don’t see someone listed!

All of our programs can be customized for length and audience maturity level. Please ask us about additional Richmond Alive! characters.


Richmond Discoveries

Tel:  804-222-8595    Fax:  804-222-8596
2730 Tinsley Drive, Suite 205
Bon Air, Virginia 23235

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