The Charleston Historical Society will co-sponsor its next lecture at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum at 68 Spring Street on Thursday, March 25, 2010, at 7:00 PM. The lecture, entitled, “Charleston and its Irish: De Valera in the Holy City” will be presented by Stephen J. White, Sr. It will summarize some of his recent research and writings on one of the milestones local Irish history. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Eamon De Valera arrived in Charleston in early April of 1920. He had traveled to the United States from the newly proclaim Republic of Ireland in an attempt to gain diplomatic recognition for and raise money to support his fledgling nation. Escorted by a select committee in a parade down King Street, he received a spectacular welcome led by Charleston’s first Irish Catholic mayor, John P. Grace, and most members of the city council which granted him “Freedom of the city.” He was celebrated at a sumptuous banquet at the grand Charleston Hotel, and applauded at speeches given to enthusiastic audiences at both the Garden Theater and the Academy of Music. This subject will be expanded upon in greater detail in a much larger book on the Irish story in Charleston.
Stephen Jennings White, Sr. is a native of Charleston who attended Cathedral Day School and Bishop England High School. He is a 1975 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a history and philosophy major. He spent several years teaching in local high schools before going on to graduate work. In 1981 he received an MA in history from the University of Virginia. Continuing his doctoral studies he also taught there for five years as a graduate assistant and instructor. He went on to complete all of his course work and oral comprehensive examinations towards the doctorate—finishing all but the dissertation (ABD). He worked for three years as a research assistant at the Papers of George Washington Editing Project at the University of Virginia. He has taught at St. Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, Florida, at the College of Charleston, the Citadel, and Trident Technical College. He worked for three years in the Admissions Office at the College of Charleston, and for four additional years as an Academic Advisor in the Office of Academic Advising and Planning at CofC. In 1995 he completed a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) in the University of Charleston/University of South Carolina joint program. He has taught in the History Department of the College of Charleston, served as Museum Historian, and currently as the Executive Director of the Karpeles Manuscript Museum. He is also the founder and director of the Charleston Historical Society. Most recently he was an organizing co-chair of the “Kilkenny to Carolina” conference in March of 2009.
For more information about this lecture and all future lectures, call Stephen White at the Charleston Historical Society at (843) 723-3398, or at the Karpeles Museum at (843) 853-4651.