As part of General Alexander Macomb’s 134th birthday celebration the Western Illinois Museum is pleased to host Dr. Eugene Watkins, Site Supervisor of Old Fort Madison. On Saturday, April 2, 2016, at 10:30 am Dr. Watkins will present the lecture, New Perspectives on Old Fort Madison, at the museum. The program will begin with Boy Scouts Troop 315 presenting the colors. Comments by Macomb’s Mayor, Mike Inman, and Dr. Elizabeth Kaspar, regent of the General Macomb Chapter of the D.A.R. will also be part of the program. This event is free and open to the public.
While most know little about the War of 1812, its impact was significant to the development of the area. Dr. Watkins’ ongoing research into those who served at Old Fort Madison provides new insights on local events to secure the town located on the Mississippi River and its role in providing support on the important waterway. In addition to the lecture at the museum, Dr. Watkins and other re-enactors from Old Fort Madison will participate in General Macomb’s Birthday party from 1:00 to 2:30 pm, also held at the museum.
With an undergraduate degree in United States history from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, a Master of Arts in Civil War/Reconstruction from the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia, and a PhD in the Early Republic Era from the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio, Dr. Watkins has brought his knowledge to the area as the Site Supervisor for Old Fort Madison, Iowa. Managing the Midwest’s oldest American military garrison on the upper Mississippi River, Dr. Watkins works to preserve the heritage of the region.
The lecture will draw upon his research for various articles and publications such as his doctoral dissertation, Cousin Jonathan: The Common United States Soldier in the War of 1812, and his current writing project, a book on Fort Madison. Dr. Watkins’ presentation at the museum will focus on the fort’s involvement in the war and how that fit into the overall war effort on the frontier.
The Western Illinois Museum is located at 201 South Lafayette Street, one block south of Macomb’s historic Courthouse square. For more information contact the Western Illinois Museum at 309.837.2750 or firstname.lastname@example.org.