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2022 News

Women’s History Month Special Presentation by Author Dorothy Wickenden Featuring "The Agitators"

March 3, 2022

Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg Foundation are pleased to co-host author Dorothy Wickenden in a Women’s History Month special presentation at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center Saturday, March 26, 2022, from 7 to 8 p.m. Her presentation will focus on her critically acclaimed book The Agitators, Three Friends Who Fought for Abolition and Women’s Rights.

Wickenden will discuss how three radical friends–Harriet Tubman, Frances Seward and Martha Coffin Wright–fought to overturn slavery and gain rights for women as the nation broke apart. Wickenden’s talk will include a PowerPoint presentation with some vivid perspectives on the Battle of Gettysburg, where Wright's son faced Pickett's Charge, and on Tubman's participation in a major river raid in Port Royal, South Carolina. There will be time for a question-and-answer session.

A story of America before, during and after the Civil War through the lives of three women who advocated for the abolition of slavery and for women’s rights, The Agitators opens in the 1820s, when Tubman was enslaved and Wright and Seward were young homemakers bound by law and tradition, and it ends after the war. Many prominent figures of the era—Abraham Lincoln, William H. Seward, Frederick Douglass, Daniel Webster, Charles Sumner, John Brown and William Lloyd Garrison—are seen through the discerning eyes of the protagonists. So are the political debates about the civil rights of African Americans and women, the enlistment of Black troops and opposing interpretations of the Constitution. Through detailed letters from the time and exhaustive research, Wickenden traced the second American revolution these women fought to bring about, the toll it took on their families and its lasting effects on the country. The Agitators has been described as riveting and profoundly relevant to our own time, bringing a vibrant, original voice to this transformative period in our history.

“The Gettysburg Foundation is pleased to partner with Gettysburg National Military Park to co-host Dorothy Wickenden for the Women’s History Month presentation,” said Gettysburg Foundation President and CEO Wayne Motts. “Featured in The Agitators, Martha Coffin Wright’s special connection to Gettysburg is through her son First Lieutenant William P. Wright, who was an officer in the 1st New York Independent Artillery Battery (Cowan’s Battery). On July 3, 1863, defending Cemetery Ridge during Pickett’s Charge, Wright was badly wounded in the action, but he survived the war,” added Motts.

The Women’s History Month special presentation is free of charge. Advance tickets are required, and seating is limited. Guests are encouraged to obtain tickets early.

Ticket holders for the special presentation have the opportunity to purchase Wickenden’s book for signing. The Agitators will be available during the book signing in the Museum Lobby from 6 to 6:45 p.m. The presentation will follow in the theater at 7 p.m.

To obtain tickets for the Women’s History Month special presentation and for information on tours, events and programs offered by the Gettysburg Foundation, call 877-874-2478 or visit Tickets can also be obtained in advance at the Ticket Counter in the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center, 1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, Pa.

Wickenden is the author of Nothing Daunted and the critically acclaimed The Agitators and has been the executive editor of The New Yorker since January 1996. She also writes for the magazine and is the moderator of its weekly podcast The Political Scene. A former Nieman Fellow at Harvard, Wickenden was national affairs editor at Newsweek from 1993-1995, and before that was the longtime executive editor at The New Republic. She lives with her husband in Westchester, New York.