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Tue, Sep 12


Maggiano's Little Italy Restaurant

Dinner with Charlotte Scott, the Freed Woman Who Wanted to Honor Lincoln

Marcia Cole portrays Charlotte Scott as she presents the story behind the movement to build the Emancipation Memorial in Lincoln Park.

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Dinner with Charlotte Scott, the Freed Woman Who Wanted to Honor Lincoln
Dinner with Charlotte Scott, the Freed Woman Who Wanted to Honor Lincoln


Sep 12, 2023, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM EDT

Maggiano's Little Italy Restaurant, 5333 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20015, USA


About the Event

Marcia Cole will be featured at the Lincoln Group of DC's September 12, dinner meeting at Maggiano's, in character as Charlotte Scott, the formerly enslaved woman who initiated the fundraising for what is now the Emancipation Memorial in Lincoln Park, Washington, DC. This is a role that Marcia has been playing for many years. Her most recent appearance was part of the historical plaque dedication ceremony in Marietta, Ohio, Charlotte's home, on June 17, 2023.

Charlotte was born enslaved on the Scott Plantation near Lynchburg, Virginia. At birth she was the property of Thomas Scott but at the outset of the Civil War, Charlotte resided with Thomas Scott’s daughter, Margaret Scott Rucker, and her husband, Dr. William Parks Rucker, in Covington, Virginia. Although a slave-owner, Dr. Rucker was an outspoken supporter of the Union and President Lincoln, and openly collaborated with Federal army officers and scouts. In 1862, Dr. Rucker was arrested by Confederate authorities, accused of treason, and held in prison to await trial. While Rucker was imprisoned, President Lincoln directed the Union army to escort Margaret and the Rucker family to Marietta, Ohio for their safety. After fifteen months in Confederate prisons, Dr. Rucker made a dramatic escape, and joined his family in Marietta. Now a freed person, Charlotte accompanied the family and lived with them as a domestic servant. Charlotte was compensated for her services and had accumulated modest savings when the war ended. 

When she learned of Lincoln’s assassination, Charlotte “was in great distress” and declared, “The colored peoples have lost their best friend on earth!  Mr. Lincoln was our best friend and I will give five dollars of my wages towards erecting a monument to his memory.”

Marcia tells the fascinating story of how Dr. Rucker made strategic contacts that put Charlotte’s vision and donation into a movement that captured the enthusiastic support of thousands of new freedmen, including many who were former U.S. Colored Troops. The result was the Emancipation Memorial in Washington D.C.’s Lincoln Park that was unveiled by President Grant on April 14, 1876. Charlotte Scott died in 1891, but she was acknowleged for her powerful vision with having her name inscribed on the Memorial. 

Marcia E. Cole is a native Washingtonian and a graduate of the University of the District of Columbia with a BA in Early Childhood Education. She uses various literary forms to teach African American history with her play, A Matter of Worth, treats slavery set in the 1850’s; a poetry collection Going for Freedom: True Accounts of Flight told in Verse on the UnderGround Railroad, and a poetry collection, A Bitter Suite, presented in collaboration with historian Susan Strasser in “A Double Take on Lynching”. All are compiled and published in Ms. Cole’s book of poetry Light in Dark Places: History in Verse (2018). She performs with Female Re-Enacters of Distinction (FREED), a DC based organization of historic women portrayers. 

Please pre-pay your $50 dinner reservation at the Join Now button in the upper right hand corner of the website. Doors will open at 5 p.m. for the social hour, dinner at 6, and the program at 7.   


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