Generals Grant and Sherman to lay Siege to Albion’s Hoag Library

Rudely Stamp'd

Generals_Grant seated

Generals Grant and Sherman will invade the Hoag Library in Albion on Wednesday, April 17th and lay siege to the place if necessary.  There GCC professors Derek Maxfield and Tracy Ford will present their play “Now We Stand by Each Other Always.”

The play features an engaging conversation between Generals Grant and Sherman in March 1865 – near the end of the Civil War.  Sherman recounts his famous Atlanta Campaign and March to the Sea and the men plot how to finish off the Confederate armies.

The presentation is FREE and open to the public.  For more information contact the Hoag Library in Albion or Derek Maxfield at

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Morgan-Manning House to Host Generals

Rudely Stamp'd


BROCKPORT – The Western Monroe Historical Society will host Rudely Stamp’d on March 22nd at the Morgan-Manning House in Brockport, NY for one show of their play “Now We Stand by Each Other Always.”

The play features a conversation between Union Civil War generals Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman, which took place at City Point, VA, in March 1865 – near the end of the Civil War.  The famous cigar-chomping pair consider how best to close out the war as Sherman regales his chief with his exploits in Georgia.

The play is free and open to the public.  Donations to the historical society are encouraged.  For more information contact Prof. Derek Maxfield at or the Morgan-Manning House business office at (585) 637-3645.

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Historical Horizons Lecture Series returns with strong Spring line-up


Egyptologist Rozen Bailleul-LeSeuer leads off lecture series on Feb. 6th

Batavia, New York – The Genesee Community College History Club is excited to invite the public to the first Spring 2019 Historical Horizons Lecture Series event on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 7 p.m. to hear Dr. Rozenn Bailleul-LeSuer discuss the “Winged Jewels of the Nile.”

Birds and bird imagery filled the world of the ancient Egyptians. Every fall, the arrival of millions of waterfowl in the Delta marshes coincided with the Nile flood. The Egyptians saw in these natural and cyclical events a symbolic reenactment of the moment of creation when, according to some versions of the myth, a divine goose laid an egg on the first mound emerging from the water. From this egg hatched the sun god, who flew high in the sky and created the other gods and humanity.

In addition to presenting how birds, from cradle to coffin, permeated most aspects of Egyptian society, Bailleul-LeSuer will discuss the work she has conducted and is pursuing on a selection of bird mummies held in museum collections. Using medical imaging and scientific analyses to complement findings from ancient texts and artifacts, her research aims at shedding some additional light on the phenomenon of Sacred Bird Cults, in which these mummies played a significant role. With her expertise in this unique field of study, Bailleul-LeSuer  has edited the book, “Between Heaven and Earth, Birds in Ancient Egypt” which was published by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago in 2012.

The lecture begins at 7 p.m. in room T102 of the Conable Technology Building, is free and open to the public. The other upcoming Historical Horizons Lectures scheduled on the first Wednesday of each month during the Spring 2019 Semester include:

  • Wednesday, March 6: “ ‘Race’ and the Dilemma of the New England Puritan: Intersections of Ideas and Identities” presented by Dr. Richard Bailey, associate professor of History at Canisius College and author of Race and Redemption in Puritan New England (Oxford 2014)
  • Wednesday, April 3: “The Shadow of Slavery: Black Women and Political Mobilization during Reconstruction” presented by Dr. Justin Behrend, associate  professor of History, SUNY Geneseo and author of Reconstructing Democracy: Grassroots Black Politics in the Deep South after the Civil War (University of Georgia Press, 2015.)
  • Wednesday, May 1: “Military Campaigns of 1755 – French and Indian War” presented by William Griffith, associate at the Gettysburg Foundation


For more information, contact Prof. Derek Maxfield at or call 585-343-0055 ext. 6288.

2019 Looking like a banner year for Rudely Stamp’d

Rudely Stamp'd

IMG_4430 Performance at GCC on December 5, 2018

Rudely Stamp’d has come a long way in 2018!  Our first conversation – “Now We Stand by Each Other Always” – went from the drawing board to the stage, with three great performances since September.  Even before the dawning of 2019, we have six bookings with others pending.

We also have some wonderful news to share with the world: we have added two new acts!  The first is set in June 1863; Grant and Sherman meet during the siege of Vicksburg to discuss military affairs just weeks before the surrender of the Gibraltar of the West.  The second takes place in March 1864 in Cincinnati, Ohio; Grant has recently been promoted to Lt. General and is now commander-in-chief of all Union armies.  The generals meet to map out the Atlanta and Overland Campaigns.  These new acts, which will be ready for Spring 2019…

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Gens. Grant and Sherman to invade GCC Dec. 5th


BATAVIA – The American Civil War may have ended in 1865, but guests can enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at an important historical moment on December 5th when the play “Now we stand by each other always” is performed at Genesee Community College.

Set in March 1865, the play portrays a meeting of the minds when Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman visits Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at City Point, Virginia, where the latter makes his headquarters.  In command of all Union armies, Grant is with the Army of the Potomac as it is besieging Petersburg.  Sherman has just completed two arduous campaigns through Georgia and the Carolinas.  While his army refits in North Carolina, Sherman travels to City Point to meet Grant, who he has not seen in a year.  Together they plot the demise of the remaining Confederate armies.

The play is written and directed by Derek Maxfield, GCC associate professor of history, and is performed by him as Gen. Grant and Prof. Tracy Ford, GCC associate professor of English,  as Gen. Sherman.  Joining the famed commanders will be Tom Schobert as Gen. John Rawlins, Grant’s Chief of Staff, and Tom Bowers as Col. Horace Porter, an aide-de-camp at Grant’s headquarters.

The play is FREE and open to the public.  The program begins at 7:00 PM on Dec. 5th in room T102 of the Conable Technology Bldg. at the Batavia campus.  For further information, contact Derek Maxfield at

Charles Dickens Returns to GCC in Support of the History Club


Mike Randall Delivers “A Christmas Carol” at GCC!

 Batavia, NY–  The Genesee Community College History Club is excited to once again celebrate the holiday season as Charles Dickens, played by WKBW-TV’s Meteorologist Mike Randall, presents “A Christmas Carol.” All are invited to the College’s Batavia Campus on December 21, 2018 at 7 p.m. to enjoy this festive and heart-warming storytelling experience.

A multifaceted actor, Randall studied both theatre and meteorology in school and since 1983, Randall has reported the weather on WKBW-TV in Buffalo. An award-winning reporter, his interview repertoire includes such talents as Willie Nelson, Jerry Lewis, John Candy, Steve Allen, Gregory Peck and Robert Goulet. In September 2017, Randall was inducted into the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

Back in 1868, Charles Dickens toured the country bringing his classic novel, “A Christmas Carol” to audiences everywhere. Nearly century and a half ago, Dickens’ performances were completely sold out in Buffalo. For the last decade, with only a replica of Dickens’ famous velvet, fringed reading lectern and a copy of “A Christmas Carol,” Randall has been transforming himself into Dickens, recreating the original tour atmosphere in stages, halls, classrooms and many other venues. Randall performs in a period costume with a beard and wavy hair, and through his expert theatrics he brings Charles Dickens to life. He plays each of the novel’s characters with distinguishing voices and mannerisms capturing all of the subtle comedic timing of Dickens’ original work.

The performance will take place at GCC’s Batavia Campus in the Stuart Steiner Theatre. Tickets for the performances are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Advanced ticket purchases are strongly recommended as seating is limited!

Proceeds from the performance will go to the Genesee Community College History Club.

“When the History Club presented this event last year, many people indicated they enjoyed it so much that they’d like to see it,” said Derek D. Maxfield, GCC’s associate history professor and advisor to the History Club. “As the program helps my students learn about value of coordinating and planning events that embrace history and engage the community, it is a simultaneously a pleasure to watch local friends and families enjoy a holiday event that is fun for all ages.”

For advanced tickets or more information, contact Derek D. Maxfield at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6288, or via email:  Tickets are also available from Michelle Forster at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6312 or Marie Kochmanski at ext. 6270.



Meet Rev. John H Yates at Batavia Cemetery Ghost walk

Rev Yates

Rev. John H. Yates

BATAVIA – The falling leaves, crisp air, and gathering darkness in the early evening tell us that it is nearly time for the annual Batavia Cemetery Ghost walk – an event that I never fail to enjoy.  It is no secret that I love cemeteries and the historic Batavia Cemetery on Harvester Ave. in Batavia is a real gem!  This year’s ghost walk is on Oct. 20th beginning at 7:00 PM.  Admission is $10.00 per person and includes light refreshments.  The event benefits the cemetery association which maintains this magnificent bone yard.

Among the many fascinating ghosts that visitors will meet is the Rev. John H. Yates, portrayed by GCC professor Tracy Ford.  Born in Batavia in 1837 to John and Elizabeth Taylor Yates, the young man enjoyed some schooling before he joined his brother making shoes.  Thereafter he worked in a hardware store and a general store for many years before becoming editor of the Progressive Batavian, a sure sign that despite his limited schooling Yates was a skilled writer.

About the time Yates was a newspaper editor, he also began writing poetry and hymns.  One of his earliest hymns was the “Model Church,” which became a run-away success.  Later in life, Yates would be retained by the famous gospel singer Ira D. Sankey to write exclusively for him.  In 1897 Yates published his first book of poetry and hymns which was since been republished several times in new editions.

At the tender age of twenty-one, Yates became a lay minister for the Methodist Church and was later ordained.  He was twice married; first to Maria Everson in 1864 and in 1880 to Sarah Cottle.  He would have four sons with Maria.

John Henry Yates died September 5th 1900 at the age of 62.  Should you meet him in the cemetery, be warned that he had a habit of suddenly breaking into song.

Another interesting personality that visitors will meet is Batavia founder Joseph Ellicott.  Born in Pennsylvania in November 1760, Ellicott was the son of Joseph and Judith Blaker Ellicott.  Joseph would have two brothers – Andrew and Benjamin.

As an assistant to his brother, Ellicott helped to survey the District of Columbia when it was decided to create a new American capital city.  Later he would survey the boundary line between Georgia and the lands of the Creek Indians.

Hired by the Holland Land Company in 1797, Ellicott got the job of surveying the massive tract of land which occupied much of Western New York.  After spending two long years of exposure on this rough frontier, Ellicott was hired to become the primary land agent for the company.  As the new century opened, the young man laid out the villages of Batavia and Buffalo.

When the idea for a grand canal was proposed, connecting Albany and New York with the Great Lakes, Ellicott was an early enthusiast.  He would later be named a commissioner for the state, supervising construction of the Erie Canal.

By its very nature, Ellicott’s work both for the Holland Land Company and the Erie Canal had him dabbling in politics.  This was demonstrated by his service as an elector for Thomas Jefferson in the election of 1804 and later appointment as the first judge of the Genesee County Court.

Ellicott committed suicide in New York City in 1826 after a long bout with mental illness.  He never married and had no children to inherit his vast estate.  Although originally buried in New York, his remains were transferred to Batavia a short time later.  His monument is one of the most prominent in the Batavia Cemetery.

Since the ghost walk has sold out in the past, it is advisable to reserve tickets.  Call (585) 343-3220 for tickets or more information.  Please come out to support one of Batavia’s great historic assets.

The Generals take to the road

Rudely Stamp'd

Now we stand_first performance From the first performance in Clarendon

Fresh off successful engagements in Clarendon and Hornell, NY, Generals Grant and Sherman now will literally take the show on the road, making it available to schools, libraries, round tables, historical societies and more.

“Now we stand by each other always” is a two man play featuring a conversation between Union Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman at City Point, Virginia in March 1865.  The first performance of the play was Sept. 15th at the Clarendon Historical Society as part of the 2018 Orleans County Heritage Festival.  This event was somewhat unique in that it was entirely outdoors and featured a campfire, tents and accoutrements, staff officers and – of course – fine cigars.

The play is available to groups of all kinds at reasonable rates.  It can be accommodated for indoors or out, and groups large or small.  The program runs…

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Frederick Douglass to take GCC by storm


Nathan Richardson as Frederick Douglass

BATAVIA, NY (10/04/2018) Genesee Community College will be the proud albeit temporary home to the “Frederick Douglass from Slavery to Freedom: The Journey to New York City” exhibit from October 17 – November 14, 2018. During this time, the entire community is encouraged to visit GCC’s Alfred C. O’Connell Library in Batavia to view this famous traveling exhibit, learn about Douglass’s incredible contribution to American history, and enjoy the auxiliary events and opportunities that reinforce the display.

The 12 foot long exhibition explores slavery and abolition through the youth of Frederick Douglass, born a slave in Maryland in 1818, who after his escape to NY in 1838 became one of the most famous men in nineteenth-century America. Douglass fought to end slavery and championed civil rights for all Americans. His autobiography, published in 1845, was a powerful weapon in the abolitionist cause, and a bestseller in the United States.

“Frederick Douglass from Slavery to Freedom: The Journey to New York City” was developed from his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The exhibition was curated by Susan F. Saidenberg. It has been displayed at schools, museums, libraries and historic sites across the country.

“We are pleased to have been selected as a site for this exhibition,” Cynthia Hagelberger, reference services librarian at GCC said. “The exhibit showcases digital reproductions of letters, photographs and broadsides that depict the life and legacy of Frederick Douglass. We hope this exhibition will help all who view it to gain a deeper understanding of Douglass’ quest for freedom and the difficult choices he made. It is a perfect opportunity for school age children, teenagers and adult of all ages to appreciate his living legacy.”

Further details about the exhibit, associated events and teaching and learning resources are available at GCC’s Library webpage at:

Kicking off the project, on Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 1 p.m. David A. Anderson, Ph.D., a visiting community scholar from Nazareth College of Rochester, will speak in room T102 to of the Conable Technology Building. Anderson will discuss the combination of nature and nurture that cultivated the persona that emerged as Frederick Douglass.

Anderson, a founding member of AKWAABA – The Heritage Associates, Inc., has dedicated his life to infusing history into contemporary families. He is the author of The Origin of Life on Earth: an African Creation Myth (1992) and Rebellion of Humans: an African Spiritual Journey (1994) and plays an active role in Kwanzaa celebrations in Monroe County, NY. Annually, Anderson helps produce “On Behalf of Those Who Lie in Yonder Hallowed Ground” – a public tribute to especially African American Civil War Union soldiers. In December 2017, Anderson was appointed to the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission by U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.

To accompany the excitement of the exhibition, GCC will be holding a dynamic essay writing contest for Genesee Community College students. The contest requires students to research a social injustice in today’s world and produce a minimum of 600 words that address either of two specific essay questions. Details are posted in the exhibit library guide at and the deadline for submissions is Wednesday, November 14, 2018.

The crescendo of this multifaceted program honoring one of our country’s greatest heroes is one of the finest impressionistic lectures by the man himself. GCC has invited Frederick Douglass – in the form of accomplished performance poet and published author, Nathan M. Richardson – to share his story. On Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at 7 p.m., in full nineteenth-century dress, Richardson will bring his Frederick Douglass Speaking Tour to room T102 in GCC’s Conable Technology Building. This event is also free and open to the public. Seating is limited.

Funding for these events has been provided by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the Alfred C. O’Connell Library, GCC’s student club WOKE and GCC’s history club. Details about this and other events sponsored by GCC’s Historical Horizons history club are available at

Pulitzer winner headlines next Historical Horizon Lecture

Steven Hahn

On Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 7 p.m. Pulitzer Prize winning professor of history from New York University, Steven Hahn will discuss his latest book A Nation Without Borders. This is an important reinterpretation of 19th Century America—a kind of coming-of-age story especially significant for its contribution to the scholarship on the Civil War period.

“A massive and masterly account of America’s political and economic transformation between 1830 and 1910 . . . Hahn describes his book as telling ‘a familiar story in an unfamiliar way.’ It is much more than that. Attempting a synthesis of a century’s worth of American history is a daunting task. Writing one as provocative and learned . . . as this one is a triumph, nothing less.” – David Oshinsky, The Washington Post

The lecture begins at 7 p.m. in room T102 of the Conable Technology Building, is free and open to the public.