LITERATURE + LECTURES
HMNS Distinguished Lecture Series: Patriots for Profit - The Blockade Runners of the Confederacy
March 27, 2012
The Houston Museum of Natural Science presents an HMNS Distinguished Lecture Series. Fascinating Speakers, Cutting Edge Science. Hear about the latest scientific discoveries - from the world's foremost experts. Throughout the year, HMNS hosts a variety of distinguished lecturers to enhance your understanding of a current exhibition or provide new perspectives on captivating topics.
Tuesday, March 27
Patriots for Profit - The Blockade Runners of the Confederacy
Andrew Hall, The Denbigh Project
In the closing months of the Civil War, long, low blockade runners slipped in and out of Texas ports, racing both to keep the Confederacy supplied, and to generate dramatic profits for their owners. It was a risky, high-stakes gamble that was the foundation for many fortunes on both sides of the Atlantic.
Almost 150 years later, archaeologists and historians have begun to uncover the stories of these remarkable vessels. The discovery of the paddle steamer Denbigh in 1997, and of a wreck believed to be the famous Will o' the Wisp in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, open the door to a long-overlooked story of patriotism, avarice and daring during those last desperate months of the conflict.
Andy Hall has served as a volunteer with the Texas Historical Commission investigating shipwrecks for 20 years. He was part of the first group of state marine archaeological stewards appointed in the United States in 2001. Hall served as co-principal investigator of the Denbigh Project, the most extensive excavation and research program on a Civil War blockade runner in the Gulf of Mexico.
Pictured: detail Denbigh at Mobile by Thomas Cantwell Healy, dated July 29, 1864. From a private collection.