Mrs. Benjamin Harrison, 23rd First Lady surprises Tidewater Virginia Historical Society (TVHS) lecture attendees

On Sunday, October 25, 91 attendees gathered at Bruton Parish Lewis Hall for a lecture on "little known" facts about Shirley and Berkeley Plantations. Joe Burkart, president of the Society, welcomed everyone and invited Jane Medlin Burton to go over details about the following Wednesday's bus tour to these historic sites. Mr. Julian Charity, historian, gave an informative slide presentation on Shirley's history with emphasis on the Civil War era. Mr. Graham Woodlief, direct descendant of Capt. Woodlief, captain of the ship Margaret that landed at Berkeley Plantation, 1619, enlightened everyone on the facts about the first Thanksgiving. To tie these two plantations together, it was President Harrison from Berkeley who arrived at Shirley Planation via the river on day, to enjoy the hospitality of the Carters.

A surprise visit was made by Mrs. Benjamin Harrison (aka TVHS member KJ Proctor) who greeted everyone and introduced Mr. Woodlief. Berkeley Plantation is the ancestral home of Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President of these United States.

For more information about upcoming lectures and behind-the-scene adventures please visit our website at or By phone call (757) 258-5587.

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