Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

George and Ann RichardsCivil War Era Center

Colored Conventions
Executive Tour

Executive Tour

The Richards Center has concluded the final arrangements for our executive tour of Charlottesville, Virginia, on May 12-15. We have a wonderful weekend planned, and it will be such a treat to finally be together in our original tour spot two years later.


Registration for double occupancy, accommodations for three nights
(Thursday, Friday, and Saturday)


Registration for single occupancy, accommodations for three nights
(Thursday, Friday, and Saturday)


Registration for double occupancy, accommodations for four nights
(Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday)


Registration for single occupancy, accommodations for four nights
(Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday)

We’ll be staying at the Quirk Hotel in downtown Charlottesville (a short walk from the downtown mall), and we’ll join together for dinner in a private room of the hotel on Thursday evening. Friday morning we will travel about 45 minutes by bus to James Madison’s home, Montpelier. We’ll have a guided tour of the house and the surrounding plantation, including visiting the rooms in which Madison did much of his important writing before the Constitutional Convention. We’ll have lunch in Montpelier’s grand salon featuring some of the area’s famous barbecue. After lunch, we’ll travel just outside the immediate grounds of Montpelier to the Gilmore Farm Trail, a location known for both an important story of emancipation and Confederate camp in the Civil War. The home of an enslaved man, George Gilmore, and his family, remains standing next to an area in which Confederate General Samuel McGowan’s famous South Carolina Brigade held its winter camp in 1863-64. After returning to Charlottesville, we’ll make a short stop at the UVA Special Collections library, where we’ll examine some of the truly impressive collection of Americana that the archivists have picked out for us. On Friday evening, we’ll dine at one of the most beautiful restaurants outside of Charlottesville, the Clifton.

Saturday we will spend the morning at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home, where we’ll be treated to two private tours. One tour takes us on a special walk through the house and a second that focuses primarily on slavery at Monticello, led by an expert tour guide, William Bergen, who has worked with many historians over the years. Our trip manages to coincide with the reunion of Jefferson’s descendants at Monticello, so there will be quite a bit of activity in the vicinity. In the afternoon we’ll have lunch at Three Notch’d Brewery and then spend a short time walking UVA’s “grounds” (this, I learned as a UVA graduate student, is the proper way to say “campus”), visiting the memorial to slavery and the rotunda. On Saturday evening, we’ll take a short bus ride to the Barboursville Vineyards, where we’ll end the weekend.

I am thrilled that we will be joined this year by some of our terrific faculty, including Amy Greenberg, Amira Rose Davis, Cathleen Cahill, and Dean Clarence Lang in addition to myself and Emma. I know that they all look forward to sharing their insights with you.

The cost of the tour will be $3,215 per couple or $2,250 per individual. The package includes three nights’ accommodation at the Quirk Hotel, three dinners, lunches on Friday and Saturday, and all the fees for the private tours, historic sites, and, as always, the expertise of some of the top historians in their fields.

All of the historic sites and restaurants we will be visiting require proof of vaccination and Montpelier has asked for advance information about vaccination status, which is one of the included forms we’ve asked you to return to us here at the Richards Center. Please do let me know if you have any concerns about these policies.

We can’t wait to see you in just a few short months!

All my best,

Rachel Shelden
Director, George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center