Wednesday, August 28, 2013

2013-2014 Season Special Exhibit

The new Blanchard House Museum exhibit, “African American Espionage During The Civil War” which opens Saturday, September 28, 2013, 2-4 PM, explores another aspect of “untold” history. One of the most overlooked chapters of the Civil War is the story of African American spies.  Learn about the famous “Black Dispatches”, information supplied by runaways and “spies in place” that was crucial to the Union Army victory.   Visitors will get a glimpse into the world of the African American spy network and the ways in which African American spies were able to appropriate documents and to pass along military information discussed openly in front of them by the Confederates.  Attend the opening and view a most interesting and informative exhibit! Free and open to the public.

Go to this link to learn more about the Blanchard House Museum: 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Emancipation Day Celebration 2013

Black Seminole Reenactor John Griffin will be at the Blanchard House Museum for this year's annual Emancipation Celebration.

The celebration will be held on Saturday, May 18th (2 - 5 PM)

The event is FREE to all.

Bring a lawn chair and come experience Florida history!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Our Upcoming Events


The Second Seminole War (1835-1842) was the longest and most expensive of the wars waged between the United States and Native Americans. The war was fought over the issue of slavery and the removal of the Seminole peoples westward as the United States sought to expand into the Florida territory.

The presence of free Africans and Maroons living alongside the Seminoles presented a major threat to the institute of slavery.

Both of these lectures provide a glimpse into significant personalities and events associated with the Second Seminole War which shaped the history of Florida and the United States.

"Black Leadership During the Second Seminole War"
Dr. Anthony Dixon, Adjunct Faculty, History Department (FAMU)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.

Dr. Dixon's lecture will provide the "untold history" about the involvement and leadership of African Seminole Maroons in the Second Seminole War.

"Seminole Battle Strategies During the Second Seminole War"
Nathan Lawres, M.A., Tribal Archaeologist Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki- Seminole Museum, Clewiston

Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.

The African and Native Seminoles successfully used "guerrilla tactics" to battle a much larger and more powerful United States military. This lecture provides an informative look at those battle strategies.

Visit our current exhibit:

"The Southern Underground Railroad and Seminole Wars"

Join us next season (opening in September 2013):

"African American Espionage in the Civil War"

Community Breakfast

Our seventh annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Breakfast will be held on Saturday, January 19th. The breakfast os from 7:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. and will be held at Punta Gorda Middle School, 1001 Education Ave., Punta Gorda, FL.

Tickets are $12 ($15 at the door) for adults and $6 for children 12 and under. Tickets may be purchased at the museum.

Our featured speaker is Patricia Washington, professor emeritus of social work at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Come join us if you can.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Abraham's Visit

The museum's season opening was held this afternoon and those in attendance were transported to the mid 1800's as African Seminole War Chief Abraham, his wife and grandson visited.

Mr. Ralph Smith, a Black Seminole played the part of Abraham. He and his wife spoke about the life and customs of the Black Seminoles as well as the Seminoles. They answered many questions from those present.

To learn more about the Seminoles click here. To learn more about Black Seminoles click here.

Orr's engraving of Abraham.

Friday, September 14, 2012

2012-2013 Season

The Blanchard House Museum opens for its 2012-2013 season on Saturday, September 22nd, with the opening of a new exhibit and reception from 2-5 PM.

This exhibit is a sequel to last season’s “The Seminole Wars: Slaves, Maroons, and Black Seminoles”.  The new exhibit, “The Southern Underground Railroad and the Seminole Wars” will highlight the role that Florida played in the Underground Railroad as a key refuge for runaway slaves.  The African-Seminole alliance was the strongest southern network of the Underground Railroad and the first united resistance to challenge the institution of slavery.  The Second Seminole War is known as the longest slave rebellion in United States history.

Mr. Ralph Smith, an African Seminole will present an interpretation of the African Seminole war chief Abraham, who was also the interpreter and chief advisor to Chief Micanopy.  Mr. Smith and his wife will discuss the life and customs of Black Seminoles.  Visitors will be invited to see the new additions to the permanent exhibit as well as to view the new Southern Underground Railroad exhibit.  Refreshments will be served.  Be sure to bring a lawn chair!  This event is free and open to the public.

The Blanchard House Museum is located at 406 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., in Punta Gorda.  The Blanchard House will be open Tuesday-Friday, 10 AM to 4 PM.  The phone number is (941) 575-7518.  Arrangements can be made for group tours and lectures.  Admission is free but donations are welcomed!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

An Honor

The museum has been given an award from the Punta Gorda Historical Advisory Board (PGHAB). Mr. John Chalifaux, president of the PGHAB and Punta Gorda Council Member Rachel Keesling presented Dr. Martha Bireda with the plaque on the morning of May 16, 2012.

The museum was given the award for preserving the historical integrity of the house's porch as it was replaced due to termite damage.

The plaque will eventually be afixed to the museum.