Camp William Penn and Historic La Mott Day 2023

Save the Date!

When: September 23, 2023
Where: La Mott, PA

This event will honor the 160th anniversary of Camp William Penn and the establishment of the United States Colored Troops during the Civil War in present day La Mott.  Camp William Penn was the first and largest federal training site for colored soldiers in the Civil War.

Opening ceremony will take place at Camp William Penn gate at 10:00 (7320 Sycamore Ave.) followed by a day of programs honoring our soldiers and celebrating the history of our community. Camp William Penn Museum will be open and local organizations will be present in the community with displays to discuss their histories and contributions to the area. USCT re-enactors will have an encampment on CWP ground and there will be Civil War era medical demonstrations in our barn. Music and walking tours will also be part of the day.

Closing ceremony will be at 3:45 at the Flagpole (corner Sycamore and Willow).

Volunteers, starting now and also for the day of the event, are needed.
For information, regarding the event as well as inquiries re volunteering, contact:
Citizens for the Restoration of Historical La Mott, 1618 Willow Ave., La Mott, PA 19027
Email: pt@usct.org or by phone: 215 885-2258

Free Online Presentations

  • Date: Sunday, February 26, 2023
  • Time: 3:00 pm
  • Where: Zoom, pre-registration required (see below)

“A Splendid Specimen of Physical Manhood”: The Post-War Journey of a United States Colored Infantry Soldier

Presented by Dr. Robert Hicks

Prestley Dawson enlisted in the 43rd Regiment, United States Colored Infantry (USCI) in 1864 and trained at Camp William Penn. He participated in fighting at the siege of Petersburg, Virginia, and completed service in Brownsville, Texas. He was lamed from falling breastworks in the Petersburg trenches and contracted malaria while in service. After the war he settled in Maryland and raised a family as a farmer but endured lifelong health problems because of his war experiences. Many studies have examined the general experiences of USCI regiments, but a deeper story emerges when we examine the individual lives of African American veterans. Dawson’s story illustrates how wartime wounds and diseases shaped his post-war life, one example of how veterans defined themselves because of how wounds, disease, and healing altered their bodies.

About the Presenter

Senior Consulting Scholar and William Maul Measey Chair for the History of Medicine of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. For over a decade he served as director of the Mütter Museum and Historical Medical Library. He has worked with museum-based education and exhibits for over three decades.
His most recent book, Civil War Medicine: A Surgeon’s Experience, appeared in 2019 by Indiana University Press. This lecture is based on a book in progress, Wounded for Life: Seven Union Veterans of the Civil War.

Readings from Straight to the Point

Dr. Gail A. Dawson, Associate Professor of Management and Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Tennessee, commenting and reading poems from her book Straight to the Point relating to her heritage as great granddaughter of Prestley Dorsey/Dawson.

Registration

To reserve a virtual seat for this event send an email to pt@usct.org. You will be sent a link with a password giving you access to the presentation.
We look forward to having you join us.

This program is funded in part by the Jenkinstown Lyceum.


Citizens for the Restoration of Historical La Mott, 1618 Willow Avenue, La Mott, PA 19027
Visit www.usct.org to learn more about Camp William Penn and to search USCT listings.

Camp William Penn and Historic La Mott Day

Join us in Honoring our Heritage, Saturday, September 17, 2022, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Opening ceremony: 10:00 at La Mott Community Center, 7420 Sycamore Ave., La Mott, 19027

We will remember the 1863 establishment of the USCT and CWP, the 160th anniversaries of the Battle of Antietam, the Allegheny Arsenal Explosion as well as Harriet Tubman’s 200th.  Note too, that it is Constitution Day.

  • Visit USCT encampment
  • Visit Camp William Penn Museum
  • Living History Demonstrations including ammunition making
  • Civil War Medical and Surgical instrument ‘show and tell’ 
  • Book signings, Lectures, Period Music, Films
  • La Mott History display
  • Civil War games and activities
  • Visit graves of CWP soldiers at Philadelphia National Cemetery
  • Local history organizations with tabletop displays and information

Closing ceremony: 3:45 at Flagpole (corner Sycamore and Willow)

Camp William Penn, located in what is now modern day La Mott, was the first and largest Federal training site for colored soldiers during the Civil War.

Note: Volunteers needed for help in all aspects of this event; some starting now and some the day of the event. Ideas and suggestions are also welcome. If you are able to help or participate, please use contact information below.

Email: pt@usct.org
Telephone: (215) 885-2258

Online Presentation

In A House Built By Slaves: African American Encounters with Abraham Lincoln

Presented by Dr. Jonathan W. White, Associate Professor of American Studies, Director, Pre-Law Program, Senior Fellow, Center for American Studies At Christopher Newport University

Prior to the Civil War, African Americans were almost entirely excluded from the White House, other than as servants or slaves. However, during the war, the racial color line was broken down as African Americans claimed the First Amendment right to petition the government. For the first time in the history of the United States, they saw the president as their president and the White House as their people’s house. Between 1862 and 1865 Lincoln welcomed hundreds of African Americans into his White House office and at public receptions. This talk will explore the remarkable story of the relationship that developed between Abraham Lincoln and the black community during the crucible of the Civil War.


Dr. James Paradis will highlight an engraving from the walls of Camp William Penn Museum: ‘Henry Clay: Compromise of 1850.”


This is a free Zoom event

Date: Sunday, February 27, 2022 Time: 3:00 pm

NOTE: To reserve a virtual seat for this event send an email to pt@usct.org and you will be sent a link with a password giving you access to the presentation. We look forward to having you join us.

This program is funded in part by the Jenkinstown Lyceum.

Camp William Penn and Historic La Mott Day

Join us in Honoring our Heritage

Saturday, September 18, 2021
Camp William Penn and Historic La Mott Day
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Opening ceremony: 10:00 at Camp William Penn Gate, 7322 Sycamore Ave., La Mott, 19027

  • Visit encampments: USCT and PA. 53 rd Infantry Re-enactors
  • Visit Camp William Penn Museum
  • Living History Demonstrations including ammunition making
  • Civil War Medical and Surgical instrument ‘show and tell’
  • Book signings, Lectures, Period Music, Films
  • La Mott History display
  • Civil War baseball as demonstrated by the E.P. 6 th graders
  • Local history organizations with tabletop displays and information

Closing ceremony: 3:45 at Flagpole (corner Sycamore and Willow)

*Camp William Penn, located in what is now modern day La Mott, was the first and largest Federal training site for colored soldiers during the Civil War.
Note: Volunteers needed for help in all aspects of this event; some starting now and some the day of the event. Ideas and suggestions are also welcome. If you are able to help or participate, please use contact information below.

Citizens for the Restoration of Historical La Mott
Email: pt@usct.org
1618 Willow Avenue
Telephone: (215) 885-2258 La Mott, PA 19027