June 3 Newcomer House Porch Program: “Mrs. Robinson Visits the Newcomers”

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First Person Portrayal by ZSun-nee Miller-Matema

ZSunee Miller-Matema, a direct descendant of Martha Washington's personal maid Caroline Branham, will be portraying Mary Warrick, wife of Branham's grandson Rev. Robert Robinson on June 3 at 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. at the Newcomer House on the Antietam National Battlefield.

Rev. Robinson was born into slavery. Through negotiations with his enslaver, GWP Custis, his grandmother, Caroline Branham, was able to secure his freedom at age 21. He was apprenticed for eleven years to an Alexandria, Virginia businessman, during that time Robinson grew his faith. Robinson helped establish the Western Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the first Conference for African Americans.

His work links him not only to Tolson’s Chapel in Sharpsburg but all Black Methodist Episcopal Churches.

Miller-Matema is a 30-year educator and Founder of AFRIASIA: The Intercultural Education Exchange. She combines historical research, transformative theatre, and cultural advocacy to develop a wide variety of programs and presentations. She has portrayed Caroline Branham at Mount Vernon; Christina Watson, a founder of Tolson's Chapel; and many other formerly enslaved and noble women.

This is the seventh season of Porch Programs at the Newcomer House, HCWHA’s Exhibit and Visitor Center at Antietam National Battlefield. Porch Programs feature presentations, demonstrations, pop-up exhibits, interactives and more from April through December.

The Newcomer House is located at 18422 Shepherdstown Pike in Keedysville, MD. The house is open 10am-4pm weekends in April, May, October and November and daily June through September. Volunteer docents will be available to share knowledge about the Newcomer House and offer assistance to visitors to the three county Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area. For more information, contact Newcomer House Manager Rachel Nichols at rachel@heartofthecivilwar.org or (240) 308-1740.

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Rachel Nichols
Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area
(240) 308-1740
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