Friday, September 3, 2010

Anna Ella Carroll's Life to be Illuminated

Something unusual and stunning is scheduled to take place in Cambridge on November 20 at the Hyatt Chesapeake Golf and Conference Center. Would you believe the world premiere of a movie about one of Dorchester County's (and Maryland's) most notable women?

Anna Ella Carrol spent much of her life in Dorchester County after running her father's office - he was a lawyer and Maryland governor - and participating in some of the most momentous incidents our country has ever seen.

Ms. Carroll, better known as Ann to her many friends and admirers, somehow became an adviser to President Abraham Lincoln. She had a hand in the framing of the Emancipation Proclamation and created the Tennessee River Plan, a brilliant military strategy that cut off supply routes from the south to battlefields in the north.

All that said, when President Lincoln's cabinet was recognized in a life-sized oil painting, Anna Ella Carroll was painted out - the result of protests by the rest of the nearly all-male cabinet - and jealous outrage expressed by Mary Lincoln, who may not have been entirely sane after the death of her son Tad.

The Victorian attitudes of those times surely had an impact on the lack of the illumination of the useful and helpful life of a mere woman who happened to find herself a pawn in one of history's most dramatic stories.

After President Lincoln was assassinated, Ms. Carroll moved to Dorchester County, MD where she lived out her days quietly in hope she would be recognized by the government and given the same pension the males in Lincoln's cabinet enjoyed throughout their lives. That never happened and she died alone and in poverty.

Bruce Bridegroom, a New Mexico attorney has put his own funds into this film depicting the life of Anna Ella Carroll, a woman history nearly erased from the annals of the state and nation. In addition to the film, the historic painting of Lincoln's Cabinet is being re-created by local artist Laura Era, who places Ms. Carroll in the empty chair of the original art. This painting will also be on display at the film's premiere.

Plan to attend this special event in Cambridge on November 20.

I'm looking forward to going to my very first premiere, and staying dry and on the sunny side while hurricane Earl passes by. Cheers! Terry

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