One of the Sheep, or One of the Wolves?

 As a Living History Interpreter, one question I hear repeatedly, and one that is perhaps most central to what I do, is “Why do we need to know this?”

This is a loaded question. I could throw out the old stale answer “those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it.” The problem is this does not work on a 15-year-old, who has little concern for education or with most of the public for that matter. They just do not get it.

I would make the case that history is a most important subject for everyone. Our identity as individual human beings is indivisibly linked to knowledge of our own history. Science and mathematics do not tell us who we are, that knowledge can only come from knowing who we, as a people, have been. Continue reading


And So it Begins


Welcome to the Interpreting History blog. The while title of this blog pretty well describes what our subject is, you may be asking “why should you listen to me?”

I was born in Louisville, KY and raised in southern Indiana. I graduated from the Kentucky Military Institute, where I developed an appreciation for both American history and military history. I served in the US Navy and used the travel opportunity to broaden my knowledge and understanding of European history, culture, and their impact on America.

I began my living history career working as a volunteer costumed interpreter at an early 18th century Native American site at Virginia’s Explore Park from 1993 – 1999, and then worked in a similar job at the Native American living history village at Virginia’s Natural Bridge from 2000 – 2008.

In 2004, with several other experienced living history interpreters, I founded the Southern Indian Department, a historical re-enactment organization dedicated to the portrayal British Southern Indian Department. Members portray its officers, employees, and southeastern natives. During this period, I developed my initial first-person persona, “Still Standing,” a half-French, half-Indian employee of the Department.

In 2006, I became interested in Lt. Col Thomas Brown, a loyalist officer during the American Revolutionary War, who also served as the Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Cherokee and Creek nations beginning in 1780. I began the research required to bring him to life and, in 2009, after 3 years of preparation, I presented this character for the first time during the Under the Crown event at the Living History Park in North Augusta, SC.
Currently, I am assisting several other living history interpreters, who are starting two new reenactment units, the King’s Carolina Rangers, which was Col Thomas Brown’s provincial regiment, and the Olde Towne militia in North Augusta, SC.
So, let us have fun with this and remember, discuss differences of opinion in a civil way.

Chuck H