In 1897 while on assignment in Europe, Homer Davenport was introduced by African explorer Henry Morton Stanley to Major James Pond, the world-famous lecture manager. During this period of time, the “lecture circuit” provided a unique and varied form of entertainment: Listening to people talk on a variety of subjects.
Major Pond was a highly successful lecture manager whose clients besides Stanley included Mark Twain, Winston Churchill, and soon after, Davenport. As Pond surmised, Davenport was a natural. His subjects included the famous and powerful he cartooned, but also tales of his own early life, growing up in Silverton, Oregon. Many stories that eventually became his autobiography, “The Country Boy.”
So it seems fitting that a major portion of The Davenport Project will consist of a series of dynamic lectures, comprising the wide range of topics surrounding Davenport’s amazingly diverse life and times. These topics include but are not limited to:
- The Life and Times of Homer C. Davenport
- Pioneer Silverton as Artistic Incubator
- Nast & Davenport: The power of the Cartoon during the gilded age
- Davenport’s impact on the Arabian Horse breeding community
- Homer’s Kin: An overview of the Eastern adventures of Homer’s expatriate Oregonian cousins, NY fashion model Musa Geer, her brother Bert, journalist Pearl Geer and his sisters Adda and Alice.
- Universal Mental Liberty: Silverton and the 19th Century Free Thought Movement in Oregon
- Timothy W. Davenport: Pioneer Oregon physician, surveyor, politician and social commentator
Venues are to be determined, but will include the Portland metro area, Salem and of course Silverton. During the Davenport Community Festival, the lecture series will move to GeerCrest Farm for the weekend. Check back here for details. As they gel, we will post them here.