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Upcoming Speaker Series Presentations

The Thursday Evening Speaker Series is free of charge and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Unless otherwise noted, programs will be held at the Missouri State Archives, located at 600 W. Main Street in Jefferson City. The series is underwritten by the Friends of the Missouri State Archives.

[Presentation Videos from past events are available at the following location:
Missouri State Archives Presentation Videos.]



Steamboat Disasters of the Lower Missouri River

Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022 @ 7 p.m.




During the 19th century, more than 300 vessels met their end in the steamboat graveyard that was the Lower Missouri River, from Omaha to its mouth. Although derided as little more than an "orderly pile of kindling," steamboats were, in fact, technological marvels superbly adapted to the river's conditions. Their light superstructure and long, wide, flat hulls powered by high-pressure engines drew so little water that they could cruise on "a heavy dew" even when fully loaded. But these same characteristics made them susceptible to fires, explosions and snags. Join us as authors Vicki and James Erwin detail the perils faced on every voyage by steamboats, their passengers and crews.

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Bigamy and Bloodshed: The Scandal of Emma Molloy and the Murder of Sarah Graham

Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022 @ 7 p.m.




Join us as a Larry E. Wood presents the story of Emma Molloy?temperance revivalist, prohibitionist and accessory to murder. In the summer of 1885, ex-convict George Graham bigamously married Cora Lee, foster daughter of nationally known temperance revivalist Emma Molloy, and the three took up residence together on the Molloy family farm near Springfield, Missouri. When the body of Graham’s first wife, Sarah, was found at the bottom of an abandoned well on the property early the next year, Graham was charged with murder, while Cora and Emma were implicated as accessories. Wood will describe how this sensational story made national headlines, threatening Mrs. Molloy’s career as a prominent evangelist and temperance revivalist.


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