“Interpretive Challenges” blog visits Monumental Church

the pews at Monumental, author's photo

Emmanuel Dabney works at the Petersburg National Battlefield and blogs about historical topics and historical preservation at Interpretive Challenges. I haven’t yet posted to his coverage of Monumental Church, but it’s worth a read. ¬†Dabney was in attendance during my talk at the Library of Virginia (thanks for coming!), and toured the church afterwards. He offered some suggestions for the Historic Richmond Foundation about ways they could incorporate more religious historical context and personal anecdotes to enliven the tours.

One of the anecdotes he suggested was one that made me laugh when I first read it in William Meade’s recollections, and I even included it in the book. As Dabney relays it,

“[Chief Justice John] Marshall actually was too tall to fit comfortably in the pew and thus he sat near the door which he kept flung open. He sat so his legs were out in the aisle. To me this just made the church even more interesting as the minister would be preaching and there was the Chief Justice with his legs in the aisle.”

John Marshall