POSTPONED: “The Kidnapping of Bathsheba Bungy” at the New Castle Court House Museum on March 21, 2020

Valarie Petty Boyer Ph.D. will tell the story of Bathsheba Bungy
at the New Castle Court House Museum on March 21, 2020.

NOTE: This program has been postponed. Date to be determined

(DOVER, Del.—March 9, 2020)—In celebration of National Women’s History Month, historical interpreter Valarie Petty Boyer, Ph.D. will utilize monologue and song to tell the true story of Bathsheba Bungy, an African American girl from New Castle, Del. who was kidnapped by two white men in 1830 and taken to Maryland to be sold into slavery. The program explores Bungy’s ordeal and escape, and the actual trial of her kidnappers which was held in the New Castle Court House—the very location where Boyer’s performance will be held.

“The Kidnapping of Bathsheba Bungy” will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, 2020 at the New Castle Court House Museum, located at 211 Delaware St. in New Castle, Del. Admission is free and open to the public but, due to space restrictions, reservations are suggested by calling 302-323-4453. The museum will also be open for visitation and tours from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Valarie Petty Boyer holds a doctorate in education from Walden University; and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education—both from the University of Delaware. A resident of Dover, Del., she teaches sociology, human development and general psychology at Delaware Technical and Community College.

As a historical interpreter, Boyer writes and performs her own programs which often feature her singing Negro spirituals. In addition to Bathsheba Bungy, she has portrayed antislavery activist Charlotte Forten Grimke; Nannie Goode who taught at the Iron Hill Colored School in Newark, Del. in the 1920s; and escaped slave Susan Petty, a fictional character created by Boyer and named for her grandmother.

Constructed in 1732, the New Castle Court House is one of the oldest active court buildings in the United States and was Delaware’s first state capitol. Here, the Colonial Assembly passed the 1776 Separation Resolution creating the Delaware State. During its nearly 300 years of history, this National Historic Landmark has played pivotal roles in the political, social and commercial life of both New Castle and Delaware. The museum is a partner site in the First State National Historical Park.

Photo of the New Castle Court House Museum
New Castle Court House Museum

The New Castle Court House Museum is administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, an agency of the State of Delaware. The division enhances Delaware’s quality of life by preserving the state’s unique historical heritage, fostering community stability and economic vitality and providing educational programs and assistance to the general public on Delaware history. The division’s diverse array of services includes operation of five museums which are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, administration of the State Historic Preservation Office, conservation of the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections, operation of a conference center and management of historic properties across the state. Primary funding for division programs and services is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, a federal agency. However, the contents and opinions expressed in the division’s programs and services do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Department of the Interior.

Picture of the Logo of the American Alliance of Museums


Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone: 302-739-7787