Wednesday, April 24, 2013

MADISON: A Gary Carden Monologue Celebrating the Life of Dr. Robert Lee Madison


Once again it is our pleasure to announce the performance of a Gary Carden Monologue.  On Friday, April 26, at 7:00 PM, Gary, assisted by  Pam Meister, Curator of the Mountain Heritage Center at WCU, will present “Madison,” on the stage of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Franklin, 89 Sierra Drive.

This is the life story of Dr. Robert Lee Madison, as told by folklorist Gary Carden.  Dr. Madison  in the 1880’s promoted the idea of a school that would train teachers for the mountain schools. There were no public schools, only family schools or subscription schools. Subscription schools required teacher payment up front from families or the schools could not be convened. At best a student’s schooling was sporadic.

Cullowhee Academy was a subscription, elementary school when  Dr. Madison came to the area to finish out the school year for his brother. He found that he liked teaching very much even though it paid very little.   He added to his income by writing for the local paper. His dream of a school that would train teachers began to look more promising when nine successful farmers from the area, later known as the Noble Nine, looked for a school and teachers to educate their school age children. Their funding launched a renewed interest in acquiring land and constructing housing for a new school.

This presentation will honor two important men in our intellectual life.  Gary Carden, who is a member of  the Franklin UU Fellowship, holds degrees including an  Honorary Doctorate, from Western Carolina University.  In 2012 he received the highest honor the Governor and the State of North Carolina can bestow in the Literary Arts.


Gary wrote this monologue to celebrate the life of Dr. Robert Lee Madison, the first President of  WCU, whose guidance and persistence, made possible a university education for himself and for the Appalachian Mountain population.

Tickets for “Madison” are available:
Franklin Chamber of Commerce.               828/524-3161, 
UU Fellowship of Franklin, 89 Sierra Dr.  828/524-6777
At the door the night of the performance   
Event Co-ordinator: Virginia Wilson          828/369-8658    



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