History at Home-Scottish Blockade Runner in American Civil War
Nov 10 @ 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm


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Greetings maritime history lovers! Join us at noon on Wednesday, November 10, for our History for Lunch program via Zoom live from Scotland. This event will feature guest speaker John F. Messner, Curator for Transport & Technology at Glasgow Museums (Riverside Museum), along the banks of the Clyde River. John is the author of the new book, A Scottish Blockade Runner in the American Civil War: Joannes Wyllie of the Steamer Ad-Vance. Grab a sandwich, some chips, and your favorite beverage, and listen as John recounts the once-forgotten story of Scottish-born mariner Joannes Wyllie and his career sailing the world and in particular, his time as a master and captain aboard blockade runners during the Civil War.

From beginning to end, Wyllie served aboard one of the most successful blockade runners of the Civil War, the Ad-Vance. Hear about Wyllie’s near-fatal mishap prior to the war. Find out what happened to the Ad-Vance. Was she sunk by the Union blockading fleet? Captured? Quietly retired? Learn what happened when Wyllie and the blockade runner Deer attempted to enter Charleston at the end of the war. Lastly, find out what a former blockade running captain does once the shooting stops and the side wheels go silent. So join us on November 10 to hear more about the exciting exploits of Joannes Wyllie presented by John Messner!

Along with being a curator at Glasgow Museums, John was part of the project team for the Riverside Museum-Scotland’s Museum of Transport and Travel, winner of the European Museum of the Year 2013. In 2015 he co-curated a display about Glasgow’s role in the American Civil War which led to his work on the life of Joannes Wyllie.

Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, he is a graduate of Butler University, Indianapolis and received his MA in Museum Studies from Leicester University, England.  He now lives with his family in Ayrshire, Scotland.