Prof. Karen Donathen Duffy*, curator of the Shapley Ross House and the organizer of Grand Civilian                                                     Events, is available to speak to you or your group during your stat at the Shapley Ross House.  Her fee is                                             $50 per presentation that you wish her to teach.

                                                               SUGGGESTED PRESENTATIONS             

(each lasts approximately one hour)

ETIQUETTE (Each topic can last between 30 - 60 minutes. You may decide which ones are of interest):

  • Introductions
  • Street
  • Dining
  • Parties 
  • Ballroom 

FIRST PERSON DEVELOPMENT:  What is it and How Does One Use It at Events?

ACCESSORIES: Completing your Ensemble! 

MOURNING: What did They REALLY Do?

VISITING CARDS: Their Design, Use, and Etiquette

AT HOME: A Study of Rooms and Their Furnishings and How They Changed from c. 1820-1865

PARLOR GAMES: Challenges and Forfeits
VOICE, DEPORTMENT AND CARRIAGE:  The Attributes of a Lady or a Gentleman


Interactive Workshop

Copyright © c. 1820 Shapley Ross House. All rights reserved.                                Owners reserve the right of refusal on reservations.

Educational Presentations

*About Prof. Karen


c. 1820

Shapley Ross House


  • Cost is $60 per person
  • Minimum of 4 Persons Required
  • Length - Four Hours
  • All Equipment and Food Provided

                                         Prof. Karen Donathen Duffy, FSA Scot, is a retired Professor of History, specializing in both American                                               Material Culture and Social History 1800-1865 and Ancient History. Karen is an ordained minister.  She has                                           been a Civil War reenactor for more than 40 years, a Regency and Romantic Eras living historian for over 25                                         years.  Karen is the curator and director of the c. 1820 Shapley Ross House and The Reenactor Bed and                                               Breakfast.

                                        Karen is the creater and hostess of the Civil War "Grand Civilian Events":  Steamboats a Comin'  (Louisville,                                         KY), A Christmas Past (Colonial WIlliamsburg, VA) and A Weekend of Mark Twain (Hannibal, MO.)  Karen                                             hosts and calls Civil War balls throughout the country and has presented dance workshops and ballroom                                               etiquette classes numerous times throughout the 40+ years that she has been a living historian and Civil                                             War reenactor.  Karen founded The Royal Lancers Vintage Dance Troupe and was the artistic director ​for 12                                           years.  Karen was a regular speaker at The Civil War Lady Conferences and regularly speaks at national                                               history seminars and various civilian symposiums including The Civilian Celebration at Capon Springs.

Karen is a well-known speaker on Scottish heritage and clans (She married into the MacFie Clan; hers is the House of Crawford) and has presented sessions on "The History and Evolution of the Kilt,"  "Historic Scottish Women's Attire," and "The History of Tartans," at numerous Scottish Games throughout America.  Karen is also interested in the fascinating historic link of Gaelic Psalm singing to African-American Line-out hymn singing and Muskogee (Creek) hymn singing.  She is currently studying the history of the numerous Gaelic speaking black slaves and slave owners in 18th and 19th century America. Karen is a member of  The Scottish Tartan Authority, the Scottish Tartan Museum, and an FSA Scot fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

But more important to Karen than all the above, is the very deep love and passion she has for the  remote indigenous peoples of the Ecuadorian rainforest.  She works among the Waorani, Achuar and Shur tribes. She is the founder and director of Come to the Rainforest Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization, which provides humanitarian, faith-based, and educational initiatives in the remote villages throughout the Ecuadorian rainforest  If you would like to join Karen on one of her short term mission trip please visit her website or her Facebook page 'Come to the Rainforest.'  PROCEEDS FROM THE BED AND BREAKFAST GO TO THE FOUNDATION.

Karen lives on 35 acres in a log cabin built in 1819 on a western bluff of the Mississippi River surrounded by a 300 acre nature preserve.  It is her little piece of heaven on earth and a dream come true.  She has three miniature ponies, four miniature donkeys, chickens, turkeys, dogs and cats!

Karen is listed in Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who Among America's Greatest Teachers and Who's Who Among International Women.