Dick Cheatham's Characters Available as of August 2021

All presentations can include an in-character portion followed by an out-of-character portion wherein the presenter as contemporary historian can address issues about which his character could not have known as well as some of the most recent scholarship on the character. Both sections are interactive and can include questions from the audience.


This pivotal American hero was the actual husband (and love) of Pocahontas, not Captain John Smith as many mistakenly believe. He was also the entrepreneur at Jamestown who saved the failing English colony that evolved into the United States of America. Without John Rolfe’s contributions, the United States of America would not likely exist today. Rolfe witnessed the failure of the “common storehouse” system and its replacement by widespread ownership of private property by the common man. He was also a member of America’s very first representative government, a little parliament called the Virginia General Assembly, years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. This is America’s founding story, one unfortunately very few Americans know or are taught today. The presenter is a direct descendent of Pocahontas and Rolfe, fourteen generations later. Rolfe presentations have been seen all over the USA and abroad by many thousands in all sorts of audiences.

Suggested Rolfe themes include:
» Witness to the Creation of America
» All the Things that Define the USA
» Pocahontas, The True Story
» Profit and Loss
» Conflicting and Complementary Cultures
» Perseverance
» Never Give Up
» Diversity
» The Carrot and The Stick
» Motivation
» Achieving Goals
» Discovering the Treasures Hidden All Around Us
» America, Over a Decade Before the Pilgrims Landed
» Private Property Saves the Seed that Grew into the USA
» The Failing Common Storehouse Replaced by Widespread Private Property Ownership

“Of all the activities we were involved with or hosted…the presentation by “John Rolfe” was by far, the absolute highlight of the entire event for those able to attend. He truly made history come alive for all of us and I cannot speak highly enough about his performance…The historical accuracy of his presentation and the significant educational and entertainment value of his delivery made this singular event a truly memorable experience for everyone.”
Peter H. Bryan – Order of the First Families of Virginia


“Lewis and Clark” are typically spoken almost as one word. This half of that extraordinary leadership team was far more than an exceptional expedition commander. Meriwether Lewis was a neighbor, personal friend and student of Thomas Jefferson and served as Jefferson’s personal secretary living in what became the “White House” for years before leading his amazing trans-continental mission to the Pacific and back. Lewis was a Jeffersonian through and through, even serving as Jefferson’s eyes and ears at the treason trial of the former Vice President, Aaron Burr, in Richmond after his return from the Pacific. Lewis was being groomed for greater things by his mentor, Thomas Jefferson, just as Jefferson had done with James Madison and James Monroe. He was appointed Governor of the Louisiana Territory and learned there a great deal more about treasons that threatened the United States at that time. Many historians have previously presumed his death to be a suicide. Recent revelations are now pointing to a political murder ordered by perhaps America’s greatest and most successful traitor who was at the time commanding the United States Army and who was at the same time serving as a very highly paid “Agent Number 13” for Spain.

Suggested Lewis themes include:
» Mission Planning for the Unknown
» Motivation
» Leadership
» My Heroes
» Effective Communication
» Effective Listening
» Achieving Goals
» Team Building
» Surviving and Prospering with Less
» Adapting to Change

“The response from the attendees was fantastic! They loved your presentation. Usually during the Plenary session there are side conversations going on in the back of the room and some people are getting up and coming in through the talk...I was struck by the fact that you could have heard a pin drop during your entire session...I have never seen that group so attentive. I also noticed that nobody got up to leave before you were done.”
Mike Huffman - Conference Organizer, Missouri Natural Resources Conference 2004


The uncle of Virginia Governor and Militia General Thomas Nelson, Jr. who watched the siege of Yorktown from the vantage point of Lord Cornwallis' Head Quarters, Secretary Nelson's personal home.

Dick Cheatham as John Tyler

This relatively unknown American President was a President of many “firsts” that define the office of Chief Executive today. Tyler was cited as America’s greatest President in “Recarving Rushmore” by Ivan Eland in 2009. Tyler has often been deemed an unsuccessful President by contemporary “experts” who don’t properly take into account Tyler’s Jeffersonian vision and his reverence for the Constitution. Tyler spent all of his political capital in office defending the Constitution at the expense of being reelected. He was even “drummed out” of his own party for vetoing its bills he believed to be un-Constitutional. Tyler had known and come to admire Thomas Jefferson who he met through his father, a friend and contemporary of Jefferson in Williamsburg. Tyler was the first President to take office due to the death of a President, William Henry Harrison, an event that created a major political controversy in Washington, D. C. His greatest accomplishments are sadly seen today as failures due to a shift in contemporary political values. John Tyler was the great champion of the Constitution of his day. This presentation has been seen by President Tyler’s actual grandson who is still living in Richmond, Virginia today and by White House Staff.

Suggested Tyler themes include:
» Standing for Your Values and Paying the Price
» The Constitution
» President of Precedents
» Dealing with Unexpected Challenges
» “His Accidency,” Last of the Jeffersonians
» Achieving Goals
» Perseverance
» Overcoming Obstacles
» When to Stand and Fight

“…I again want to thank you for your performance at the White House Reunion this past November. (White House) Staff are still talking about the Saturday evening performance.”
Joni Stevens - Former Executive Assistant to the Military Assistant to the President of the United States of America

Richard Henry Lee full with book open

This little-known hero was the patriot who made – not wrote – the declaration of independence, Lee’s spoken declaration approved by Congress on 2 July 1776 gave the USA independence. His friend John Adams wrote his wife, Abigail, that the 2nd of July 1776 would forever be celebrated as our day of independence. Lee’s very words were incorporated in Jefferson’s written document, a document Lee would likely have been chosen to write had he not needed to return to Virginia due to family illness. Lee had been a radical for liberty and independence for many years prior to independence and was a key figure in that movement propelled by his passion for liberty. Though primarily a “citizen soldier” armed with a powerful pen and an inspiring voice that some compared with Patrick Henry’s, he commanded the Westmoreland militia in combat during the War for Independence. He was friend and fellow conspirator with the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, George Washington, John and Sam Adams and many others. He even served as President before George Washington…under America’s first constitution called the Articles of Confederation. But now, Americans have sadly and unfortunately forgotten this passionate patriot who brought us independence.

Suggested Lee themes include:
» The Man Who Made, Not Wrote, the Declaration of Independence
» Liberty as Well as Independence
» Persuasion and Effective Communication
» Commitment
» Vision
» Perseverance
» Achieving Goals
» A President Before Washington

“Your portrayal of Richard Henry Lee at the end of his career was superb. It provided the keynote event of our weekend meeting and was most fitting in his childhood home. Our Society members will be talking about it for years to come.”
Carter B. Refo, President, The Society of the Lees of Virginia

Other characters:

John Clayton - The once-famous Virginia botanical scientist from near Williamsburg who created Virginia's first "Flora" and was collaborator with Benjamin Franklin and world-renown Carl Linnaeus

Colonel J. T. L. Preston – childhood friend of Edgar Allan Poe and brother-in-law and best friend of General Stonewall Jackson, founder of the Virginia Military Institute, champion of the citizen soldier concept, VMI professor, Staff Officer under Stonewall Jackson and education visionary

Captain Richard Manson - Educated and literate Virginia infantry officer during the Civil War who saw it all and lived to tell about it as a veteran (He was a great, great grandfather of Dick Cheatham.)

Living History Associates, Ltd.
804-262-4542 Office