J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Upcoming Lectures at the A.A.S.

The American Antiquarian Society in Worcester has three upcoming public lectures on different aspects of eighteenth-century American history.

Thursday, 20 October, 7:30 P.M.
John P. Demos
“The Unredeemed Captive: Her Journey, and My Own”

The Eighth Annual Robert C. Baron Lecture

The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America was published in 1994, and won the Francis Parkman and Ray Allen Billington prizes in American history. It offered a striking retelling of the aftermath of the 1704 French and Native American raid on the Puritan settlement in Deerfield, Massachusetts. One captured child, Eunice, converted to Catholicism and married a Native American in Canada. Despite the ongoing attempts of Eunice’s family to persuade her to return to Massachusetts, she chose her new life, and her new family, thus remaining “unredeemed.” In this lecture, Demos will reflect on the book’s career, as well as its impact on his own career as a scholar and teacher of generations of early Americanists at Brandeis and Yale.

Tuesday, 25 October, 7:30 P.M.
Joseph J. Ellis
“American Love Story: Abigail and John”

In this lecture, Joseph J. Ellis will recount one of the most remarkable partnerships in all of American history. The friendship and love of John and Abigail Adams is contained in the letters they left behind, nearly twelve hundred of which still exist today. Together, John and Abigail also illustrate the challenges of effecting and winning a Revolution, negotiating peace, and instituting and implementing a federal Constitution—all while trying to keep their marriage strong and their family united. Based on his latest book, First Family: Abigail and John Adams, Ellis will draw upon these sources to study the relationship of this dynamic couple, analyzing how and why their friendship prevailed even in times of doubt and distress.

Tuesday, 15 November, 7:30 P.M.
Carolyn Eastman
“‘Grandeurs wch. I had heard of’: Books and the Imagined World of Travel in the Eighteenth Century”

In the eighteenth century, lavishly illustrated travel narratives became one of the most popular book genres for American readers. These books told the tales of adventurers whose experiences were so dramatic they could seem better than fiction. Better yet, their pages were interleaved with elaborately detailed copperplate engravings that offered still more insights into a world full of strange peoples. This talk will examine not just how those books taught Americans how to think about a larger world, but how men and women in remote American towns and villages learned to consider travel to be an educational and potentially life-changing experience. This lecture is based upon Eastman’s current research on the changing views of gender and sexuality in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world. She is an associate professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University and a 2011-12 A.A.S.-N.E.H. Fellow.


Anonymous said...

Just stopping by to write that I enjoy the blog. I write and blog about New England history too - mostly the Victorian era, but I find other periods interesting too. I just finished a column about a 1695 raid in Billerica, Massachusetts, similar to the one you mention in Deerfield; so, I found this post particularly interesting. In my research, I've come across a couple of captivity narratives, most recently, the narrative of Mary Rowlandson. There's some great content and material in there.

J. L. Bell said...

My favorite study of the 1704 Deerfield raid is Captors and Captives by Evan Haefeli and Kevin Sweeney. It incorporates sources from the English, French, and Native nations involved.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the lectures announcement. Demos's book is excellent and made my visits to Deerfield more meaningful. Kit