On 7 May at noon, Van Ruymbeke will speak at the Boston Athenaeum on “Rêves d’Amérique: The New World in Huguenot Imagination and Reality.” That lecture description says:
Promotional pamphlets published by colonial proprietors and land speculators to draw Huguenots to their domains and Huguenot letters sent from America to relatives who remained in Europe enable historians to grasp the image that the New World carried in the refugees’ imagination and to contrast it to the harsh reality of getting settled in an often inhospitable environment.Van Ruymbeke is author of a new book titled L’Amérique avant les États-Unis: Une histoire de l’Amérique anglaise (America before the United States: A History of English America). He’s previously written and edited books on the Huguenot diaspora after 1685.
Among the Huguenot families who eventually settled in Boston were the Reveres, Bowdoins, and Faneuils. For a while there was a Huguenot church, though it sat empty by the time of the Revolution. Ironically, the town’s first Catholic congregation met there in the 1780s.