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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Tuesday, April 02, 2019

The American Enlightenment and the Transatlantic Cod Trade

On Thursday, 4 April, the Yale Center for British Art will host this year’s Lewis Walpole Library Lecture: “Was There an American Enlightenment?” by Caroline Winterer, Anthony P. Meier Family Professor in the Humanities and Director at the Stanford Humanities Center.

The event description:
The American Enlightenment is often viewed as a singular era bursting with new ideas as the U.S. sought to assert itself in a new republic free of the British monarchy. In this talk, Stanford historian Caroline Winterer shows how the myth and romanticization of an American Enlightenment was invented during the Cold War to calm fears of totalitarianism overseas. She’ll then look behind the 20th-century mythology, rescuing a “real” eighteenth-century American Enlightenment that is far different than the one we usually imagine.
Winterer is the author of American Enlightenments: Pursuing Happiness in the Age of Reason (Yale, 2016). Her previous books include The Mirror of Antiquity: American Women and the Classical Tradition, 1750-1900 and The Culture of Classicism: Ancient Greece and Rome in American Intellectual Life, 1780-1910. She received an American Ingenuity Award from the Smithsonian Institution for an article mapping the social network of Benjamin Franklin.

Winterer’s talk will began at 5:30 P.M. in the lecture hall of the Yale Center for British Art, 1080 Chapel Street in New Haven.

On Sunday, 7 April, the Salem Maritime National Historic Site’s visitor center will host a symposium on “Salt Cod for Silver: Yankees, Basques, and the North Shore’s Forgotten Trade.”

The program will explore the nearly two-hundred-year-long trading relationship between the New England ports of Salem, Marblehead, and Beverly and the Spanish Basque port of Bilbao.

As the event title suggests, in the years before the Revolution, shipping fish to Spain provided a major infusion of cash money for Salem and nearby ports. One of the mercantile firms handling that trade in Bilbao was Gardoqui & Sons, and during the war it turned to shipping arms back to the new U.S. of A.

The symposium participants will be:
  • Xabier Lamikiz, University of the Basque Country
  • David Hancock, University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
  • Karen Alexander, University of New Hampshire Gulf of Maine Cod Project
  • Donald C. Carleton, Jr., organizer and moderator
This symposium is presented in partnership with Historic Beverly, the Marblehead Museum, Salem State University Department of History, and Bilboko Itsasdarra Itsas Museoa (Bilbao Maritime Museum).

This free public event will be held in the Salem Visitor Center at 2 New Liberty Street from 2:00 to 4:00 P.M. Seating is limited to the first 200 people who arrive.

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