Jim Christ

Jul 132022

Online Meeting  (7:00pm Zoom opens) (7:30pm Lecture begins)

The American Revolution was a vicious civil war fought between families and neighbors. Nowhere was this truer than in South Carolina. Yet, after the Revolution, South Carolina’s victorious Patriots offered vanquished Loyalists a prompt and generous legal and social reintegration. From Revolution to Reunion investigates the way in which South Carolinians, Patriot and Loyalist, managed to reconcile their bitter differences and reunite to heal South Carolina and create a stable foundation for the new United States to become a political and economic leader.

Rituals and emotions, as well as historical memory, produce a complex and nuanced interpretation of the reconciliation process in post-Revolutionary South Carolina, detailing how Loyalists and Patriots worked together to heal their society. We need to frame the process in a larger historical context by comparing South Carolina’s experience with that of other states.

Loyalists apologized but also went out of their way to serve their neighbors and to make themselves useful, even vital, members of the new experiment in self-government and liberty ushered in by the Revolution. Loyalists built on existing social ties to establish themselves in the new Republic, and they did it successfully.

By 1784 the state government reinstated almost all the Loyalists who had stayed, as the majority of Loyalists had reinscribed themselves into the postwar nation. South Carolinians went on to manipulate the way they talked about Loyalism in public to guarantee that memories would not be allowed to disturb the peaceful reconciliation they had created. South Carolinians succeeded in creating a generous and lasting reconciliation between former enemies, but in the process they unfortunately downplayed the dangers of civil war—which may have made it easier for South Carolinians to choose another civil war.

Book Purchase: To purchase this book please click on this link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1611176689/

About Rebecca Brannon:

Rebecca Brannon is an Associate Professor of History and Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  When not teaching or researching at a university named for the Father of the Constitution, she enjoys the area’s local craft breweries, diverse people, and wines and cheeses from around the world.  She lives in downtown Harrisonburg with her spouse and children.

Her academic research focuses on eighteenth-century American history and is concerned with broad questions about the American Revolution and the transition to modernity in the period.  We are often tempted to portray the transition to modern ways of organizing the world as elegant and completely embraced, yet in fact as all her research shows, it was halting, disjointed, and sometimes deeply painful for the people going through it.  Modernity was not self-evidently superior to the people who found themselves grappling with immense change.

Jun 162022
Online Meeting  (7:00pm Zoom opens) (7:30pm Lecture begins)
The speaker for this meeting is T. Cole Jones. He’ll be speaking about his 2019 book, Captives of Liberty: Prisoners of War and the Politics of Vengeance in the American Revolution.

Contrary to popular belief, the American Revolutionary War was not a limited and restrained struggle for political self-determination. From the onset of hostilities, British authorities viewed their American foes as traitors to be punished, and British abuse of American prisoners, both tacitly condoned and at times officially sanctioned, proliferated. Meanwhile, more than seventeen thousand British and allied soldiers fell into American hands during the Revolution. For a fledgling nation that could barely afford to keep an army in the field, the issue of how to manage prisoners of war was daunting.

Captives of Liberty examines how America’s founding generation grappled with the problems posed by prisoners of war, and how this influenced the wider social and political legacies of the Revolution. When the struggle began, revolutionary leadership strove to conduct the war according to the prevailing European customs of military conduct, which emphasized restricting violence to the battlefield and treating prisoners humanely. However, this vision of restrained war did not last long. As the British denied customary protections to their American captives, the revolutionary leadership wasted no time in capitalizing on the prisoners’ ordeals for propagandistic purposes. Enraged, ordinary Americans began to demand vengeance, and they viewed British soldiers and their German and Native American auxiliaries as appropriate targets. This cycle of violence spiraled out of control, transforming the struggle for colonial independence into a revolutionary war.

In illuminating this history, the violence of the Revolutionary War had a profound impact on the character and consequences of the American Revolution. Captives of Liberty not only provides the first comprehensive analysis of revolutionary American treatment of enemy prisoners but also reveals the relationship between America’s political revolution and the war waged to secure it.

BOOK PURCHASE: To purchase this book please click on this link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0812251695.


ABOUT T. Cole Jones :

T. Cole Jones completed a BA in History at Duke University and a PhD in Early American History at Johns Hopkins University. He specializes in Colonial and revolutionary America, the Atlantic world, the cultural history of violence, and war and society. Prior to joining the Purdue faculty, he was the Hench Post-Dissertation Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society and the National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the New-York Historical Society.

Jones’ first book, “Captives of Liberty: Prisoners of War and the Politics of Vengeance in the American Revolution,” was published in the University of Pennsylvania Press Early American Studies Series in 2020. By examining American treatment of enemy prisoners, this study reveals the factors that coalesced to transform a war for independence into a revolutionary struggle. His next book, “Loyalist Rising: The Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge,” is under contract with Westholme Press. In addition to this project, he is currently at work on a study of the western theater of the American Revolutionary War provisionally entitled, “Patrick Henry’s War: The Struggle for Empire in the Revolutionary West.”

Jones has published articles in the New England Quarterly, the Journal of the Early Republic, the Journal of Military History, and Common-Place. He contributed a chapter to “Justifying Revolution: Law, Virtue, and Violence in the American War of Independence,” edited by Glenn Moots and Philip Hamilton. His research has been supported by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the United States Army Center of Military History, and the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon, among others.

May 112022

On Line Meeting (7:00pm Zoom opens) (7:30pm Lecture begins)

In the late summer and fall of 1777, after two years of indecisive fighting on both sides, the outcome of the American War of Independence hung in the balance. Having successfully expelled the Americans from Canada in 1776, the British were determined to end the rebellion the following year and devised what they believed a war-winning strategy, sending General John Burgoyne south to rout the Americans and take Albany. When British forces captured Fort Ticonderoga with unexpected ease in July of 1777, it looked as if it were a matter of time before they would break the rebellion in the North. Less than three and a half months later, however, a combination of the Continental Army and militia forces, commanded by Major General Horatio Gates and inspired by the heroics of Benedict Arnold, forced Burgoyne to surrender his entire army. The American victory stunned the world and changed the course of the war. In the end, British plans were undone by a combination of faulty strategy, distance, geography, logistics, and an underestimation of American leadership and fighting ability. Taking Ticonderoga had misled Burgoyne and his army into thinking victory was assured. The campaign’s outcome forced the British to rethink their strategy, inflamed public opinion in England against the war, boosted Patriot morale, and, perhaps most critical of all, led directly to the Franco-American alliance. Weddle unravels the web of contingencies and the play of personalities that ultimately led to what one American general called “the Compleat Victory.”

Kevin J. Weddle offers the most authoritative history of the Battle of Saratoga to date, explaining with verve and clarity why events unfolded the way they did. In the end, British plans were undone by a combination of distance, geography, logistics, and an underestimation of American leadership and fighting ability. Taking Ticonderoga had misled Burgoyne and his army into thinking victory was assured. Saratoga, which began as a British foraging expedition, turned into a rout. The outcome forced the British to rethink their strategy, inflamed public opinion in England against the war, boosted Patriot morale, and, perhaps most critical of all, led directly to the Franco-American alliance. Weddle unravels the web of contingencies and the play of personalities that ultimately led to what one American general called “the Compleat Victory.”


BOOK PURCHASE: To purchase this book please click on this link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0195331400


ABOUT Kevin J Weddle:

Colonel (Retired) Kevin J. Weddle, Ph.D. is Professor of Military Theory and Strategy at the US Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. He is a native Minnesotan, graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and served 29 years as a combat engineer officer. Throughout his career he worked in a variety of command and staff positions in the United States and overseas and he is a veteran of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Colonel Weddle’s assignments included service as a platoon leader, assistant battalion operations officer, company executive officer, company commander and tours of duty at West Point, Germany, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the Pentagon. He also served as operations officer for the 555th Combat Engineer Group, battalion commander of the 299th Engineer Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, and was selected for brigade command before joining the US Army War College faculty. At the War College he was the director of the Advanced Strategic Art Program, served as the Deputy Dean of Academics, and held the General Maxwell D. Taylor Chair in the Profession of Arms. He has also earned the Army War College’s Excellence-in-Teaching Award.

He has led numerous military and civilian groups to battlefields in the United States, Europe, and the Mediterranean, including Gettysburg, Antietam, Grant’s Overland Campaign, Vicksburg, Saratoga, Normandy, Dunkirk, Ypres, Agincourt, Waterloo, the Somme, Gallipoli, Sicily, and Anzio.

Colonel Weddle holds masters degrees in history and civil engineering from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in history from Princeton University. He has written numerous articles for popular and scholarly journals and his first book, Lincoln’s Tragic Admiral: The Life of Samuel Francis Du Pont (University of Virginia Press, 2005), won the 2006 William E. Colby Award and the Army War College’s faculty writing award, and was runner up in the Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Naval History Prize competition. He is currently writing a strategic history of the Saratoga campaign for the Oxford University Press. He is also a licensed professional engineer.

He is married to the former Jean Buechner of St. Paul, Minnesota and they have one daughter, Anne.

Apr 152022

On Line Meeting (7:00pm Zoom opens) (7:30pm Lecture begins)

The speaker for this meeting is J. L. Bell. He’ll be speaking about his 2016 book, The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War. In the early spring of 1775, on a farm in Concord, Massachusetts, British army spies located four brass cannon belonging to Boston’s colonial militia that had gone missing months before. British general Thomas Gage had been searching for them, both to stymie New England’s growing rebellion and to erase the embarrassment of having let cannon disappear from armories under redcoat guard. Anxious to regain those weapons, he drew up plans for his troops to march nineteen miles into unfriendly territory. The Massachusetts Patriots, meanwhile, prepared to thwart the general’s mission. There was one goal Gage and his enemies shared: for different reasons, they all wanted to keep the stolen cannon as secret as possible. Both sides succeeded well enough that the full story has never appeared until now. The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War by historian J. L. Bell reveals a new dimension to the start of America’s War for Independence by tracing the spark of its first battle back to little-known events beginning in September 1774. The author relates how radical Patriots secured those four cannon and smuggled them out of Boston, and how Gage sent out spies and search parties to track them down. Drawing on archives in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, the book creates a lively, original, and deeply documented picture of a society perched on the brink of war.

BOOK PURCHASE: To purchase this book please click on this link: https://www.amazon.com/Road-Concord-Revolutionary-American-Revolution/dp/1594162492.

About J.L. Bell:

I’m a writer specializing in the history of the American Revolution in New England. I grew up in a suburb of Boston during the Bicentennial years, and the stories we celebrated during that time stuck with me. But I’m even more excited to find stories and details that aren’t so well known or may never have been told before.

The easiest way to sample my writing is to check out my website at Boston1775.net. I update that site daily with doses of history, analysis, and unabashed gossip about Revolutionary New England. The most lucrative way to sample my writing (for me) is to buy “The Road to Concord,” my take on what set off the Revolutionary War.

In addition, I’ve contributed chapters and articles to a number of other books: “Children in Colonial America” by James Marten; “Reporting the Revolutionary War” by Todd Andrlik; and volumes of the “Journal of the American Revolution” and the “Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife.” I’m an assistant editor and one of the writers of “Colonial Comics: New England,” edited by Jason Rodriguez.

We’re now passing through the Sestercentennial, or 250th anniversary, of the events that led up to the creation of the U.S. of A. as an independent republic. In 1766 Americans celebrated how Parliament had repealed the Stamp Act, the first big rift between Britain and its North American colonies. Everyone felt the crisis was over. No one knew what was coming up. That’s the big story I find so fascinating.

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

Jan 182022

On Line Meeting (7:00pm Zoom opens) (7:30pm Lecture begins)

The speaker for this meeting is  Nancy Rubin Stuart.  She’ll be speaking about her recently released book (March 15th), Poor Richard’s Women: Deborah Read Franklin and the Other Women Behind the Founding Father.

A vivid portrait of the women who loved, nurtured, and defended America’s famous scientist and founding father.  Everyone knows Benjamin Franklin—the thrifty inventor-statesman of the Revolutionary era—but not about his love life. Poor Richard’s Women reveals the long-neglected voices of the women Ben loved and lost during his lifelong struggle between passion and prudence. The most prominent among them was Deborah Read Franklin, his common-law wife and partner for forty-four years. Long dismissed by historians, she was an independent, politically savvy woman and devoted wife who raised their children, managed his finances, and fought off angry mobs at gunpoint while he traipsed about England.

Weaving detailed historical research with emotional intensity and personal testimony, Nancy Rubin Stuart traces Deborah’s life and those of Ben’s other romantic attachments through their personal correspondence. We are introduced to Margaret Stevenson, the widowed landlady who managed Ben’s life in London; Catherine Ray, the twenty-three-year-old New Englander with whom he traveled overnight and later exchanged passionate letters; Madame Brillon, the beautiful French musician who flirted shamelessly with him, and the witty Madame Helvetius, who befriended the philosophes of pre-Revolutionary France and brought Ben to his knees.

What emerges from Stuart’s pen is a colorful and poignant portrait of women in the age of revolution. Set two centuries before the rise of feminism, Poor Richard’s Women depicts the feisty, often-forgotten women dear to Ben’s heart who, despite obstacles, achieved an independence rarely enjoyed by their peers in that era.

BOOK PURCHASE: To purchase this book please click on this link: https://www.amazon.com/Poor-Richards-Women-Franklin-Founding/dp/0807011304

ABOUT NANCY RUBIN STUART : Nancy has been writing since she was nine years old. An award-winning author/journalist she specializes in social history, social trends and women’s history. Long before today’s War On Women her books highlighted the lives of important, but often forgotten women.

Nancy’s eighth nonfiction book, “Poor Richard’s Women” will be published in February 2022. This ground-breaking book traces the little-known stories of the women Benjamin Franklin loved and lost throughout his life. Early reviews have been positive. Publisher’s Weekly described it as a ‘fresh perspective” on Franklin and predicted “history buffs will be fascinated.” Kirkus called it ‘”a revealing document about early American history.”

Nancy’s earlier book “Defiant Brides: The Untold Story of Two Revolutionary-Eva Women and the Radical Men They Married” was a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club-2, the History Book Club and the Military Book Club. Other acclaimed books include The Muse of the Revolution:” “The Reluctant Spiritualist”, “American Empress;” “Isabella of Castile;” “The Mother Mirror” and “The New Suburban Woman.” (The last four on this list appeared under her previous pen name, Nancy Rubin).

Nancy has appeared on national television, been interviewed on national radio, including NPR’s “Morning Edition.” She often speaks before live audiences and book clubs, and more recently on podcasts and Zoom.

Her journalistic work includes New York Times, the Huffington Post, New England Quarterly, American History and other national magazines. Nancy serves as Executive Director of the Cape Cod Writers Center.

Connect with her at www.nancyrubinstuart.com. www.facebook.com/NancyRubinStuart

Jan 182022

On Line Meeting (7:00pm Zoom opens) (7:30pm Lecture begins)

The speaker for this meeting is David Head.  He’ll be speaking about his 2019 book, A Crisis of Peace: George Washington, the Newburgh Conspiracy, and the Fate of the American Revolution. This book won the ARRTOP 2020 Honorable Mention Book Award

In the war’s waning days, the American Revolution neared collapsed when Washington’s senior officers were rumored to be on the edge of mutiny.

After the British surrender at Yorktown, the American Revolution blazed on—and as peace was negotiated in Europe, grave problems surfaced at home. The government was broke and paid its debts with loans from France. Political rivalry among the states paralyzed Congress. The army’s officers, encamped near Newburgh, New York, and restless without an enemy to fight, brooded over a civilian population indifferent to their sacrifices.

The result was the so-called Newburgh Conspiracy, a mysterious event in which Continental Army officers, disgruntled by a lack of pay and pensions, may have collaborated with nationalist-minded politicians such as Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and Robert Morris to pressure Congress and the states to approve new taxes and strengthen the central government.

A Crisis of Peace tells the story of a pivotal episode of George Washington’s leadership and reveals how the American Revolution really ended: with fiscal turmoil, out-of-control conspiracy thinking, and suspicions between soldiers and civilians so strong that peace almost failed to bring true independence.

BOOK PURCHASE: To purchase this book please click on this link: https://www.amazon.com/Crisis-Peace-Washington-Conspiracy-Revolution/dp/1643130811


David Head teaches history at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Originally from Western New York, he received his B.A. in history from Niagara University and his Ph.D. from the University at Buffalo.

An expert in maritime history, pirates, and privateers as well as the American Revolution and the Founding Fathers, David has published four books, including two as author and two as editor. His work has been honored by Mystic Seaport Museum, the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, and the Maryland Historical Society, and his research has been supported, most recently, by the National Endowment for the Humanities and by George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

David lives in Orlando with his wife and three children and enjoys visits to Disney World. His superpower is grading papers while little girls climb on him.


Jan 112022

On Line Meeting (7:00pm Zoom opens) (7:30pm Lecture begins)

The speaker for this meeting is Rod Andrew, Jr. He’ll be speaking about his 2017 book, The Life and Times of General Andrew Pickens: Revolutionary War Hero, American Founder.

Andrew Pickens (1739–1817), the hard-fighting South Carolina militia commander of the American Revolution, was the hero of many victories against British and Loyalist forces. In this book, Rod Andrew Jr. offers an authoritative and comprehensive biography of Pickens the man, the general, the planter, and the diplomat. Andrew vividly depicts Pickens as he founds churches, acquires slaves, joins the Patriot cause, and struggles over Indian territorial boundaries on the southern frontier. Combining insights from military and social history, Andrew argues that while Pickens’s actions consistently reaffirmed the authority of white men, he was also determined to help found the new republic based on broader principles of morality and justice.

After the war, Pickens sought a peaceful and just relationship between his country and the southern Native American tribes and wrestled internally with the issue of slavery. Andrew suggests that Pickens’s rise to prominence, his stern character, and his sense of duty highlight the egalitarian ideals of his generation as well as its moral shortcomings–all of which still influence Americans’ understanding of themselves.

BOOK PURCHASE: To purchase this book please click on this link: https://www.amazon.com/Life-Times-General-Andrew-Pickens/dp/1469631539

ABOUT ROD ANDREW JR : Rod Andrew, Jr., is professor of history at Clemson University.  Professor Andrew specializes in the History of the American South and U.S. Military History. His biography of Wade Hampton won the Mary Lawton Hodges Prize in Southern Studies in 2009. He is a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and recently served as Officer-in-Charge, Field History Branch, U.S. Marine Corps History Division.


Oct 312021

On Line Meeting (7:00pm Zoom opens) (7:30pm Lecture begins)

The speaker for this meeting is Christian McBurney. He’ll be speaking about his 2020 book, George Washington’s Nemesis: The Outrageous Treason and Unfair Court-Martial of Major General Charles Lee during the Revolutionary War.

General Lee, second in command in the Continental Army led by George Washington, was captured by the British in December 1776. While a prisoner, he prepared and submitted to his captors a military plan on how to defeat Washington’s army as quickly as possible. This extraordinary act of treason, arguably on a par with Benedict Arnold’s heinous treachery, was not discovered during his lifetime. Many historians shrug off this ignoble act, but it should not be ignored. Less well known is that throughout his sixteen months of captivity and even after his release, Lee continued communicating with the enemy, offering to help negotiate an end to the rebellion.  Revolutionary War historians and biographers of Charles Lee have treated him as either an inveterate enemy of George Washington or a great defender of American liberty. Neither approach is accurate, in order to fully understand the war’s most complicated general, objectivity is required. In his new book, Christian McBurney relies on original documents (some newly discovered) to combine two dramatic stories involving the military law of treason and court-martials, creating a balanced view of the Revolution’s most fascinating personality.

After Lee rejoined the Continental Army, he was given command of many of its best troops with orders from Washington to attack the rear of British General Henry Clinton’s column near Monmouth, New Jersey. Lee intended to attack on June 28, 1778, but retreated in the face of Clinton’s bold move to reverse his march. Two of Lee’s subordinate generals—without orders and without informing Lee—moved more than half of his command off the field. Faced with the possible destruction of the balance, Lee ordered a general retreat while conducting a skillful delaying action.
Many historians have been quick to malign Lee’s performance at Monmouth, for which he was convicted by court-martial for not attacking and for retreating in the face of the enemy. This was a miscarriage of justice, stresses McBurney, for the evidence clearly shows that Lee was unfairly convicted and had, in fact, by retreating, performed an important service to the Patriot cause. The guilty verdict was more the result of Lee’s having insulted Washington, which made the matter a political contest between the army’s two top generals—only one of them could prevail.

BOOK PURCHASE: To purchase this book please click on this link:  https://www.amazon.com/George-Washingtons-Nemesis-Outrageous-Revolution/dp/1611214653


Christian McBurney has written five books on the American Revolutionary War, including Kidnapping the Enemy: The Special Operations to Capture Generals Charles Lee & Richard Prescott. His published articles include one in MHQ: The Journal of Military History, on the British attempt to abduct George Washington, which was nominated by the U.S. Army Historical Foundation as best magazine article for 2017. He also publishes Rhode Island’s leading history blog. He is an attorney in Washington, D.C.

Oct 312021
On Line Meeting (7:00pm Zoom opens) (7:30pm Lecture begins)

The speaker for this meeting is Dr. Woody Holton. He’ll be speaking about his recently released book, Liberty Is Sweet: The Hidden History of the American Revolution, A sweeping reassessment of the American Revolution, showing how the Founders were influenced by overlooked Americans—women, Native Americans, African Americans, and religious dissenters.

Using more than a thousand eyewitness accounts, Liberty Is Sweet explores countless connections between the Patriots of 1776 and other Americans whose passion for freedom often brought them into conflict with the Founding Fathers. “It is all one story,” prizewinning historian Woody Holton writes.

Holton describes the origins and crucial battles of the Revolution from Lexington and Concord to the British surrender at Yorktown, always focusing on marginalized Americans—enslaved Africans and African Americans, Native Americans, women, and dissenters—and on overlooked factors such as weather, North America’s unique geography, chance, misperception, attempts to manipulate public opinion, and (most of all) disease. Thousands of enslaved Americans exploited the chaos of war to obtain their own freedom, while others were given away as enlistment bounties to whites. Women provided material support for the troops, sewing clothes for soldiers and in some cases taking part in the fighting. Both sides courted native people and mimicked their tactics.

Liberty Is Sweet gives us our most complete account of the American Revolution, from its origins on the frontiers and in the Atlantic ports to the creation of the Constitution. Offering surprises at every turn—for example, Holton makes a convincing case that Britain never had a chance of winning the war—this majestic history revivifies a story we thought we already knew.

BOOK PURCHASE: To purchase this book please click on this link:  https://www.amazon.com/Liberty-Sweet-History-American-Revolution/dp/1476750378


About Dr. Woody Holton:  Professor Holton teaches graduate seminars on Colonial America and on the American Revolution at the University of South Carolina. At the undergraduate level, he teaches the first half of the U.S. history survey and upper-level classes on Early American Women, the American Revolution, and Early African Americans. In the near future he will teach seminars on slave rebellions and on the history of capitalism in North America.

Holton’s 2009 book, Abigail Adams, which he wrote on a Guggenheim fellowship, won the Bancroft Prize. Holton is the author of Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution (2007), a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize and the National Book Award. His first book, Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves and the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia (1999), won the Organization of American Historians’ Merle Curti award

For the 2012-2013 academic year, I have a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship to write a book called Liberty is Sweet: An Integrated History of the American Revolution. Its structure will be traditional, which is to say narrative, but its purpose is to introduce general readers to academic historians’ numerous recent discoveries about the founding of the nation. I am also finishing an article linking the adoption of the first married women’s property acts in the middle of the 19th century to the increased vulnerability of American debtors after the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1788. In addition, I have just begun co-writing a comparative analysis of three centuries of Atlantic slave revolts.

Sep 282021

On Line Meeting (7:00pm Zoom opens) (7:30pm Lecture begins)

Revolutionary Surgeons offers an integrated picture of surgeons as political and military leaders of the American Revolution. Prominent surgeons participated in political activities that ultimately resulted in the breakaway of the colonies from Britain. Surgeons were members of the Sons of Liberty and other groups opposing Acts imposed on the colonies by Parliament.

Similar to other groups in society, surgeons were split in their view of the growing opposition against the English rule of the American colonies and the wish to create an independent nation. Even with different opinions of the revolution, Loyalists and Patriots were often able to get along and live peacefully in the same communities.

Surgery underwent dramatic developments during the 1700s. Although anesthesia was still a century in the future, surgeons performed extensive procedures, including laparotomies (opening of the abdomen) for tumors, mastectomies for cancerous growths, amputations of the leg above or below the knee, and cutting for the stone (removal of bladder stones). An increased understanding of human anatomy was one reason why surgeons kept moving the boundaries of what was considered possible. With no anesthesia, patients’ screams from pain and horror were unimaginable. Many patients died from shock on the operating table or from postoperative bleedings and infections.


BOOK PURCHASE: To purchase this book please click on this link:   https://www.amazon.com/Revolutionary-Surgeons-Patriots-Loyalists-Cutting/dp/1642938882


About Per-Olof Hasselgren: Dr. Hasselgren is a surgeon at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He is the Distinguished Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. He has a longstanding interest in surgical and American history.