October 11, 6:30 – 7:45 PM: “The Other Fourth of July: The American War of Independence in the Southern Caribbean”
Prof. Tessa Murphy, Associate Professor of History, Syracuse University
On July 4, 1779, French forces captured the British Caribbean colony of Grenada. They would occupy that island, as well as the neighboring islands of St. Vincent and Dominica, until the 1783 Treaty of Paris. This talk explores what the American Revolution meant to British colonial subjects in these lesser-studied parts of the Americas. Indigenous, enslaved, and free people seized the opportunity to ally with Great Britain’s chief rival, France, and many used this moment of disruption to seek freedom, sovereignty, or autonomy.
October 25, 6:30 – 7:45 PM: “Slavery and Smallpox Inoculation”
Prof. Elise Mitchell, Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Princeton University
The African Atlantic history of smallpox inoculation is a rich, yet oft-overlooked story. This lecture contextualizes the more familiar history of Onesimus and Cotton Mather in early eighteenth-century Boston within the broader history of Africans performing smallpox inoculations in West Africa, Jamaica, and Saint Domingue (Haiti) in the Revolutionary Era of the late eighteenth century.
These lectures are held in collaboration with GBH and Suffolk University. They are hybrid, in person at The Commons (5th floor), Sargent Hall, 120 Tremont St., Suffolk University, and streaming online at the links above.
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