With the bicentennial anniversary of the “second war of independence,” it is timely that the scholarly series collaboration between Wilton Library and the Wilton Historical Society, “A Star Spangled Nation: The War of 1812” begins this fall and continues through the first two months of the winter. This four-part lecture format is the sixth in a series between the two organizations, all of which have been sponsored by The Wilton Bank.
According to Louise Herot, co-host of the series again this year with Greg Chann, “This was such a natural extension of the series topics we have covered over the years bringing American history to life. With this being such a special anniversary year, the War of 1812 and the emerging identity of the United States was a perfect choice.” Steve Hudspeth and Max Gabrielson share the mantle as moderators. The four programs alternate venues between the Historical Society and the library, with individual sponsors for each lecture. The first two lectures are October 14 and November 4, with the last two on January 27, 2013 and February 24, 2013. The series has two returning speakers and two new speakers added to the collaboration. Receptions follow each of the talks.
The four programs are as follows:
- Causes and Impact of the War – Matthew Warshauer, Sunday, October 14, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Wilton Library, 137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton. Matthew Warshauer, Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University, returns to the scholarly series format to give an overview on the war, including politics pre- and post- war, its overall impact, and Andrew Jackson’s controversial contributions that brought him into the national spotlight. Dr. Warshauer is most recently the author of Andrew Jackson in Context (2011), part of a series on American Presidents published by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. (New York). This lecture is sponsored by Leland Wilson, Wilson Properties, LLC. The moderator is Steve Hudspeth. Please note the earlier time for this one speaker; the remaining programs are from 4 – 5:30 pm regardless of the venue.
- Native Americans in the War – David Koch, Sunday November 4, 4 to 5:30 p.m., Wilton Historical Society, 224 Danbury Road, Wilton. In this second lecture, David Koch makes a second appearance to discuss the situation for Native Americans in 1812, the reasons they sided with Britain, the hold of fear they had on Americans, and the bitter fighting that ensued, as well as the final banishing of Natives beyond the Mississippi. Dave Koch is an Associate Professor of History at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Though a wide-ranging historian, Koch’s specialty areas are the Civil War and Native American History. He has worked for national historical and natural sites, promoting the nation’s physical and historical heritage. This lecture is sponsored by Robert and Anne Cuddy. The moderator is Steve Hudspeth.
- The War Connecticut Hated – Walter Woodward, Sunday, January 27, 2013, 4 to 5:30 p.m., Wilton Library. In this third lecture, Walter Woodward will discuss the political impact of the war, especially on Connecticut and its citizenry. Walter Woodward is a State Historian of Connecticut, Associate Professor of History, University of Connecticut, author of Prospero’s America: John Winthrop, Jr., Alchemy, and the Creation of New England Culture, 1606-1676 (2010) and the recent article: “The War Connecticut Hated” published in Connecticut Explored. This lecture is sponsored by Bill and Kathleen Brennan. The moderator is Max Gabrielson.
- Naval Power and the Lasting Effects of the War—Glenn Gordinier, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 4 to 5:30 p.m., Wilton Historical Society. The last program in the “A Star-Spangled Nation: The War of 1812” Series features Glenn Gordinier. He will discuss the Battle of Long Island Sound during which, with the Royal Navy on Connecticut's doorstep, Nutmeggers resorted to IEDs, kidnapping attempts, and attacks by privately armed vessels (largely for personal profit) as well as Old Ironsides and “Don’t Give Up the Ship.” Glenn Gordinier is a historian, author of recently published The Rockets’ Red Glare: The War of 1812 and Connecticut, and a member of the faculty of the Williams College/Mystic Seaport Program in Maritime Studies. Books will be available for purchase and signing. This lecture is sponsored by Bill and Sally Gemmill. The moderator is Max Gabrielson.
More information about each of the speakers can be found on Wilton Library’s website. There is no charge for the series. Donations are always welcome. Registration is highly recommended and people are asked to register for each session separately on the library’s website at www.wiltonlibrary.org or by calling 203-762-3950, ext. 213.