A new look at the War of 1812

WiltonBulletin.com - Serving the readers of Wilton, Connecticut

Written by James Passeri
Thursday, 11 October 2012

It will be the sixth collaboration between Wilton Library and the Wilton Historical Society, and the turnout is expected to be “huge,” said Janet Crystal, the library’s marketing coordinator.

The joint program will take a new spin on a past war, looking at different aspects of the War of 1812 on its bicentennial.

The library has previously partnered with the historical society on such subjects as the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution and the Civil War, and joint-hosted features have always been successful, Ms. Crystal said.

“A Star Spangled Nation: The War of 1812” will run at both venues, alternately, from October through February, with the mission of delivering an “enlightening scholarly series” on the war.

The explosive battles of the 200-year-old war, replete with rockets and “bombs bursting in air,” were the direct inspiration behind the words of our national anthem.

The four-part series is sponsored by the Wilton Bank. Receptions will follow each talk, and registration is necessary for the lectures, which are expected to be in high demand.

The first lecture, “Causes and Impact of the War,” will be hosted by Matthew Warshauer, professor of history at Central Connecticut State University, and will be held at the library on Sunday, Oct. 14, from 2 to 3:30.

This will be a broad overview of the war, including political circumstances, its overall impact and Andrew Jackson’s sometimes controversial contributions that garnered national scrutiny.

Mr. Warshauer is most recently the author of Andrew Jackson in Context, published last year as part of a series on American presidents.

This lecture is sponsored by Leland Wilson of Wilson Properties LLC, and the moderator will be Steve Hudspeth.

The remaining programs will be held from 4 to 5:30, regardless of the venue.

“Native Americans in the War” will be presented by David Koch, an associate professor of history at Housatonic Community College, on Sunday, Nov. 4 at the historical society. It will address the life and times of Native Americans in 1812 and the reasons why many partnered with British troops.

This lecture is sponsored by Robert and Anne Cuddy, and the moderator will be Steve Hudspeth.

On Sunday, Jan. 27, “The War Connecticut Hated” will be hosted at the library by Walter Woodward, state historian of Connecticut, associate professor of history at the University of Connecticut and author of Prospero’s America: John Winthrop Jr., Alchemy, and the Creation of New England Culture, 1606-1676 (2010).

In this third lecture, Mr. Woodward will discuss the political impact of the war, especially on the state and its citizens.

This lecture is sponsored by Bill and Kathleen Brennan, and the moderator will be Max Gabrielson.

The last program, held on Sunday, Feb. 24, will be “Naval Power and the Lasting Effects of the War,” hosted by Glenn Gordinier, a historian and author of The Rockets’ Red Glare: The War of 1812 and Connecticut.

He will discuss the Battle of Long Island Sound by the Royal Navy.

Books will also be available for purchase and signing. This lecture is sponsored by Bill and Sally Gemmill, and the moderator will be Max Gabrielson.

To register for upcoming programs, call 203-762-3950, ext. 213.

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