Possible NHHC speakers to Merrimack Public Library

Table of Contents

1 Possible speakers at Merrimack Public Library (Friends of Merrimack Public Library sponsoring) in 2014

All possible speakers can be found on the New Hampshire Humanities Council website http://nhhc.org/humanities-to-go-intro.php (look for the PDF link)

This is just a first pass, but in rough order of interest.

I still need to check for conflicts with the list of speakers the MPL and Merrimack Hist Soc have already planned, then contact the speakers, determine dates and write the grant, etc.

Send commments to marc@nozell.com by Monday November 11, 2013.

This file is https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/966718/FriendsMPL/nhhc-grant.html

2 Speaker list (rough order of interest)

2.1 Brewing in New Hampshire: An Informal History of Beer in the Granite State from Colonial Times to the Present

(Lower in priority; Merrimack Historical Society had @ library in 2012; Danielle)

Glenn A. Knoblock

Glenn Knoblock explores the fascinating history of New Hampshire’s beer and ale brewing industry from Colonial days, when it was home- and tavern-based, to today’s modern breweries and brew pubs. Unusual and rare photos and advertise- ments document this changing industry and the state’s earliest brewers, including the renowned Frank Jones. A number of lesser-known brewers and breweries that operated in the state are also discussed, including the only brewery owned and operated by a woman before the modern era. Illustrations present evidence of society’s changing attitudes towards beer and alcohol consumption over the years. Whether you’re a beer connoisseur or a “tea-totaler”, this lecture will be enjoyed by adults of all ages.

2.2 Family Stories: How and Why to Remember and Tell Them

(Historical Society considered this one; Anita; Danielle)

Jo Radner

Telling personal and family stories is fun - and much more. Storytelling connects strangers, strengthens links between generations, and gives children the self- knowledge to carry them through hard times. Knowledge of family history has even been linked to better teen behavior and mental health. In this active and interactive program, storyteller Jo Radner shares foolproof ways to mine memories and interview relatives for meaningful stories. Participants practices finding, devel- oping, and telling their own tales.

2.3 Runaway Wives: When Colonial Marriages Failed

(Lower in priority; Merrimack Historical Society had in 2010)

Marcia Schmidt Blaine

When 18th century wives tired of the marriage contract, they could run, but they could not hide. Husbands chased them down via newspaper ads, effectively removing their sources of credit and income. In the vocabulary of the war between the sexes, one reads of surprisingly enduring economic and social barriers to runaway wives. Marcia Schmidt Blaine explores this Colonial era challenge in this illustrated program

2.4 Firefighters in the Civil War


Lew Gage

Lew Gage explores the forming of the 1st Fire Zouaves by Colonel Elmer Ellsworth, Ellsworth’s ties to New Hampshire, and his relationship with President and Mrs. Lincoln. Gage details the exploits of the 1st Fire Zouaves (11th New York), 2nd Fire Zouaves (73rd New York), Birney’s Fire Zouaves (23rd PA), and Baxter’s Fire Zouaves (72nd PA). Gage also examines the Philadelphia Fire Department’s involvement in developing the first fire department-based ambulances during the Civil War.

2.5 Mapping the Merrimack: A Frontier Adventure into Uncharted Territory 1630-1725


David Stewart-Smith

David Stewart-Smith recounts the expeditions of 1638 and 1652 up the Merrimack to establish the northern boundary of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. There is just one problem: New Hampshire proprietors already held claim to all the land east of the river. In fact, maps of the time did not reflect the true course of the river. Stewart-Smith examines the maps of the 17th century along with the plan from the 1638 survey to show that the Merrimack River was not accurately represented in maps of the region until the end of that century. The boundary for Massachusetts became an embarrassment – so much so that they had to revise their state line survey. The program describes some of the early survey techniques and cartography and is illustrated with the maps of the period.

2.6 Town by Town, Watershed by Watershed: Native Americans in NH


John and Donna Roberts Moody

Every town and watershed in New Hampshire has ancient and continuing Native American history. From the recent, late 20th century explosion of local Native population in New Hampshire back to the era of early settlement and the colonial wars, John and Donna Moody explore the history of New Hampshire’s Abenaki and Penacook peoples with a focus on your local community.

2.7 Braving the Middle Ground: Stories of Pre-Revolutionary Northern New England


Jo Radner

The stories we hear from our families tell us who we are and how we should view the world. What tales shaped New England identities in the 17th and 18th centuries? In this performance, storyteller/historian Jo Radner juxtaposes Native American oral traditions and stories told by her own New England ancestors to reveal a complex colonial “middle ground” in which English settlers and Native peoples saw one another as defenders and trespassers, pursuers and refugees, relatives and aliens, kind neighbors and ruthless destroyers.

2.8 Digging Into Native History in New Hampshire

(Historical Society considered this one)

Robert Goodby

Abenaki history has been reduced to near-invisibility as a result of conquest, a conquering culture that placed little value on the Indian experience, and a strategy of self-preservation that required many Abenaki to go “underground,” concealing their true identities for generations to avoid discrimination and persecution. Robert Goodby reveals archaeological evidence that shows their deep presence here, inches below the earth’s surface.

2.9 Native American History of New Hampshire: Alliance and Survival, circa 1400-1700


David Stewart-Smith

David Stewart-Smith begins this program with the last part of the Woodland Period, when Indians in northern New England were faced with several challenges. By the time of French and English exploration in the region, strong tribal alliances had begun to center along southeastern Maine, coastal and central New Hampshire, and the north shore of Massachusetts. These relationships became known as the Pennacook alliance; a confederacy of about 16 tribal and family groups that held together through severe climate change, European colonization, devastating epidemic disease, and intertribal warfare. Here we see Passaconaway, the chief of the Pennacook, rise to power and place his family in the mainstream of colonial interaction. The program concludes with King Philip’s War and subse- quent events just prior to the turn of the 18th century.

2.10 The Epic of Gilgamesh

Sebastian Lockwood

This is our earliest epic. It is at least 4,000 years old, but in performance we discover a dynamic and thrilling tale of heroes, friendship, battles with a monster, and death, followed by a journey to the other world to meet Utnapishtin, whom we know as Noah. Gilgamesh will ask him about life and death and he will come home with a great story. In the Q&A after the performance, Sebastian Lockwood can tell the tale of how the tablets were found in Iraq and how scholars broke the code to reveal the story and its Biblical parallels.

2.11 Evolving English: From Beowulf & Chaucer to Texts & Tweets

Karolyn Kinane

Karolyn Kinane presents a lively, interactive crash course in the medieval English language, specifically the poetry of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. Participants will have the opportunity to read and recite medieval poetry aloud in a fun, relaxed environment. The program includes a brief, illustrated historical overview of the events that sparked linguistic transitions from the Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman eras to the Middle English era, including the Norman Invasion, the Black Death, and the invention of the printing press. Kinane closes by exploring how these medieval events are still embedded in the English we speak today and how modern inventions and events continue to shape language.

2.12 Islamic Art and Architecture: Bridging East and West

Katherine Hoffman

Take a virtual trip with Katherine Hoffman through Turkey, Egypt, southern Spain, Morocco, and other lands by viewing significant works of art and archi- tecture with a historian who has traveled and lived in a number of Islamic cultures. Discover a new vocabulary and important cultural links between East and West.

2.13 Dissent among the Puritans

Linda Palmer

(Historical Society considered this one)

The year is 1637. Ann Vassall, wife of William Vassall of Essex, England, one of the founders of the Massachusetts Bay Company, welcomes you to your new home in the Bay. Her words of advice and narration of events going on in town might make you wish you had stayed in England or looked toward New Hampshire or Connecticut as a place of settlement. Living historian Linda Palmer follows up her portrayal of Ann Vassall with a colorful slide presentations which shatters some of our commonly-held stereotypes about the Puritans and chronicles the dissent of her husband, who was despised by minister and magistrate alike for his liberal ideas about civil liberty and religion

2.14 Religious Freedom-Then and Now

Richard Hesse

A common myth is that this country was founded on religious freedom. A parallel myth is that the government of this country was religiously based. Richard Hesse discusses how attitudes toward religion and government developed in the colonies prior to the framing of the Bill of Rights and then tracks those developments to the modern era.

2.15 Comics in World History and Cultures

Marek Bennett

Marek Bennett presents a whirlwind survey of comics from around the world and throughout history, with special attention to what these vibrant narratives tell (and show) us about the people and periods that created them. Bennett engages and involves the audience in an interactive discussion of several sample comics representing cultures such as Ancient Rome, Medieval Europe, the Ancient Maya, Feudal and modern Japan, the United States in the early 20th century, and Nazi Germany during World War II. The program explores the various ways of creating and reading comics from around the world, and what these techniques tell us about the cultures in which they occur.

Date: 2013-06-04

Author: Marc Nozell

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