Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

Leading Early American Scholarship Since 1943

OI 22nd Annual Conference

Worcester, Massachusetts June 23–26, 2016

Sunday, June 26, 2016

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8:30 a.m.
Registration opens
Alden Hall, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

All sessions are in the Higgins Labs Building.

Session 21—Science in the Age of Emancipation: Making Scientific Knowledge in an Atlantic World Transformed by Revolution

Room 114

Chair: David I. Spanagel, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Christopher Blakley, Rutgers University, “‘The Nature of this Destructive And Inhuman Traffick’: Environmental Critiques of the Slave Trade, 1780–1788”

Eric Herschthal, Columbia University, “Sierra Leone as Science Lab: Making Scientific Knowledge in the Age of Revolution and Abolitionism, 1787–1807”

Paul Polgar, University of Mississippi, “Neither White Nor Black: Race and Science in Post-Revolutionary American Antislavery”

Comment: The Audience

Session 22—The Secret Work of Diplomacy in Early America

Room 116

Chair: Kariann Akemi Yokota, University of Colorado, Denver

Katlyn Marie Carter, Princeton University, “Diplomacy in a Representative Republic: Contesting Government Secrecy in Early America”

Lindsay Schakenbach-Regele, Miami University, “Secret Foreign Relations: The State, the People, and the Leander Expedition”

Nora Slonimsky, Graduate Center, CUNY, “‘Before the Report Goes to the Press’: Publicity, Privacy and (Literary) Property in American Indian Relations”

Comment: Kariann Akemi Yokota, University of Colorado, Denver

Session 23—Antislavery Quakers, the Problem of the American Revolution, and African Colonization

Room 154

Chair: Beverly C. Tomek, University of Houston–Victoria

Jane Calvert, University of Kentucky, “Escaping the ‘Horrid Infatuation’: The Abolitionism of John Dickinson”

Jonathan D. Sassi, College of Staten Island and CUNY Graduate Center, “‘A proving Dispensation to Friends’: The American Revolution and the Deflection of Quaker Antislavery in New Jersey”

Nicholas P. Wood, Yale University, “Black Colonization in the Quaker State and Sierra Leone: Two Expeditions in 1795”

Comment: Jean R. Soderlund, Lehigh University

Session 24—Mobility, Diplomacy and Identity among Eighteenth-Century Cherokees

Room 218

Chair: Colin Calloway, Dartmouth College

Kate Fullagar, Macquarie University, “Cherokee Diplomacy and Identity through the Life of Ostenaco (c.1705–c.1780)”

Kristofer Ray, Austin Peay State University, “Cherokees, ‘Westward Indians,’ and Indigenous Mobility in the Ohio Valley, 1715–1770”

Gregory Smithers,Virginia Commonwealth University, “Riverine Culture among the Eighteenth-Century Cherokees”

Comment: Robbie Ethridge, University of Mississippi

Session 25— Deception in Early America

Room 114

Chair: Christopher J. Beneke, Bentley University

Michael Blaakman, Yale University, “The Corrupt Republic?: Land Sales, Speculators, and Early American Political Culture”

Sonia Tycko, Harvard University, “Seduced into Servitude: The Rhetoric of Enticement in Seventeenth-Century English Colonial Labor Procurement”

Katherine Gaudet, University of New Hampshire, “The Hard-Working Bankrupt: Debt, Prudence, and Second Chances in Early American Fiction”

Comment: Daniel Cohen, Case Western Reserve University

Session 26—Information in Transit: The Multiple Meanings of Atlantic Knowledge

Room 116

Chair: Evan Haefeli, Texas A&M

Deborah Hamer, Omohundro Institute, “‘We all love the religion we received as children’: Caspar Barlaeus and the Uses of Dutch Brazil”

Christian J. Koot, Towson University, “An Apparatus of Empire: The Consumption of an Early Modern Atlantic Map””

Suze Zijlstra, Georgetown University, “Corresponding with the Colonies: How Ordinary People in the Dutch Republic Discovered the Americas through Personal Letters”

Comment: Nicholas Popper, College of William & Mary

Session 27—The Aesthetics and Architecture of Empire

Room 154

Chair: Sean Harvey, Seton Hall University

Robert Paulett, Southern Illinois University, “Florida, the Proclamation of 1763, and the Idea of a Beautiful America”

Alyssa Zuercher Reichardt, Yale University, “Empire Inscribed Upon the Land: Road Diplomacy and Infrastructural Sovereignty in Eighteenth-Century North America”

Samantha Seeley, University of Richmond, “Consecrated Ground: The Architecture of Empire in the Ohio Country”

Comment: Peter Nekola, Newberry Library

Session 28—Transforming the Eastern Woodlands: Native–European Encounters in the Dutch Colony of New Netherland

Room 218

*This panel is supported in part by the New Netherland Institute in cooperation with the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New York.

Chair: D. L. Noorlander, SUNY Oneonta

Nicholas J. Cunigan, University of Kansas, “Climate of the Wappinger War: How Extreme Weather Sparked Indigenous Revolt in New Netherland, 1641–1645”

Erin B. Kramer, University of Wisconsin-Madison, “Alcohol, Violence, and Economic Consolidation in Colonial New Netherland”

Stephen T. Staggs, “Declarations of Interdependence: The Nature of Native–Dutch Relations in New Netherland, 1624–1664”

Comment: Mark Meuwese, University of Winnipeg

Panels conclude
Gather for the Optional Excursion to the Artemas Ward House

About the Excursion
You can still reserve your place for the optional Sunday excursion to the Artemas Ward House in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. Transportation to the site will be by tour bus. We will leave the parking lot at the American Antiquarian Society promptly at 2:15 p.m. and return by approximately 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $30.

If you have already registered and would like to add the tour, then call Conference Registrar Beverly Smith at 757-221-1114 or email

If you have NOT yet registered and would like to add the tour, then simply click the appropriate box on the registration form. The cost will be added to your final total.

TICKETS for the tour will be included in the registration packets of all those who have paid in advance. Registration packets will be available for pick up starting Friday morning, June 24, at 8:00 a.m. Any remaining tickets will be for sale at the conference registration table.

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