Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

Leading Early American Scholarship Since 1943


The Early Chesapeake: Reflections and Projections

November 19–21, 2009 • Solomons St. Mary’s City, Maryland

Introduction

The Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, in cooperation with Historic St. Mary’s City and St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and with support from the Hampden-Sydney College Department of History and the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, will host a conference on November 19–21, 2009, entitled The Early Chesapeake: Reflections and Projections. This 375th anniversary year of Maryland’s founding, which follows so closely upon Virginia’s quadricentennial in 2007, is an especially appropriate time for considering and discussing this important area of British America. The conference aims to bring together academics of varying backgrounds and career seniority, along with interested members of the general public, to look back on and appreciate the work of those scholars who initiated modern study of the Chesapeake region, to survey the field as it currently stands, and to engage in an intergenerational dialogue about where it might go in the future. Convening at Solomons and St. Mary’s City on Maryland’s Western Shore—much of which retains the beauty John Smith saw during his 1608 explorations—the conference offers an exciting series of panels on diverse aspects of early Chesapeake history and material culture. In keeping with the field’s traditional interdisciplinary character and long-standing relationship with museums, the conference program also features special guided tours of the newly installed exhibits at Historic St. Mary’s City, the site of Maryland’s first capital, and a gala reception held in the reconstructed 1676 State House.

The conference program committee is co-chaired by Lorena S. Walsh (Colonial Williamsburg Foundation) and John C. Coombs (Hampden-Sydney College). Members include Henry M. Miller (Historic St. Mary’s City), Warren M. Billings (University of New Orleans), Ken Cohen (St. Mary’s College of Maryland), Julia A. King (St. Mary’s College of Maryland), John Krugler (Marquette University), Ruth M. Mitchell (Historic St. Mary’s City), and Timothy B. Riordan (Historic St. Mary’s City).

The conference organizers are immensely grateful for the support of our primary sponsors, whose funding has made this meeting possible. We are also thankful for the additional assistance provided by Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum, The Patuxent Partnership, the Departments of History and Anthropology of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, the College’s Democracy Studies and Museum Studies Programs and its Center for the Study of Democracy, CSC, and The Colonial Dames of America, Chapter I, Baltimore. In these times of straitened economic circumstances and tightened budgets, their generosity is very much appreciated.