Free Lecture and Annual Meeting

Posted by on May 11, 2017 in Talks | Comments Off on Free Lecture and Annual Meeting

Free Lecture and Annual Meeting

Enemies of the People: Political Divisions in Early Williamstown

Presented by Dustin Griffin
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Annual Meeting at 10:30, Lecture at 11 a.m.
Sweetwood of Williamstown, 1611 Cold Spring Road

Video will be available soon online and on WilliNet

Following the Annual Meeting of the Williamstown Historical Museum, favorite lecturer, Dustin Griffin, presented an illustrated talk he has entitled “Enemies of the People: Political Divisions in Early Williamstown.” In today’s overheated political climate it’s common for newspapers on one side of the political divide to denounce the other side in vehemently polemical terms, and even to hear the phrase “enemy of the people” thrown around quite deliberately. Surely, we say, such extreme language is “unAmerican.” In fact, it was commonplace in 18th-century America.  Our speaker looked at two moments of intense political division with a narrowly local focus on Williamstown, to show that even this little country town was the scene of bitter recrimination. In 1775 it was Patriots vs. Loyalists. In 1800 it was Federalists vs. Republicans.

Dusty Griffin taught English literature at Berkeley and NYU for 40 years before retiring in 2009. A 1965 graduate of Williams College, he has published a number of scholarly books on 17th- and 18th-century English poetry. He has also written on topics in Williams College history, and on the local history of Williamstown. He has frequently given talks on local history in the Williamstown Historical Museum lecture series and has curated exhibitions at the Museum on “Williamstown in the Civil War” (2012) and on “Big Days in a Small Town” (2014).

Please click on titles below to review the minutes from the 2016 Annual Meeting and an agenda for this year’s meeting.

WHM 2016 Annual Meeting Minutes

WHM 2017_Annual_Meeting_Agenda