Public Program- Ilyon Woo

Lectures and Performances
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 - 7:30pm

Discovering the Great Divorce
by Ilyon Woo

The Great Divorce

In 1814, Eunice Chapman's estranged husband stole away her three children and took them to live among the Shakers. At a time when wives and mothers had few rights to speak of, Eunice Chapman waged a colossal campaign for her children's return, lobbying the New York legislature year after year, courting politicians, penning thrilling narratives about Shaker captivity, and finally rallying a mob to bring her children home. In the process she drew the attention of such luminaries as Thomas Jefferson and Martin Van Buren and won unprecedented rights as a wife and mother. Drawing on her newly published book The Great Divorce, Ilyon Woo will discuss this sensational story and the key historical evidence she found at AAS.

Ilyon Woo holds a B.A. in the Humanities from Yale College and a Ph.D. in English from Columbia University. She conducted research for The Great Divorce at AAS in 2004-2005 as a Kate B. and Hall J. Peterson Fellow.

This program is co-sponsored by Fruitlands Museum, which is holding a companion program on Friday, September 24, consisting of dramatic readings of historical texts used in this book.

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