Public Program- Karen Ordahl Kupperman and Walter Woodward

Lectures and Performances
Thursday, November 8, 2007 - 7:30pm

Captain John Smith and the Invention of English America
By Karen Ordahl Kupperman and Walter Woodward Captain John Smith

In honor of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, this program will examine the role Captain John Smith played in the founding of both Virginia and Massachusetts. Historians usually treat the founding of Jamestown and the Chesapeake colonies as utterly different from the beginnings of New England with Plymouth and the Puritans. In reality, the two regions had a great deal in common in the founding era, and Captain John Smith is in many ways the link between them. Much of the experimentation involved in learning how to make colonies function was done in early Virginia. It was Smith who studied the record and presented the first full treatment of the theory and practice of colonization in his writings. He considered the north much more promising, however, and coined the name New England to cement his preference. He spent the bulk of his adult life promoting the north and describing how the region should be developed.

Karen Ordahl Kupperman is the Silver Professor of History at New York University. Her published books include: Indians and English: Facing Off in Early America (2000); Major Problems in American Colonial History, 2nd ed. (2000,1992); America in European Consciousness (1995); Providence Island, 1630-1641: The Other Puritan Colony (1993); Roanoke: The Abandoned Colony (1984, 1991); and Settling With the Indians: The Meeting of English and Indian Cultures in America, 1580-1640 (1980).

Walter W. Woodward is the Connecticut State Historian and an assistant professor of history at the University of Connecticut. He has published widely on Early American, Atlantic World, and Connecticut history. He is currently working on a book Prospero's America: John Winthrop, Jr., Alchemy, and the Creation of New England Culture, 1606-1676, to be published by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.


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