Environmental History Seminar POSTPONED: “Contrary to the Rules and Maxims of the Law and Nation”: The Destruction of Colonial New England's River Fisheries registration closed 9 April 2020.Thursday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED. Zachary Bennett, Connecticut College Comment: Matthew McKenzie, University of Connecticut Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/ehs_banner.jpg

Long before industrialization, New Englanders dammed their rivers. The dams that powered saw and grist mills saved farmers days of backbreaking labor, but they also blocked fish migrations which generations of colonists and Indians depended on for food. Although laws protected people’s right to fish, New England colonies refused to enforce them. This inaction destroyed herring and salmon runs, triggering a cascade of ecological changes that ultimately dragged the region into the market economy.