American Inheritance: Liberty & Slavery in the Birth of a Nation, 1765–1795
Edward J. Larson
This is a hybrid event. FREE for MHS Members. $10 per person fee (in person). No charge for virtual attendees or Card to Culture participants (EBT, WIC, and ConnectorCare). The in-person reception starts at 5:30 and the program will begin at 6:00.
With slavery thriving in Britain’s Caribbean empire and practiced in all of the American colonies, the independence movement’s calls for liberty proved narrow, though some Black observers and others made their full implications clear. In the war, both sides employed strategies to draw needed support from free and enslaved Blacks, whose responses varied by local conditions. By the time of the Constitutional Convention, a widening sectional divide shaped the fateful compromises over slavery that would prove disastrous in the coming decades. Larson’s narrative delivers poignant moments that deepen our understanding: we witness New York’s tumultuous welcome of Washington as liberator through the eyes of Daniel Payne, a Black man who had escaped enslavement at Mount Vernon two years before. Indeed, throughout Larson’s history it is the voices of Black Americans that prove the most convincing of all on the urgency of liberty.
The in-person reception starts at 5:30 and the program will begin at 6:00.
Masks are optional for this event.
The virtual program begins at 6:00 PM and will be hosted on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.