Bermudians & The First Age Of Revolution Talk

June 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

The latest installment of the Department of Community and Cultural Affair’s Bermudian Heartbeats lecture series – a joint event in partnership with the National Museum of Bermuda and the Bermuda College – saw historians Dr. Clarence Maxwell, Dr. Theodore Francis II and Alexandra Mairs-Kessler share the research for their new book Prudent Rebels: Bermudians & the First Age of Revolution [1775-1834].

The book is a joint publication between National Museum of Bermuda Press and Department of Community & Cultural Affairs, Government of Bermuda.

The talk highlighted the role and response of Bermudians during the Age of Revolution exploring the context in which a “prudent rebel mentality” developed among Bermudians, shaping the way they participated in the British-American Revolution and the role they played in the making of America.

Authors Dr. Clarence Maxwell, Alexandra Mairs-Kessler, and Dr. Theodore Francis

PR Authors Dr. Clarence Maxwell, Alexandra Mairs-Kessler, & Dr. Theodore Francis Bermuda June 2019

“From the last decades of the 1700s through much of the first half of the 1800s the Atlantic World dissolved into a period of intense revolutionary activity: the “Age of Revolution”. Out of this age new republics were formed and political independence was established for nations throughout the Atlantic World from Mexico and Chile to the United States of America, Haiti and France,” a spokesperson said.

“A Humanitarian Revolution also grew out of this age, inspired greatly by the monumental Haitian Revolution and decades of anti-slavery fervor in Europe. The result was an attack on the institution of slavery and the commerce of human trafficking that fed it, resulting in the legislation abolishing both in the first half of the 1800s.

“But it also placed on the agenda civil rights for all men and women, regardless of race. There was a genuine Bermudian contribution in this age of political and humanitarian revolutions: a prudently self-interested rebellion whose consequences would shape the island and the wider Atlantic World long after 1834.

“Contextualizing previously ignored Bermudian narratives the presenters examined how different groups of Bermudian mariners and merchants [enslaved and freed, black and white] used the events taking place during the Age of Revolution to further their own prospects and the impact their actions had in shaping the world created during the Age of Revolution.

Prudent Rebels: Bermudians & the First Age of Revolution is available for purchase from the National Museum of Bermuda [here], the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs [292-1681], and bookstores island-wide.

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