‘Bermudians & The First Age Of Revolution’

June 5, 2019

The Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Government of Bermuda and National Museum of Bermuda Press have recently launched a new publication, Prudent Rebels: Bermudians and the First Age of Revolution [1774-1849] by renowned Bermudian historian Dr. Clarence Maxwell, with contributions from Bermudian Dr. Theodore Francis II and Alexandra Mairs-Kessler.

“Prudent Rebels contextualizes previously ignored Bermudian narratives and examines the ways in which 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 by growing their personal networks, purchasing their freedom, and increasing their social status through financial gain and land ownership,” a spokesperson said.

“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”.

“The revolutionary earthquakes that rocked the nations of the Atlantic littoral would result in a seismic reconstruction of the political geography of that world: the creation of the United States of America, the first black republic of Haiti, a French Republic that became a revolutionary empire under Napoleon Bonaparte and political independence for Latin nations stretching from Mexico to Chile.

“That was not all: 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 long after 1834.

“On Thursday, June 6th at 6pm, the authors will be giving a free lecture at Bermuda College – a collaborative effort between Bermuda College, Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Government of Bermuda and the National Museum of Bermuda. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Seating is limited so please plan accordingly.

“An accompanying teacher’s guide is also forthcoming and free copies of Prudent Rebels will be distributed to all public and private schools and libraries.

“This is the first publication to be launched under the National Museum’s new Education Strategy which strives to make history accessible, relevant to the community, and reflective of the diversity of Bermuda’s cultural heritage.

“Prudent Rebels is available directly from National Museum of Bermuda Press at 234-1333, info@nmb.bm, the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs at 292-1681, and from bookstores island-wide.

“The publication and its accompanying resources were generously supported by Bank of Bermuda Foundation, the American Friends of the National Museum of Bermuda, Inc., and private subscribers.”

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