Early American History Seminar: Sandra Gustafson, University of Notre Dame

Early American History and Culture Seminar
Thursday, April 19, 2007

5:30 pm to 7:00 pm

“Republicanism Across Borders”
Sandra Gustafson, University of Notre Dame
This paper describes a “republican Atlantic” and analyzes the circulation of women and property between Cuba, Boston, Halifax, Montreal, and London in The Rebels, Lydia Maria Child’s 1825 historical novel about Revolutionary Boston.  Written to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Revolution, Child’s novel transforms the conflicts leading up to the war into a tale about how women inherit property and, by extension, republican civic identity.  The transatlantic framework of the novel reflects the discourse of international republicanism that characterized the anniversary celebrations that inspired Child’s novel.  These included the Marquis de Lafayette’s tour of the United States (1824-5); Daniel Webster’s speech dedicating the Bunker Hill Monument at the ceremony where Lafayette concluded his tour; and the affiliations with Simon Bolivar that Lafayette and Webster pursued at this time.