Emily Conroy-Krutz, Michigan State University and Lawrence Kessler, Consortium for History of Science, Technology & Medicine | Newberry

Emily Conroy-Krutz, Michigan State University and Lawrence Kessler, Consortium for History of Science, Technology & Medicine

Friday, October 19, 2018

3 to 5pm

Religion and Culture in the Americas Seminar

Emily Conroy-Krutz

“What is a Missionary Good For, Anyway?”: Politics and Foreign Missions at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

By the time Divie Bethune McCartee died in 1900, he had spent over fifty years in foreign missions and diplomacy. He was not alone in combining these fields, but by the turn of the century, diplomats and missionaries alike were rethinking this relationship. McCartee’s story became a part of this discussion when his nephew began writing his biography as evidence of the centrality of missions to diplomacy. This paper uses McCartee’s career and the early-20thcentury discussion of it as an entry into the shifting discourse of missionary diplomacy in the post-Boxer Rebellion era.

Lawrence Kessler

Sugar without Rum: Religion and the Rise of Sugarcane Planting in Hawaiʻi, 1820-1850

This essay examines how members of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions stationed in Hawaiʻi came to embrace sugarcane planting by the mid-nineteenth century. Although they initially opposed planting for its worldliness, the negative effects they perceived it had on Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians), and–above all–its connection with distilling rum, Hawaiʻi’s missionaries adapted to changing circumstances. Missionaries’ ultimate support of cane planting was instrumental to the rise of Hawaiʻi’s sugar industry, while their sustained opposition to rum closed an important revenue stream to would-be planters, and helped consolidate the industry among a small group of highly capitalized people.

Cost and Registration Information 

Newberry Scholarly Seminars papers are pre-circulated. For a copy of the paper, email scholarlyseminars@newberry.org. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.