Society of the Cincinnati Annual Lecture: Mutiny, Martyrdom, and the Origins of American Political Asylum

October 14, 2019

Historical picture of mutiny on the Hermione

Join us on October 14 at 5:30 p.m. to hear from Professor A. Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech's history department at the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Virginia Annual Lecture.

The presentation, Mutiny, Martyrdom, and the Origins of American Political Asylum, will take a look back at the formative years in American history. Following in 1797 the most violent mutiny in the history of the British Royal Navy (aboard the frigate Hermione off Puerto Rico), the arrival in Charleston, South Carolina of one of the alleged mutineers had vast repercussions for the early Republic, not least helping to decide the tumultuous presidential election of 1800 and, most important, advancing America’s adoption of political asylum for foreign refugees – a major achievement in fulfilling the iconic promise of the American Revolution to provide “an asylum for mankind.”

A. Roger Ekirch is an award-winning author and a University Distinguished Professor in the history department at Virginia Tech. His writing has been translated into eight languages. Although early America remains his teaching interest, his research has ranged widely to include European as well as American history - even the history of sleep, a more recent pursuit.

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