Educational Lecture Series

Presented by People’s United Bank

Education and community are both very important to the American Independence Museum and to our Presenting Sponsor, People’s United Bank. Join us for any or all of these upcoming talks, which bring together engaging speakers who want to share their knowledge and shed light on lesser known aspects of history. The Revolutionary Capital of NH, Exeter was at the very heart of our nation when it formed. Join us for this exciting FREE series at Folsom Tavern, 164 Water Street in Exeter!

Lunch and Learn: “Collecting John Paul Jones: America’s First Action Hero”

August 16 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Free!   Preregistration required. Please bring your lunch to enjoy during the lecture.

Everyone knows his name, but few know his story.  The real John Paul Jones was born in Scotland and spent more than a year in New Hampshire during the American Revolution.  A jealous genius, Jones (not his real name) was a complex, self-made naval hero on a quest for glory.  J. Dennis Robinson tells Jones’s story, illustrated with images from his own extensive collection of “Jonesiana”.  Robinson shows how America rejected Jones, then used his name and image to sell everything from whiskey to cigarettes, to women’s clothing…even to recruit for the U.S. Navy.

Presented by J. Dennis Robinson

Tavern Talk: “Re-Reading the Declaration of Independence: America’s Sacred Document as a Rhetorical Argument”

September 6 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Free!   Preregistration required.

While most people know the Declaration of Independence as the Title Deed of the new American nation, few have studied the document as a situated rhetorical argument meant to make a case for Independence. How do the most memorable passages of the Declaration serve as the grounding for a more complex and logical expression of the American case against the King of England? This lecture will offer a close reading of the Declaration that seeks to interpret the document, not so much as the sacred text we all admire, but as an argument that was informed by the rhetorical culture of the eighteenth century, and functioned in its own time to make a particular point to a specific audience.

Presented by Professor James Farrell

Lunch and Learn: “When Shipping Was King: The Piscataqua Region in Colonial America”

September 21 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Free! Preregistration required. Please bring your lunch to enjoy during the lecture.

Come to the Folsom Tavern – just a stones throw from the Exeter/Squamscott River -and hear the vibrant story of shipping during Colonial times.  Shipping was central to life in the region, which allowed for commerical transport of passengers and goods and helped fuel the material and economic expansion of New England and beyond.
Professor Jeff Bolster of the UNH History Department is a prize-winning historian who delights in sharing his research with a variety of audiences. He will examine the factors that influenced the shipping industry–from economics, government policy, and labor to the military and technology.  It includes intriguing details about the ships and ports that played pivotal roles and the entrepreneurs who took the helm along the way.
Presented by Jeff Bolster

Lunch and Learn: “Secrets of the American Independence Museum: Collection Close-Up”

November 7 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Free! Preregistration required. Please bring your lunch to enjoy during the lecture.

Did you know the Museum has a collection of over 3,000 historical artifacts and objects? Many of these are hidden gems that are not regularly part of our exhibits.  Join the Museum curator for a behind the scenes peek at some of her favorite and most fascinating secret treasures.

Presented by Rachel Passannante

Tavern Talk: “Your Most Important Role in a Democracy: Thinking for Yourself”

November 16 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Free! Preregistration required. Democracies stand for an ideal political system run “by the people, for the people.” Democracy is rooted in the idea that power should be vested in the people, in part because people are smart and the majority opinion is usually the best decision.  In fact, social science supports the idea that majorities make better decisions than those made by individuals.