Wesleyan Institute of Lifelong Learning

Courses

The "Home Front" in Revolutionary Connecticut

Popular accounts of the american revolution focus on the iconic heroes and major battles associated with the founding of our nation, but leave unaddressed the question of how ordinary people experienced the upheaval. This course will explore what it was like to live on the Connecticut shoreline during the revolutionary War. It will focus on the kidnap of a militia brigadier by loyalist forces based on Long Island in May 1779 and the stratagems the general’s family resorted to before recovering him a year later. Participants will be invited to compare a scholarly text that treats the kidnap with a film dramatization of that event. 

Richard Buel

Reading:
Buel, Joy D. and richard Buel. The Way of Duty: A Woman and Her Family in Revolutionary America (Parts 1 & 2). New York: Norton, 1984. 

Viewing:
Mary Silliman’s War. Dir. Stephen Surjik. Citadel/heritage, 1994. 

Three Mondays:
4:30–6:00 p.m. in the Butterfield Room
October 25; November 1, 8 

Course Instructor

Richard Buel is professor of history emeritus at Wesleyan. Since retiring in 2002 after 40 years of teaching at Wesleyan, he has published four monographs about the revolutionary era between 1750 and 1820, including America on the Brink, about the politics surrounding the War of 1812. In 2011, his biography of Joel Barlow is scheduled to appear.