“The War Connecticut Hated” will be examined Sunday, Jan. 27, at Wilton Library, as an installment of the War of 1812 lecture series, which is a collaborative effort between the library and Wilton Historical Society, designed to offer a new perspective on the war on its bicentennial.
The speaker will be Walter Woodward, state historian of Connecticut, associate professor of history at the University of Connecticut and author of Prospero’s America: John Winthrop Jr., Alchemy, and the Creation of New England Culture, 1606-1676 (2010).
This is the third lecture of the series, and Mr. Woodward is expected to discuss the political impact of the war, especially on the state and its citizens.
“When people think of the War of 1812 — if they think of it at all — they often call it the ‘Second War for American Independence,’” Mr. Woodward said. “That’s because this conflict finally resolved long-festering issues between America and Great Britain, left in the wake of the American Revolution.”
Mr. Woodward said these issues included obtaining freedom of the seas, fulfilling treaty obligations, and controlling the fate of Canada.
“But from another perspective, the War of 1812 might be called America’s ‘First Civil War,’ for it bitterly divided the North and the South, and led to calls for Northern — not Southern — secession from the Union.
Mr. Woodward’s talk will explain why the War of 1812 is often considered the “most hated war” in Connecticut’s history, and how the state fought to resist the war effort.
The presentation is part of his work on an extensive project to write an entirely new narrative of the state’s history.
Mr. Woodward has been Connecticut’s state historian since July 2004, a position appointed by UConn trustees.
The last program of the series, on Sunday, Feb. 24, will be “Naval Power and the Lasting Effects of the War,” with Glenn Gordinier, a historian and author of The Rockets’ Red Glare: The War of 1812 and Connecticut.
This talk will explain how trade was blocked when the British occupied Long Island Sound in 1813-14, which forced Connecticut’s mariners to resort to innovative naval warfare against the powerful Royal Navy.
The series is the sixth collaboration of this kind between Wilton Library and the Wilton Historical Society.
The four-part series is sponsored by the Wilton Bank. Receptions will follow each talk, and registration is necessary for the lectures, which are expected to be in high demand.
Previous partnerships of this sort have taken on such subjects as the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution and the Civil War, all of which have been very successful, according to Janet Crystal, the library’s marketing communications manager.
To register for upcoming programs, call 203-762-3950, ext. 213.