Dr. Emily Murphy, Curator for the National Park Service at Salem Maritime National Historical Site

Update – January 7th

January 10th lecture postponed due to government shutdown. “I am an honest woman:” Female Revolutionary Resistance along the New England Seacoast” scheduled for January 10th has been postponed. Guest speaker Dr. Emily Murphy, curator for the National Park Service at Salem Maritime National Historical Site, has been furloughed and as such is not permitted to work or appear as a guest lecturer. The program has tentatively been rescheduled for January 24, dependent on a lift in the government shutdown. Watch our website events calendar and social media for details.

Original Story – December 28th

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On Thursday January 10, 2019 at 5:30pm, at the Newport Historical Society Resource Center, 82 Touro Street, Newport, RI, Dr. Emily Murphy, Curator for the National Park Service at Salem Maritime National Historical Site, will discuss the political spinning bees of the New England seacoast in the late 1760s and early 1770s, including several that took place in colonial Newport. This presentation will examine how middle-class women participated in resisting the importation of British Goods in the years leading up to the American Revolution.

In Colonial New England, lower class men and women could take to the streets and protest, men of the middling sort could participate in political action, yet women of the middling class were restricted by law and society. This didn’t stop these wealthier women, who became known as Daughters of Liberty, from showing their support for the Patriot cause. Along the New England seacoast, it became a popular springtime occurrence for ladies to participate in spinning bees where they would create homespun fabric and boycott purchasing fabrics imported from England.

Dr. Murphy earned her Ph.D. in American Studies from Boston University in 2008. She earned her undergraduate degree from St. John’s College and her masters from Penn State. She has worked for the National Park Service for nearly 20 years and is an accomplished living historian who has participated in many living history events across New England, including programs with the Newport Historical Society. 

This event takes place at the Newport Historical Society Resource Center, located at 82 Touro Street, Newport, RI. General admission costs $5 per person, $1 for Newport Historical Society members along with retired and active duty military. In the case of inclement weather, the snow date is Thursday January 24, 2019 also at 5:30pm.

This lecture is generously sponsored by the Hotel Viking.

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