Mid-eighteenth century Newport resident Martin Howard was known for his outspoken opinions supporting King George. His sympathies towards the crown and views supporting the customs duties relating to the 1765 Stamp Act made him a targeted figure by the Sons of Liberty during the riots that took place that year. While many today might consider him as a “bad guy”, his story is one that tells the loyalist narrative in Newport on the eve of the American Revolution.

On Thursday, January 12, 2017 the Newport Historical Society will host scholar Abby Chandler to discuss The Life and Times of Martin Howard which features her latest research about this prominent colonial figure.

During this lecture, Dr. Chandler will explore Martin Howard’s life from his time in Newport, when he inhabited the Newport Historical Society’s Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House in the mid-eighteenth century, to his time in North Carolina where he served as the colony’s Chief Justice and his final years in London. She will share how his political position placed him in firm opposition to many Newport residents during the 1765 Stamp Act crisis, how this led to his decision to flee his Rhode Island home after his house was attacked, his figure was hung in effigy and publicly burned. The Life and Times of Martin Howard will introduce the many adventures of Martin Howard and his family, while also exploring the impact that choosing to stay local to the British crown had on the lives of ordinary English colonists.

An associate professor of Early American history at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Abby Chandler is currently researching a book on political unrest in British North America during the 1760s. While she was completing her Ph.D. in 2005, she was a Newport Historical Society Buchanan/Burnham intern where she first began investigating Martin Howard. Her publication credits include the 2015 book Law and Sexual Misconduct in New England, 1650-1750: Steering Toward England.

This 5:30pm program takes place at the Newport Historical Society Resource Center, 82 Touro Street, Newport, RI. General admission costs $5 per person, $1 for Newport Historical Society members. Please RSVP online at NewportHistory.org or call 401-841-8770. To learn more about life in Newport during the time of the Stamp Act crisis, visit the interactive website StampActNewport.org.

Since 1854, the Newport Historical Society has collected and preserved the artifacts, photographs, documents, publications, and genealogical records that relate to the history of Newport County, to make these materials readily available for both research and enjoyment, and to act as a resource center for the education of the public about the history of Newport County, so that knowledge of the past may contribute to a fuller understanding of the present. For more information please visit www.NewportHistory.org.

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