In 1662 the newly restored king of England, Charles II, demanded that the Massachusetts Bay colony alter their laws to align with imperial priorities. Two years later, four royal commissioners arrived to enforce these demands. What followed was a season of extraordinary political activism, as colonial men and women mobilized to protect their liberties and local institutions. These Puritan activists believed that liberties were gifts from God, and relinquishing these freedoms amounted to shunning His gifts. Drawing from petitions, sermons, and letters of the day, historian Adrian Chastain Weimer will share the largely untold story of 17th-century New Englanders who fasted, prayed, and spoke out against the threat of arbitrary rule.
BIO: Adrian Chastain Weimer
Adrian Chastain Weimer is a historian of colonial America and early modern religion and politics and associate professor at Providence College. Her other interests include toleration and the contributions of religious minorities to colonial American thought and political culture. Adrian’s work has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Young Scholars in American Religion program, and most recently through 2017-2018 NEH Long-term Research Fellowships from the Massachusetts Historical Society and the American Antiquarian Society. Photo: Providence College