Third Thursday Lecture Series: Women’s Suffrage in Vermont

Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 12 p.m.

Waterman, Memorial Lounge

Speakers: Lyn Blackwell and Rachel Onuf

2020 marks the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which extended the right to vote to women. Many of us are familiar with national activists and events, but what did the story look like in Vermont? Historians Lyn Blackwell and Rachel Onuf are co-chairs of the history and research committee of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Alliance, an organization planning yearlong celebrations of women’s voting rights. They will share a Vermont perspective on suffrage, including previously overlooked and fascinating women, and the research they’ve undertaken in order to put the story together. They will also review events planned to celebrate suffrage in Vermont.

In collaboration with Vermont Historical Society

Third Thursday Lecture Series: The Devil's Cabinet: The Eddy Family of Spirit Mediums

Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 12 p.m.

Waterman, Memorial Lounge

Speaker: Jason Smiley

During the mid to late 1800's the Eddy family of Chittenden, Vermont (Rutland County) became world-renowned as spirit mediums with the alleged ability of generating full-bodied spirit manifestations or "materializations" of the departed.

The presentation is about the Eddy family of Chittenden, Vermont (Rutland County). During the mid to late 1800's they became world-renowned as spirit mediums with the alleged ability of generating full-bodied spirit manifestations or "materializations" of the departed. People traveled from all over the world to Chittenden to witness these phenomena for themselves. Some came with the hope of seeing and speaking to their own departed family members. Others came as skeptics, hoping to debunk the family's alleged powers as "humbug". By 1874, the family was so well-known that Chittenden started being referred to as "Spirit Vale". To this day, there are many who believe that the family had genuine supernatural abilities. The family and the story has ties to P.T. Barnum, Mark Twain, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry Houdini, Queen Victoria, and President Lincoln.

In collaboration with Vermont Historical Society

Annual Meeting 2020

Thursday April 30, 2020

University of Vermont Campus

Talk at 5 p.m. in Billings Library, Marsh Room

Dinner and Reception at 6:30 p.m. in Waterman Manor

Third Thursday Lecture Series: The Other Franco-Americans: Tracing French-Canadian Settlement in Vermont, 1830-1930

Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 12 p.m.

Waterman, Memorial Lounge

Speaker: Patrick Lacroix

Works of Franco-American history tend to focus on the industrial cities in Boston’s periphery. Whereas Winooski meets a pattern seen elsewhere in New England, Vermont actually attests to the immensely diverse experiences of French-Canadian migrants and their descendants. From the mid-Connecticut River valley to Island Pond, Rutland to St. Johnsbury, migrant Canadians entered a variety of occupations and formed communities overall quite different from the Little Canadas of Fall River, Lowell, and Manchester. This lecture will recognize this diversity, the impact of French-Canadian migrations on select Vermont towns, the ways in which French Vermonters adjusted to their home country, and Anglo-Vermonter reactions to their arrival. From 1830 to the Great Depression, we can trace important elements of continuity that help to explain the state of Vermont French culture (and collective memory) at the dawn of the twenty-first century.

Patrick Lacroix, a native of Quebec, earned his Ph.D. in American history at the University of New Hampshire in 2017. He has taught at UNH, Bishop's University, and Phillips Exeter Academy. Much of his work focuses on the economic and religious lives of Franco-Americans; his research has notably appeared in the Catholic Historical Review, the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and Quebec Studies.

In collaboration with Vermont Historical Society