The Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, in Wethersfield, Connecticut, will host a lecture by historian and scholar William Hosley on Thursday, September 27, 2012. Hosley will regale his audience with epic stories of sacrifice, heroism and perseverance during his lecture,“Lighting Freedom’s Flame: A Look at Connecticut’s Revolutionary War.” A wine reception (by donation) will preceded the lecture at 6 p.m.
Hosley maintains that because Connecticut was not the site of any major Revolutionary War battles it has been relegated to the margins of the story of America’s journey to independence. He will illustrate how Connecticut did indeed play a wide-ranging role during the period, and was the home of some of the Revolution’s most renowned and infamous personalities, including Nathan Hale, Benedict Arnold, Israel Putnam, Silas Deane, Roger Sherman, the Compte de Rouchambeau, and Governor Jonathan Trumbull. Connecticut was also the site of memorable battles and skirmishes, at Ridgefield and Groton Heights—and the burning of New London and Fairfield—and played a major role in provisioning troops. Hosley will demonstrate that the American Revolution was also a “civil war” that pitted neighbor against neighbor and inflicted enormous suffering and damage on Connecticut citizens.
William Hosley is the principal of Terra Firma Northeast, and an independent scholar, cultural resource consultant, planner, writer and photographer. As the former director of both the New Haven Museum and Connecticut Landmarks, he cared for a chain of historic attractions throughout Connecticut. Previously, as a curator and exhibition developer at Wadsworth Atheneum, he organized major exhibitions including “The Great River: Art & Society of the Connecticut Valley” (1985), “The Japan Idea: Art and Life in Victorian America” (1990), “Sense of Place: Furniture from New England Towns” (1993) and “Sam & Elizabeth: Legend and Legacy of Colt's Empire” (1996). As an expert in heritage tourism, Hosley has studied hundreds of museums and heritage destinations around the country. He has lectured throughout the country and served as a content specialist for PBS, BBC and CPTV film documentaries. He has also written articles for Connecticut Magazine, Boston Magazine, Antiques, American Heritage, among others. He is a member of The Hartford Courant’s PLACE board of contributors and a founding member of the advisory committee of Connecticut Explored.