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Charles Sumner and Boston’s Revolutionary Tradition

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Old North Church & Historic Site

193 Salem Street

Boston, MA 02113

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Wednesday, June 7 @ 6:30 pm
Old North Foundation Speaker Series

Charles Sumner and Boston’s Revolutionary Tradition
Speaker: John Stauffer

Co-sponsored by the Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters
Tickets: “pay what you will” donation

Charles Sumner is one of the most important but underappreciated figures of the nineteenth century. One of America’s greatest senators, he was instrumental in ending slavery and attacking segregation. His civil rights bill became the blueprint for the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Born and raised in Boston’s black community in Beacon Hill, he became a close friend of many of the city’s black and white intellectual families. Professor Stauffer’s talk will focus on Sumner’s friendships with Henry Wadsworth, Longfellow, William Cooper Nell, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, and it will highlight the inspiration he received from them and from the city’s revolutionary legacy, including the Adams family and Paul Revere.

John Stauffer is Professor of English and African American Studies and former chair of American Studies at Harvard University. He is the author or editor of 20 books and over 100 articles focusing on antislavery and/or photography. GIANTS: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln was a national bestseller. The Black Hearts of Men was the co-winner of the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, and Picturing Frederick Douglass was a Lincoln Prize finalist. His essays and reviews have appeared in Time, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and in scholarly journals and books. John has been featured on national radio and television, including “The Diane Rehm Show,” “C-SPAN,” and “Book TV.” He has also served as a consultant for several films, including Free State of Jones, The Abolitionists, and Django Unchained.



*Note: We encourage you to attend a follow-up event, “Soft Words are Like Roses”: Poetry Writing Workshop, on Saturday, June 10 @ 2-4pm. This event is co-sponsored by & held at Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters. Advanced registration is required, but this event is free and open to the public!

After attending John Stauffer’s lecture on Charles Sumner and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow at Old North Church, join us for an afternoon of poetry writing and exercise your own talents! To begin, a Park Ranger will discuss a few of the people, places, and ideas that inspired the author of Paul Revere's Ride to craft some of his famous works, as well as some which have receded into history. Then it will be your turn to create your own literary works of art! Supplies and snacks will be provided. Just bring yourself and your creativity! Advanced registration required. Please call (617)876-4491 or email reservationsat105@gmail.com to reserve your spot.

Longfellow House–Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site preserves the home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, America’s most famous 19th century poet. It also served as George Washington's first major Revolutionary War headquarters in 1775-6.

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Date and Time

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Old North Church & Historic Site

193 Salem Street

Boston, MA 02113

View Map

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