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Online Lecture, "Lies & Profit in the Rhode Island-Cuba Circuit"

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Online Lecture: 'There Is No Longer Any Safety in Business': Lies & Profit in the Rhode Island-Cuba Circuit, with Stephen Chambers

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In 1825, George D'Wolf famously fled his mansion at Linden Place in Bristol, Rhode Island, deeply in debt. That year, financial hedging in New York City combined with catastrophic weather in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Matanzas, Cuba, to disrupt D'Wolf's New England empire. The story of how this happened and what followed -- chaos, death, and a slave insurrection on American-owned plantations in Cuba -- demonstrates Bristol's central role in this maelstrom. When George D'Wolf left, he didn't go to Boston or New York. Instead, he sailed for Cuba, where he already felt at home among other Americans from the U.S. North on the brutal sugar and coffee plantations of a deeper south.

Stephen Chambers is a managing director at The Winthrop Group, a top history and archival consultancy. He has published numerous works of business and peer-reviewed scholarship, including in Slavery’s Capitalism: A New History of American Economic Development (The University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016) and No God But Gain: The Untold Story of Cuban Slavery, the Monroe Doctrine, and the Making of the United States (Verso Books, 2015). He received his Ph.D. in History from Brown University.

The BH&PS gratefully acknowledges Linden Place as a co-sponsor of this event.

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