School of History, Classics & Archaeology

Fennell Lecture 2019 - Professor Joanne Freeman

At a moment of heightened political rhetoric in the United States, which has spilled over into violence, Professor Joanne Freeman of Yale examines the history of political violence in America during the nineteenth century. Based on her recently-published book, The Field of Blood, Freeman considers the connection between partisan rhetoric and political violence. The New York Times said of The Field of Blood: "In her absorbing, scrupulously researched book The Field of Blood, Joanne B. Freeman uncovers the brawls, stabbings, pummelings and duel threats that occurred among United States congressmen during the three decades just before the Civil War. A professor of history and American studies at Yale, she gives us a front-row view of the action: the 11-volume diary that the political observer Benjamin Brown French kept between 1828 and his death in 1870. A New Hampshirite who worked as a lawyer and journalist before turning to politics, French moved in 1833 to Washington, where he served as a congressional clerk for 14 years. After that, he stayed close to the political scene, working as a part-time clerk, a lobbyist and a buildings commissioner under three presidents." Guided by French, Freeman takes us through decades of political violence in the United States and shows us how violent conflict in Congress led the way to political crisis and, eventually, Civil War. Based on nearly decades of research it's a timely study for the current political moment.

Professor Freeman is Professor of History and American Studies at Yale.

The event is free and open to all. There will be an opportunity to buy Professor Freeman's book and have it signed by the author.

Mar 21 2019 -

Fennell Lecture 2019 - Professor Joanne Freeman

The 2019 Fennell Lecture will be given by Professor Joanne Freeman entitled, 'The field of blood: Violence in the US Congress and the road to Civil War' on 21 March, 2019.

Playfair Library, Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh EH8 9YL