2018 History Talk – Kevin Sweeney

Saturday June 9, 2018

Ministers, Merchants and River Gods: The Williamses of Western Massachusetts, 1680-1780

by Kevin Sweeney  

Noteworthy and notorious, the Williamses of Deerfield and Stockbridge were the most prominent of the powerful eighteenth-century families that came to be known as the River Gods.  On Saturday, June 9, learn how the story of the Williams clan’s rise and fall was shaped by and helped shape the western region’s relations with Native peoples, military establishment, distinctive religious traditions, and critical political ties to Boston

KevinSweeney PhotoKevin Sweeney is Professor emeritus of History and American Studies at Amherst College, where he taught from 1989 to 2016. He majored in history at Williams College and obtained his doctorate in history from Yale University, where he wrote a prize-winning dissertation on the Williams family. From 1980 to 1984 he was Administrator-Curator of the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum in Wethersfield, Connecticut; he worked at the Winterthur Museum in Delaware from 1985-1986; and he served as Director of Academic Programs at Historic Deerfield from 1986 to 1989. With  Evan Haefeli, he co-authored Captors and Captives: The 1704 French and Indian Raid on Deerfield, which received the 2003 Book Prize of the New England Historical Association, and co-edited, Captive Histories: English, French, and Native Narratives of the 1704 Deerfield Raid. He is currently working on a book project on guns in the cultures of early America from 1580 to 1810.

All History Talks are held at Tyringham Union Church, Main Road, Tyringham. Suggested Donation: Members $10, Non-Members $15.


Kevin Sweeney poster