Museum Course - Puritans at War: New England in the English Civil Wars 1640-1675

Every Wednesday Until April 6th, 2022 8:00pm–9:30pm

Museum Course - Puritans at War: New England in the English Civil Wars 1640-1675

March 16, 23, 30 and April 6
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Virtual Program

 According to local legend, in 1675 an elderly man rallied the Western Massachusetts town of Hadley to repel an attack, before mysteriously disappearing. This was supposedly William Goffe, a puritan soldier involved in either the greatest crime or greatest work of the age, depending on your views: executing an anointed king. Who was this man, why might he have been in Hadley, and, even if the story has grown over the years, what does it say about the people who told it? Who celebrated the execution of a king?
Massachusetts' early colonial history is more complicated than we often think. This course will upend many common myths and stereotypes of puritans while exploring their vibrant world. It will consider daily life in early colonial Massachusetts, the political context of puritanism, and the decisive role of New Englanders in the English Civil Wars themselves. Ultimately, the language of liberty, sovereignty, and freedom of conscience that became crucial to the American Revolution had its origins in a different revolution a century earlier. There's a link between the Hadley of 1675 and Lexington in 1775--explore it with us!

James Golden is the Director of Interpretation at Historic Deerfield. James is responsible for administering the Museum Education and Interpretation Departments at Historic Deerfield, developing a broad range of educational experiences to engage visitors. Prior to joining the Historic Deerfield staff in 2019, James was the Director of Education at The Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, CT. He has also served as Adjunct Faculty at Wesleyan University, Trinity College, and the University of Hartford. He holds a doctorate in Modern History from the University of Oxford, England, and a Master of Science in History and a Master of Arts in Divinity from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Barbara Mathews is Historic Deerfield’s Public Historian and director of academic programs. She did her undergraduate work at Wesleyan University and holds a Ph.D. in history from Brown University. Before coming to Historic Deerfield, she worked at Old Sturbridge Village, the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association. Her research interests include colonial New England, American religious history, the American Revolution and the Founding, Shays’ Rebellion, and African and Native American presence and experience in early New England. Barbara has many years of experience in writing history content for the web and has collaborated on several award-winning history websites, including Raid on Deerfield: The Many Stories of 1704 and From Revolution to Constitution: Shays’ Rebellion and the Making of a Nation.
Registration Information

This program will be presented live via Zoom webinar. The link to the webinar will be sent to registrants prior to the event. Recordings will be available to registrants for a period of 30 days after each session.

The cost for the course is $130 ($115 for members, $150 for new members*) and $83 for students. Use the button below to register online.  For more information, contact Julie Orvis at or (413) 775-7179.

* This registration includes the discounted fee ($35) for a new Individual Membership in the Friends of Historic Deerfield (a $50 value) that entitles you to free admission to Historic Deerfield, 10% discount at the Deerfield Inn and Museum Store, Historic Deerfield Magazine, the members’ newsletter published twice a year, and invitations to members’ exhibition openings, lectures, and special trips. Special membership offer is not valid for renewals of current or lapsed memberships.

Cancellation Policy: A full refund of the registration fee can be obtained if you cancel before 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 16, 2022.