Join Dr. Kelley Fanto Deetz as she hosts Dr. Fred Smith, author of Caribbean Rum: A Social and Economic History, for a lecture and discussion on one of the most popular alcohols in the world.
Rum was very popular at Stratford Hall! The Lees kept a large supply of Caribbean rum in their cellar, and consumed it, gifted it, and celebrated the spirit at any occasion. But what is the larger history of rum, and how does it connect Stratford to the Atlantic World? Rum making emerged in the Caribbean in the early seventeenth century to meet the social and spiritual needs of colonists and maritime traders. Rum drinking helped enslaved Africans, indigenous peoples, and indentured European laborers cope with the challenges of everyday life in the region. Rum quickly became a valuable economic commodity, and the rum trade connected peoples in disparate parts of the early Atlantic world. Almost from the start of the industry, Caribbean rum made its way to the North American colonies, including to the towns and plantations of Virginia. Throughout the emerging Atlantic world, rum helped enslaved and free colonists express ethnic identity, define social boundaries, enhance resistance ideologies, and escape the many anxieties of life. Today, rum is one of the most widely consumed spirits in the world, and it is a defining commodity of the Caribbean. This talk will explore the historical rise of rum making and the extent of the early rum trade, including to Stratford Hall. It will also address popular cultural depictions and misconceptions about rum, especially about rum and pirates.
Date & Time
Sat, May 8, 2021 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM