Caribbean Rum and the Making of the Atlantic World

  • Sat, May 8, 2021 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Eastern Standard Time

Ticket Price Free This event is now over

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.

Virtual program via Zoom.


Registration is required. We invite you to pay as you wish to support lectures like this and future programs at Stratford Hall. A contribution can be made online with your registration or by mail to the following address: Development, Stratford Hall, 483 Great House Road, Stratford, VA 22558.

Free for Friends of Stratford.

After registering for the webinar, attendees will receive an automated confirmation email with connection instructions. We program will take place via Zoom, which is available for free download here

Date & Time

Sat, May 8, 2021 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Stratford Hall
A National Historic Landmark, Stratford Hall is home to the Lees of Virginia and is located in the Northern Neck of Virginia. Nestled along the Potomac River, Stratford Hall’s nearly 2,000 acres comes to life through the presentation and preservation of the 18th-century Great House, vibrant gardens, natural trails revealing breathtaking river views, and the stories of all who lived here.