7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)
Dr. Emerson Baker will discuss the native inhabitants of Southern Maine, the Wabanaki people. Peaceful and violent interactions with European explorers and settlers drastically changed their lives in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.
The highs and the lows of the relationships between Native Americans and European settlers of this area will be the subject of a lecture 7:30 pm Thursday, Jan. 24 sponsored by the Old Berwick Historical Society. The lecture will be at Berwick Academy's Jeppesen Science Center on Academy Street. The public is invited and refreshments will be served.
In addition to the arrival of the European explorers and settlers, the fur trade introduced new materials. European diseases led to the death of thousands of Native Americans. And recurring waves of warfare between the Wabanaki and their French allies against the English settlers proved lethal and devastating to these native Americans. As a result, by the 1720s, only a small remnant of Wabankai population remained in York County.
Baker is a professor of history at Salem State University in New Hampshire. He is the award-winning author of numerous works on the history and archaeology of early New England, and was an on-camera expert for the PBS-TV series Colonial House. He has excavated many 17th Century archaeology sites in our region, including the Chadbourne Site in South Berwick.
Baker’s most recent book is The Devil of Great Island: Witchcraft and Conflict in Early New England. He is writing a history of the Salem witch trials for Oxford University Press.
The program is part of the Old Berwick Historical Society's 2013 series of talks, walks and historical events. This being the 300th anniversary of the Berwicks’ existence as an independent town, the series will focus on the earliest years of the Berwicks, providing a window into the lives of our forebears. The series, supported by member donations, includes seven monthly evening presentations as well as other local history events around South Berwick.