Image Courtesy Göttingen Academy Of Sciences And Humanities

Seminar Series: Prize Papers with Thomas Truxes – 20 March 2021

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Register Here for the 20 March 2021 Seminar Series Live Zoom Event
Welcome & Lecture at 11:00 AM ET, Q&A to Follow

Pre-registration is required and is limited to the first 100 registrants.  Seminars are free to attend, although we hope you will support the Series with a suggested $10 Seminar Guest donation. 

Image: The National Archives

The “Prize Papers” are a treasure trove of undelivered mail taken from ships captured during Britain’s naval wars between 1652 and 1815.  The documents were handed over to Great Britain’s High Court of Admiralty to prove that the captured ships were indeed enemies and therefore ripe for plunder.  The documents include not only personal letters but also poems, drawings, playing cards and journals. They offer a fascinating look at the lives lived and the interaction among people and countries during this time of rapid global expansion and trade.

Professor Truxes has been researching the “Prize Papers” since 2011 when he was at the British National Archives working on a book about Colonial America and came across letters taken from the Irish wine ship Two Sisters captured on its return home from Bordeaux during the Seven Years’ War.  He was captivated by the personal accounts of everyday people from the mid-18th-century.  Please join us as Tom brings to life some of the amazing personal stories he found as he went through the collection.  Professor Truxes has said of the letters that “they reinforce a common humanity across time because the people we see in these letters are no different from today.”

About the Speaker

Professor Thomas M. Truxes is currently Clinical Professor of Irish Studies and History at New York University. He is a specialist in the history of early-modern Ireland and pre-Revolutionary British America.  With his colleagues, Professor Truxes published the book The Bordeaux-Dublin Letters, 1757: Correspondence of an Irish Community Abroad, based on his research with the “Prize Papers” and which was awarded the Prix Brives-Cazes prize from the Académie Nationale des Sciences Belles-Lettres et Arts de Bordeaux.  Coinciding with the publication of his book in October 2013, they mounted an exhibition and hosted a conference at Glucksman Ireland House, NYU’s center for Irish and Irish-American studies.

Professor Truxes has just finished work on a narrative history of the overseas trade of British America for Yale University Press.  It is scheduled for publication in the fall of this year.  He is now at work on another book based on documents from the “Prize Papers”.  This one relates to a small trading ship, the Amity of Limerick, sailing from Ireland to France in 1690 at the height of the Williamite War.


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