2021 Seminar Series Schedule
The NMHS Seminar Series was founded in 1992 under the auspices of the National Maritime Historical Society to build greater awareness of the rich maritime heritage of the Hudson River Valley and the world at large, and to create a constituency to advocate for our maritime legacy. Through its monthly lecture series and annual outreach events, the NMHS Seminar Series provides educational programs about our waters and the great community of people who love ships and mariners, the sea, rivers, and bays. Members of the general public are encouraged to attend.
New England Coast Guard Stories: Remarkable Mariners
Zoom Seminar with Author & Journalist Dyke Hendrickson
Saturday, 23 January 2021: Welcome & Lecture at 11:00 AM ET
In 1790, Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton asked President George Washington to fund a fleet of “revenue cutters” that could halt smuggling and collect taxes in U.S. waters. Today, from northern Maine to southern Connecticut, the Coast Guard provides the might and the oversight to ensure that the coastlines are safe and navigable. From icebreaking and harrowing rescues to the global war on terror, the service plays a unique role in the region. Join us as author Dyke Hendrickson profiles the varied careers and contributions of the brave men and women throughout New England who ensure the service remains Semper Paratus – Always Ready.
The Impact of COVID 19 on the Maritime Industry
Zoom Seminar with History Professor Dr. Sal Mercogliano
Saturday, 27 February 2021: Welcome & Lecture at 11:00 AM ET
On February 5, 2020, Japanese officials in Yokohama, Japan quarantined the cruise ship Diamond Princess of Princess Cruise Lines when it was reported that 10 passengers were experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms on board. In the days and weeks that followed, the entirety of the global shipping networks, from containerships to tankers and bulk carriers were impacted by the pandemic. The disruption by COVID-19 is the most significant event to hit the world’s oceans since the Second World War. Join us as Dr. Sal Mercogliano, Associate Professor of History at Campbell University, explains COVID-19’s widespread and devastating effect on the world’s maritime industries.
Great Britain’s High Court of Admiralty “Prize Papers”
Zoom Seminar with Author Thomas M. Truxes
Saturday, 20 March 2021: Welcome and Lecture at 11:00 AM ET
The “Prize Papers” is a massive collection of largely uncatalogued documents made up of vast amounts of material taken off vessels captured by the English navy between the mid-seventeenth century and the end of the Napoleonic Wars. It is by far the largest untapped resource on maritime life in the early modern period. It is estimated that as many as 85,000 pieces of correspondence are contained in the HCA “Prize Papers” at the British National Archives. Join us as author Thomas M. Truxes, Clinical Professor of Irish Studies and History at New York University, gives us a fascinating look at this historical maritime treasure.
Sea Shanties and Sailor Songs
Zoom Seminar and Performance with Musical Historian Craig Edwards
Saturday, 17 April 2021: Welcome and Lecture at 11:00 AM ET
Back on 21 January this year, you may have read NMHS senior staff writer Shelley Reid’s Sea History Today post on the recent phenomenon of sea shanties taking the internet by storm. At the time of writing, “Soon May the Wellerman Come,” performed by the folk group The Longest Johns, was at the top of the music service Spotify’s viral hit songs. How is it that the “rock and roll of 1752″—as it was called in the movie Fisherman’s Friends—is so popular right now? Craig Edwards—musician, ethnomusicologist, longtime staff musician at Mystic Seaport Museum, and former director of the Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival—will speak and perform for us at this very special seminar, held jointly with the Hendrick Hudson Free Library.
Live Painting Demonstration & Discussion
Zoom Seminar with ASMA Artist Lisa Egeli
Wednesday, 23 June 2021: Welcome & Demonstration at 6:00 PM ET
Raised in a renovated farmhouse along the St. Mary’s River in southern Maryland, third-generation artist Lisa Egeli began painting the world around her at a young age. As current president of The American Society of Marine Artists, Ms. Egeli has said, “My experience as both a member and leader of ASMA has brought me into a community of incredible artists whose purpose continues to be to recognize and preserve maritime history. Art is an amazing way to do that.” See some of Lisa’s impressive paintings in the spring 2020 Sea History feature article on her work, and join us as she gives us a plein air painting demonstration of Chesapeake Bay’s historic shoreline.
The artist has generously agreed to auction the resulting 9″ x 12″ painting, created before your very eyes, with all proceeds to benefit the National Maritime Historical Society. Bid high and bid often on this one-of-a-kind piece at the Lisa Egeli Plein Air Painting Auction. The auction ends one day after the seminar, on Thursday, 24 June 2021 at 6 pm ET.
Remembering the 9/11 Boatlift:
Zoom Panel Discussion
Saturday, 11 September 2021: Short Film & Lecture at 11:00 AM ET
Please join us on 11 September 2021, the twenty-year anniversary of 9/11, for a tribute to the great boatlift of the day and the role our maritime heritage community played in its success. We will screen the short documentary film Boatlift: An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience narrated by Tom Hanks, followed by a panel discussion on the largest water evacuation in maritime history. Joining us for the panel discussion will be NMHS trustee emeritus RADM Richard Larrabee, USCG (Ret.), president of the New Jersey Sandy Hook Pilots Association Capt. Andrew McGovern, founder of the fireboat John J. Harvey Huntly Gill, and USCG Safety and Security Division Chief for Sector New York John Hillin. NMHS Seminar Series Steering Committee chairman Louis Liotti will moderate.
Undiminished Violence: The John Minturn Storm of 1846
Zoom Seminar with Author Thomas G. Clark
Saturday, 6 November 2021: Welcome and Lecture at 11:00 AM ET
In February 1846, the “Minturn Storm,” a powerful nor’easter, pounded the East Coast from the Carolinas to Maine for two days. Countless people died and nine vessels were lost, most famously the John Minturn, a three-masted packet ship en route from New Orleans to New York carrying over $80,000 in goods and 51 passengers and crew. The wreck of the Minturn off the coast of New Jersey not only gave the storm its name but created headlines and stories that spread around the world, reporting the scandalous behavior of the locals who refused to rescue the victims laying stranded right offshore and were later accused of plundering the wreckage.
Join us as author and New Jersey native Thomas G. Clark dramatically recounts the monster storm, detailing the powerful personal narratives of many of the victims, including the captain and crew of the ill-fated Minturn. The aftermath of the catastrophe sparked investigations that persuaded Congress to pass laws to build structures for the storage of life-saving equipment along the New Jersey coast. These laws eventually led to the creation of the United States Life-Saving Service, which later merged with the US Cutter Service in 1915 to become the US Coast Guard.
Zoom Seminar with President/CEO Dr. Ray Ashley
Join us for this special end of the year presentation as Dr. Ray Ashley, President/CEO of the Maritime Museum of San Diego provides an overview of this celebrated museum, named as one of top three maritime museums in the world. Founded in 1948, the Maritime Museum of San Diego is a treasure of sea history, bringing America’s rich maritime past to life for visitors to discover as they board any of the museum’s many historic ships in what is considered the world’s finest collection. The collection includes the world’s oldest active ship the Star of India and the recreated Spanish galleon San Salvador, the first European vessel to sail along Southern California, and survey its coastline.
Dr. Ashley, a licensed captain for sail, steam and auxiliary vessels of 200 tons registry, has sailed tens of thousands of miles and has built, restored and preserved historical ships for years. He is the navigator for the Star of India and teaches History of Navigation for the Museum. He also writes a quarterly column for the Maritime Museum’s peer reviewed journal Mains’l Haul. In 2016 Dr. Ashley was knighted with the rank of Knight Commander, Order of Isabella la Catholica by direction of his majesty, King Felipe VI of Spain in recognition for his efforts in recreating the San Salvador.
For more information or to register, email firstname.lastname@example.org.