Presentation on “Nature & History in the Potomac Country: From Hunter-Gatherers to the Age of Jefferson”

  • July 23, 2019
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • National Conservation Training Center, 698 Conservation Way, Shepherdstown, WV 25443

Historian and author James Rice will give a presentation on “Nature & History in the Potomac Country: From Hunter-Gatherers to the Age of Jefferson” on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in the Byrd Auditorium, Front Entry Building, at the National Conservation Training Center, 698 Conservation Way, Shepherdstown, WV 25443.

Rice’s book begins with a mystery. Why, when the whole of the region offered fertile soil and excellent fishing and hunting, did much of the Potomac Basin above the fall line lack permanent year-round settlements on the eve of colonization? Rice wondered how the existence of this no-man’s land influenced nearby Native American and, later, colonial settlements. Did it function as a commons, as a place where all were free to hunt and fish? Or was it perceived as a strange and hostile wilderness? The answers, Rice argues, lie in environmental history—the study of human/nature relations over time—going back to the region's earliest known habitation.

James Rice is the Walter S. Dickson Professor of History and Chair of the History Department at Tufts University. He is the author of two books, Nature and History in the Potomac Country and Tales from a Revolution: Bacon's Rebellion and the Transformation of Early America. His current research includes an environmental history of Native North America from Oaxaca to the Arctic and from the first human habitation to the present.

The talk is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are required. It is part of The Conservation Lecture Series held at the National Conservation Training Center. For more information please contact Mark Madison at (304) 876-7276 or mark_madison@fws.gov or visit nctc.fws.gov/history/publiclectures.html. The Conservation Lecture Series is co-sponsored by The Friends of the NCTC (http://www.friendsofnctc.org).


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