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Pequot Library explores pre-revolutionary spread of information with new exhibition to open February 20, 2020

By Pequot Library

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Southport, CT – The Pequot Library has announced the opening of its next Special Collections exhibition. Riot, Sedition, Insurrection: Media and the Road to the American Revolution will open to the public on Thursday February 20, 2020 with a cocktail reception and presentation. The exhibition will remain on view through May 3, 2020. In the years preceding the American Revolution, printing presses in the thirteen colonies churned out a wave of seditious literature. A swirl of pamphlets, posters, newspapers, and other print media, not often grounded in fact, fomented a climate of rebellion against the British crown. Looking at the same works that circulated in the streets, coffeehouses, and homes of Revolutionary-era Americans, the exhibition tells the story of how the media environment shifted public opinion from loyalty to rebellion.

“Some say that we live in an era of ‘fake news,’ but major geopolitical events have been influenced by the media for centuries.” said Stephanie Coakley, Pequot Library’s Executive Director. “This is an exciting opportunity to witness the how information disseminated throughout the colonies. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, for example, had unprecedented influence and spread like wildfire. We are proud to be able to illustrate such a remarkable slice of history with materials of this caliber. ”

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Many of Pequot Library’s treasures of early Americana will be on view, including our 1776 edition of Common Sense and 25 items from our collection on long-term deposit at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University, featuring correspondence from John Adams to John Hancock, narratives from the Boston Massacre, writings by Benjamin Franklin advocating to repeal the Stamp Act, and other valuable ephemera that paint the picture of pre-Revolutionary America.

Riot, Sedition, Insurrection, will be on view from February 20, 2020 through May 3, 2020. The accompanying events include Out Of the Vault, a sneak peek of the exhibition (2/14), the Opening Reception (2/20) with light refreshments and a gallery talk by George Miles, Curator, Western Americana Collection at the Beinecke, and a discussion with Chris Formant, author of the highly anticipated Saving Washington: The Forgotten Story of the Maryland 400 and the Battle of Brooklyn (2/27), Fake News with Professor Matt Tullis (3/19), a kid’s American Revolution Book Club (3/26), and General Washington’s Three-Pronged Culper Spy Ring, a lecture by historian Elizabeth Kahn Kaplan (4/16).

Visit the calendar at www.pequotlibrary.org to learn more about Riot, Sedition, Insurrection and all associated events. For information: (203) 259-0346 ext. 115. Follow Pequot Library on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Pequot Library Brings Culture to Life!

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