Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021 6:00p -
Boston Public Library (Online)
700 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02116
History, Lectures & Conferences, Virtual & Streaming
Join the Boston Public Library in partnership with the State Library of Massachusetts and American Ancestors by New England Historic Genealogical Society (AA/NEHGS) for an online conversation with Tobey Pearl, author of Terror to the Wicked: America's First Trial by Jury That Ended a War and Helped to Form a Nation. This talk is part of the Boston Public Library's Repairing America Series.
People who are interested in attending are kindly asked to visit the Event website for forthcoming information, including registration instructions and bookselling details.
A brutal killing, an all-out manhunt, and a riveting account of the first murder trial in U.S. history, set in the 1600s in colonial New England against the backdrop of the Pequot War (between the Pequot tribe and the colonists of Massachusetts Bay): an explosive trial whose outcome changed the course of history, ended a two-year war, and brought about a peace that allowed the colonies to become a full-blown nation.
The year: 1638. The setting: Providence, Plymouth Colony. A young Nipmuc tribesman, returning home from trading beaver pelts, is fatally stabbed in a robbery in the woods near Plymouth Colony by a white runaway servant and fellow rogues. Fighting for his life, the tribesman is able with his final breaths to reveal the details of the attack to Providence's governor, Roger Williams. A frantic manhunt by the fledgling government ensues, followed by the convening of the colony's first murder trial, with Plymouth Colony's governor Thomas Prence presiding as judge. The jury: local settlers (white) whose allegiance seems more likely to be with the accused than with the murdered man (a native) . . .
Piecing together a fascinating narrative through original research and first-rate detective work, Tobey Pearl re-creates in detail this startling, pivotal moment in pre-revolutionary America, as she examines the evolution of our nascent civil liberties and the role of the jury as a safeguard against injustice.
TOBEY PEARL earned degrees in law and international relations from Boston University and studied international law at the University of Hong Kong. She practiced law and taught at Emerson College. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The Repairing America Initiative is the Boston Public Library's pledge to focus its 2021 programming and services on bridging the gaps that divide America. By prioritizing economic recovery, civic engagement, COVID-19 recovery, racial equity, workforce development, and youth engagement, the BPL is working to help Americans rise above the challenges they face.