Cambridge University history professor, Nicholas Guyatt talks about the capture of more than 6,500 American sailors during the War of 1812 and their ordeals while incarcerated at Dartmoor Prison in southwest England. Building on the work of naval historian Ira Dye, Guyatt discusses among other issues, the debate between America’s Founders over whether the United States even needed a navy, the different routes through which the captured sailors arrived at the prison, how they forged a sense of community despite the terrible circumstances of their confinement, and how they kept their prison experience alive for decades after the infamous Dartmoor Massacre of 1815.

About the Speaker: Nicholas Guyatt is Professor of North American History at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of six books, including Bind Us Apart: How Enlightened Americans Invented Racial Segregation and The Hated Cage: An American Tragedy in Britain’s Most Terrifying Prison. He’s written about American history for the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, the Nation, the Guardian, and the London Review of Books. He has held many fellowships, including at the International Center for Jefferson Studies, Charlottesville.

Note: Due to security requirements at the Washington Navy Yard, you will need to be escorted onto the base. If taking metro, get on the Green Line and exit the Navy Yard/Ballpark stop, then walk to the entrance at 11th and O Street SE (about 15 minutes). Plan to arrive at the entrance gate by 12 pm. Please be prompt. A museum educator will be at the entrance gate to bring you onto the base and to the museum (Bldg. 76). The last gate pickup will occur at 12:20 PM. If you need to contact the museum on the day of the program, call our front desk at 202.685.0589

Parking Option: Harris Teeters underground parking garage (401 M Street SE). Parking is free for 90 minutes. Once you park, you will need to go into the store and validate your ticket. After validating your ticket, exit the store and walk to the Navy Yard entrance at 11th and O Street SE. Keep your ticket. You will need it to exit the garage.

Mask Guidelines: A mask is not required while inside the museum (Bldgs 70 and 76), or while attending programs. A mask is not required while outside on the grounds of the Washingron Navy Yard.

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Images Courtesy of the Author

Images Courtesy of the Author