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On Wednesday, September 14, John Tschirch returns for part three of the of his four part lecture series “The Great English House.” His third talk, "Chippendale Masterpiece: Dumfries House", will focus on the interior furnishings of Dumfries House, a Palladian style Scottish country house built by Robert and John Adam. Inside Robert Adam would work his magic in the Rococo style while the Earl of Dumfries, who commissioned the house with the hopes it may attract a new wife, handpicked the furniture from Thomas Chippendale’s workshop in the heart of London. To learn more about this Scottish estate, the architects of Dumfries house, or the creator of some of the finest furniture in the world check out some of the book below!

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The Battle of Lake Erie is considered one of the most influential naval battles of the War of 1812. On the morning of September 10, 1813, a squadron on nine American vessels under the command of Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry would be approached by a British squadron of six vessels under Commander Robert Barclay. The resulting gun fight between the two squadrons would have an almost immediate effect on not only the Lake Erie campaign, but to the War of 1812 as a whole. Perry would go down as an American Naval Hero while Barclay, severely wounded in the battle, would be court martialed, exonerated and eventually leave the Royal Navy.

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Three years after the new United States gained its independence from Great Britain a new set of challenges faced the infant country. Held together by the hastily made Articles of Confederation, the new nation slowly moved into the postbellum years that saw the strings of the union of states under a larger federal government become strained under the process of tax collection. It would all come to a head on August 29, 1786 when several courts would be shut down by mobs in the state of Massachusetts that would be known as Shays’ rebellion, after one of its organizers, Daniel Shays.

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The late nineteenth and early twentieth century was the golden age of transatlantic travel. With the onset of the steam powered engine, these ships would become larger and faster eventually leading to the construction of the luxary liners, such as the Queen Mary, and the Normandie. Find out more about this fascinating age by checking out one of the books below!

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On August 31, John Tschirch returns for the second part of his four part lecture series “The Great English House”. His second talk “Baroque Drama: Castle Howard” will focus on the country estate of the Earls of Carlisle designed by Sir John Vanbrugh in the culmination of the English Baroque style. Begun in 1699, construction would take a little more than a century finally being completed around 1811.

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Between 1454 and 1455, Johannes Gutenberg would complete a total of approximately 180 copies of his 42-line Bible that would come to bear his name today. The Gutenberg Bible would be the first example of mass produced moveable type in the Western World and would usher in the age of printed books into Europe. Since its publication there are about 49 copies, some incomplete, that are still in existence and even though none have been sold since the 1970’s it is still considered one of the most valuable books in the world.

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Quite often here at the Redwood Library we stumble across an artifact in our vault that really knocks our socks off. Today we offer a letter written by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson on behalf of President George Washington. It is a letter informing one William Channing Esq. that he has been appointed by the President as the First U. S. Attorney of the State of Rhode Island under the newly ratified Constitution of the United States.

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Between 1675 and 1678 war raged across much of the New England colonies. This war would be the single greatest conflict to occur in seventeenth century Puritan New England and is considered by many historians to be the deadliest conflict in the history of European colonization of North America in proportion to total population.

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Starting on Wednesday August 24, award winning architectural historian John Tschirch will begin his lecture series titled “The Great English House”. The series visits four remarkable homes famed for their design, collections, and legendary occupants. Each house is a time capsule of English history beginning with the Elizabethan Era.

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Between 1620 and 1636 colonists from England began settling the land of what would become the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. History books tell tales of these brave men and women coming to the New World with nothing more than their religious zeal or a sense of new business ventures. Their goal was to make a better life for themselves and their descendants and in that regard most were successful. They began shaping the land as they saw fit, building public houses, places of worship and most importantly their own private dwellings, that would all soon evolve into the major cities that we know of today. The designs of these buildings were directly influenced by two factors; architecture that these colonists had come in contact with back in Europe and the resources that could be readily found at the site of the new colony.

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