Thank you to everyone who attended the 2016 meeting of the East-Central American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ECASECS) on on October 27-29, 2016, at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Next year’s conference will be at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
Thursday and Friday sessions are at the Courtyard by Marriott, 620 Caroline St., Fredericksburg VA 221401. Saturday sessions are at the University of Mary Washington, Monroe Hall. For those without cars, a trolley will provide transportation on Saturday.
The conference theme is The Familiar and the Strange.
Fredericksburg was a prominent port town in the eighteenth century. George Washington grew up just across the Rappahannock River. His mother, Mary Washington, spent her last years at a house George purchased for her in the historic district near his sister’s estate and the tavern operated by his brother. The Mary Washington House, Rising Sun Tavern, Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop, and Kenmore Plantation mansion (famous for its remarkable plasterwork ceilings) are among the historic landmarks open to the public. Other early residents include Revolutionary War generals Hugh Mercer and George Weedon, naval war hero John Paul Jones, and President James Monroe, who practiced law here before entering politics. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in Fredericksburg. The city also attracts Civil War tourism, with four battlefield National Parks serving as reminders of its strategic location between the Union and Confederate capitals. Today Fredericksburg has a thriving arts scene, with numerous galleries, music venues, and restaurants within a few blocks of our conference hotel in the historic district.
Artwork: “Petticoat Duellists,” 1792. Courtesy of The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University.