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Prospero’s America

Prospero’s America: John Winthrop Jr., Alchemy, and Connecticut Culture

Length: 45 minutes
Topics: Colonial Connecticut, 17th Century History, Settlement, Alchemy, Magic, History of Science, John Winthrop Jr., the Royal Academy of Science, Connecticut Culture, Witchcraft, Imperial Relations

This talk is the antidote to the widespread belief that Puritans were dour and mean-spirited witch-hunters, whose godly conservatism made them anti-tolerant, anti-science, anti-Indian, and anti-business and commerce. It recounts the story of John Winthrop, Jr., who was not only one of New England’s most important founders and the governor of Connecticut for 17 years, but also a protector of accused witches, a guardian of Indians singled out for genocide, and the most renowned scientist in all the colonies, who sought to use alchemy to make Connecticut a God-inspired scientific research laboratory.

This hitherto unknown story, from the award winning book of the same name, will make you reconsider what you thought you knew about early Connecticut and the English people who colonized it.


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