A seventh-generation Vermonter, Howard Coffin is the author of four books on the Civil War with a focus on Vermont and the Champlain Corridor.
1816 has long been known as the year without summer. Vermonters still call it “1800 and Froze to Death,” a year of frosts every month, dark skies, and mysterious lights that caused a widespread belief that a higher power was displeased.
This talk includes scores of anecdotes about the dark year of failed crops, scarce food, and religious revival. The horrible weather also came in the aftermath of the War of 1812, which produced shortages and an economic crisis.
Vermonters coped with the cold year with neighbor helping neighbor. But some greedy merchants sought to exploit shortages by charging higher and higher prices.
The cold year seems to have hit Vermont harder than any other state. But the effects of the disaster were very much worldwide. In Europe, visitors to the continent mistook bands of beggars along the roadways for invading armies. And out of it came literary accomplishments, including a grand poem by Lord Byron and a dark novel by Mary Shelley.
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PLEASE NOTE: HOWARD COFFIN’S TALKS HAVE BEEN FULLY BOOKED FOR THE REMAINDER OF 2022 AND ARE NOT AVAILABLE TO BE SCHEDULED UNTIL 2023.
1816 has long been known as the year without summer. This talk includes scores of anecdotes about the dark year of failed crops, scarce food, and religious revival.
With nearly 35,000 of Vermont’s able-bodied men at war, the monumental task of keeping more than 30,000 farms in operation became very much a female enterprise during the Civil War.
Historian Howard Coffin will discuss his recent research into this little-recognized group and consider the reasons why Vermont may have been so well-represented in this elite group of marksmen.