Dr. Katherine Hermes, professor of history at Central Connecticut State University, will present “Connecticut’s Indigenous People and Their Use of the Law,” Sept. 25 at the Torrington Historical Society in the Carriage House Gallery. There is no charge for members; guests pay $5.
Shortly after the arrival of English settlers in 17th century Connecticut, conflict amongst the new settlers and the Native people began and resulted in the Pequot War of 1637. Most conflicts, however, did not result in war and were the stuff of everyday encounters. The Wangunk, Tunxis and other Native people used their own law and the English courts to argue for justice, and sometimes they received it. This program will discuss Native jurispractice and demands for justice in colonial courts, 1637-1775.
Dr. Hermes has presented papers by invitation at the Harvard International Seminar on the History of the Atlantic World as well as at the Atlantic History Workshop sponsored by the Seminar in 2005. She was a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the American Maritime History workshop at the Munson Institute, Mystic Seaport, in 2010. In 2012 the Max Planck Institute for Legal History in Frankfurt, Germany, invited her to speak at the LOEWE Research Focus workshop on “Justice without the State.” Dr. Hermes is also a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.