Conversations at the Washington Library

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Mount Vernon hosts numerous programs every year welcoming individuals who share our dedication to generating and disseminating knowledge about early American history This series is an opportunity to go behindthescenes and explore the indepth work done to build a more complete understanding of the past

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Battling Pirates of the Chesapeake Bay with Jamie L. H. Goodall

During the American Revolution, the Chesapeake Bay was a pirate’s nest. The men who plied the Bay’s waters had shifting loyalties, competing interests, and a keen sense of how to use the law to legitimize their actions.


In fact, they are part of a much richer history of piracy in the Bay.


From the seventeenth through the nineteenth century, pirates were a constant feature of Chesapeake society. They connected the Bay and its communities with the wider Atlantic world, and even to the Indian Ocean.


And in later years, they battled local authorities for control of the Chesapeake’s lucrative oyster trade.


On today's episode, we're pleased to bring you the audio version of Jim Ambuske's live stream conversation with Dr. Jamie L. H. Goodall, Staff Historian for the US Army’s Center of Military History.  Goodall is the author of the new book, Pirates of the Chesapeake Bay: From the Colonial Era to the Oyster Wars.


About Our Guest:


Jamie L. H. Goodall, Ph.D. is Staff Historian at the Center of Military History, US Army, in Washington, D.C. She received her B.A. in Archaeology and M.A. in Public History-Museum Studies from Appalachian State University (Boone, North Carolina) in 2008 and 2010 respectively.  She was awarded  her PhD from The Ohio State in May 2016. She is a former Assistant Professor of History at Stevenson University in Baltimore, Maryland. Goodall is the author of Pirates of the Chesapeake Bay: From the Colonial Era to the Oyster Wars (The History Press, 2020).


About Our Host:


Jim Ambuske leads the Center for Digital History at the Washington Library. He received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia in 2016 with a focus on Scotland and America in an Age of War and Revolution. He is a former Farmer Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities at the University of Virginia Law Library. At UVA, Ambuske co-directed the 1828 Catalogue Project and the Scottish Court of Session Project.  He is the co-author with Randall Flaherty of "Reading Law in the Early Republic: Legal Education in the Age of Jefferson," in The Founding of Thomas Jefferson's University ed. by John A. Rogasta, Peter S. Onuf, and Andrew O'Shaughnessy (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019). Ambuske is currently at work on a book entitled Emigration and Empire: America and Scotland in the Revolutionary Era, as well as a chapter on Scottish loyalism during the American Revolution for a volume to be published by the University of Edinburgh Press.



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