During the American Revolutionary War, the Christmas tree, Santa Claus, and the Christmas Holidays, did not make their way to the Thirteen Colonies yet.
Celebrating Christmas depended on religious affiliation and which state one was in. While Puritans considered Christmas a dangerous “pagan tradition” and did not celebrate it, Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Moravians, went to church and decorated their home with holly and mistletoe to receive guests for splendid dinners and balls, and gave each other Christmas gifts. Especially in the Southern colonies, celebrations were grand and festive.
While some were celebrating, American soldiers and officers were fighting for their independence. During the war, for George Washington and his men, Christmas meant crossing the Delaware, fighting at Trenton, surviving at Valley Forge. For the French allies, this was different, they celebrated Christmas in America as they would have done in France. In the winters from 1780 to 1783, the French allied officers in America organized grand Christmas dinners, the soldiers got special meals, and some went on sleigh expeditions and squirrel hunts.
Join us Monday, December 20, 2021, at 5:00 pm, for a special online presentation by Dr. Iris de Rode.
This is a free program that is open to the public. Also, please feel free to share this invitation and invite a friend.
Link to join (no registration required) https://sciencespo.zoom.us/j/6071023164
Meet Dr. Iris de Rode
Dr. Iris de Rode is specialized in the French participation in the American Revolution, and more broadly in the history of the Atlantic Revolutions.
Iris earned her doctoral degree in November 2019 for her PhD dissertation entitled “François-Jean de Chastellux (1734-1788), un soldat-philosophe dans le monde atlantique à l’époque des Lumières” at the University of Paris 8, under supervision of professor Bertrand Van Ruymbeke.
For her dissertation, she has earned thirteen fellowships, including grants from the Richard Lounsbery Foundation, Mount Vernon, Monticello, the French embassy in the Netherlands and the French government. She has presented her research at 25 international conferences, such as those organized by the European Early American Studies Association, the French Association of American Studies, Brown University, Stanford University, Mount Vernon and Monticello.
Her dissertation will be published in French in the autumn of 2021 (Paris, Honoré Champion). Iris is currently working on the publication of an adaptation of this dissertation in English to be published in 2023 with the University of Virginia Press.
In addition, she is also working on a documentary film entitled “En Route For Revolution” based on her research, for the French production company Gédéon Programmes.
Since 2013, as an adjunct faculty member, Iris has been teaching several classes in American and Transatlantic history and international history.
Walk the Trail, Experience their Journey
Use the form to sign up for the official W3R-US weekly newsletter featuring the latest news, events and exciting history resources!