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The Whaleship Stonington in the Mexican-American War, An Author Talk with Peter J. Emanuel, Jr.

July 18 @ 6:00 pm


What happens when a whaleship (the Stonington), set for its homeport in Connecticut, stops in San Diego, California and learns that war has broken out between the United States and Mexico, leaving US inhabitants no escape route but the sea? Find out on July 18 at 6 pm when Author Peter J. Emanuel Jr. joins us at Essex Library to discuss his book Course Change: The Whaleship Stonington in the Mexican-American War.

Using the logbook of the whaleship Stonington together with other primary and secondary sources, historian Peter J. Emanuel, Jr. tells the story of a whaleship unlike any other in the annals of whaling. Readers with an interest in maritime/naval/military history, as well as those who just enjoy an exciting adventure story, will sail along with the Stonington as it assists in the retaking of San Diego, then serves as a supply ship, a troop ship, and even a gun ship for the US Navy.

About the Author
Peter J. Emanuel, Jr. has been an educator and musician in New London County, Connecticut, since 1978. From that time, he has been a piano teacher, accompanist, and pianist/vocalist. Emanuel earned a bachelor of science degree in education from the University of Connecticut in 1977 and a master of arts degree in history from American Public University in 2012. He began teaching at The Williams School, a private college preparatory school in New London, in 1991. His initial position at the school was director of music, but his course load always included at least one history class.

In 2009, Emanuel began working on a master’s degree in history, with the hope of becoming a full-time member of the Williams history department. That aspiration became a reality in 2014 when his course load shifted completely to history. From 2017 to 2020, it was his distinct honor to serve as history department head. He retired from The Williams School in 2020.


July 18
6:00 pm
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