Providence College Seminar in the History of Early America SEMINAR ANNOUNCEMENT

Sharon Murphy's picture

Please join us for our first 2018-19 Providence College Seminar in the History of Early America when we welcome: 


Barry Steifel

Associate Professor

College of Charleston


Maple: The Sugar of Abolitionist Aspirations


This paper explores the material, economic, and social history of maple sugar as the “alternative” sweetener from North America within the Atlantic World, in contrast to Caribbean-produced sugarcane. Maple sugar became an alternative to sugarcane during the eighteenth century since it was both locally available and more economical to procure in contrast to the Caribbean cane-derived import. Furthermore, what was not lost on many consumers of maple sugar in the eighteenth century is that it’s far less labor intensive compared to sugarcane. Thus, a slave-based labor force to cultivate and process maple sugar never developed, which attracted a demographic of socially conscious consumers – abolitionists and their sympathizers!


Tuesday, October 23, 2018


Liberal Arts Honors Seminar Room (no. 202)

The Ruane Center for the Humanities

Providence College

1 Cunningham Sq

Providence, RI. 02918


Those attending the seminar should read the paper in advance. Light refreshments will be provided. 


For questions, a copy of the paper, parking information, or to be added to the seminar distribution list, please contact Prof. Steven Carl Smith ( or Prof. Sharon Ann Murphy (