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KNOXVILLE — John Demos of Yale University will discuss the “Heathen School,” a remarkable missionary effort in the early 19th century, when he presents the 2009 Milton Klein Visiting Scholar Lecture on March 11 at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

John Demos
John Demos
The lecture, which is free and open to the public, begins at 4:30 p.m. in room 103 of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy. A reception will follow.

Parking for the Baker Center is available for a fee in the University Center parking garage on Phillip Fulmer Way.

Demos’ lecture is titled “The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic.”

The Heathen School was an attempt to educate and convert to Christianity “heathen youth” brought from around the world to a special school established for the purpose in rural Connecticut. After a period of initial, seemingly brilliant success, the project foundered when two Cherokee students married white women from the local community, sparking public outrage that redirected missionary endeavors for generations to follow.

Demos’ received his master’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1961. His books include: “A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony” (1970); “Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England” (Oxford University Press, 1982), for which he received the Bancroft Prize in American History; “Past, Present, and Personal: The Family and the Life Course” (1986); and “The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America ” (Knopf, 1994), which received the Francis Parkman and Ray Allen Billington prizes in American history and was a finalist for the National Book Award in general nonfiction.

For more information, contact Ernest Freeberg, UT associate professor of history, at (865) 974-7090.



Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,