Thomas Westbrook, the Wabanakis, and His World with Zachary Bennett
Colonel Thomas Westbrook (1675-1744) played what may have been the most important role in founding the City of Portland. The neighboring city of Westbrook is named for him, yet he has remained a mysterious figure since few records about his personal life have survived. During this outdoor lecture in the beautiful backyard of the 1755 Tate House, overlooking the Stroudwater River and Historic Garden Dr. Zachary Bennett will reconstruct the social and political world of colonial New England and focus on Westbrook’s rise from humble beginnings to the inner circle of Imperial politics as the King’s Mast Agent in Maine. Westbrook’s world was defined by conflict: he lived to see no less than five separate wars with Maine’s Indigenous people, the Wabanakis. The lecture will address Westbrook’s controversial role in the conquest of Wabanakis from central and southern Maine, his status as New England’s leading soldier in Maine’s most important Indian conflict known as Dummer’s War (1722–1725), and his business activities that transformed the region’s environment and dispossessed Indigenous people.
Zachary Bennett is an Assistant Professor of History at Norwich University in Vermont. He grew
up on Mast Road a few feet from the Westbrook town line. He is currently completing his book
project entitled Contested Currents which reframes the history of colonial New England as a
struggle to control rivers and waterpower instead of land. Zach received his PhD from Rutgers
University and his writing has appeared in academic journals such as The New England
Quarterly and Early American Studies.
* Tate House will be open for a special sneak peek view starting at 6:00 PM*
Water and snacks available for sale. Bring your own chairs and/or blanket.
Tickets purchased in Advance: $12 General Admission; $10 Tate House Museum Members
Tickets purchased at the Door: $15 General Admission; $12 Tate House Museum members