October 2017
Entangled Histories of Empire and Science 
Against the backdrop of the Library’s four-year series on the early environmental history of the Americas, the John Carter Brown Library hosted “Fire and Water: Entangled Histories of Empire and Science in the Early Modern Americas” over three days in late September to assess the last two decades of historiography related to the history of science (especially in the Iberian and Iberoamerican worlds). The Library welcomed early career scholars to present on the history of science in the Americas. They were joined by JCB Fellows and some forty scholars from the Americas north and south and Europe, who collectively interrogated how fire and water as material, immaterial, social, cultural, political, and symbolic forces can help us think through the early environmental – and scientific – histories of communities throughout the Americas. The conference was generously supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Director’s New Initiatives Fund of the John Carter Brown Library.
Meet Fellow Mariana Françozo
When Mariana Françozo, associate professor at the School of Archaeology at Leiden University and member of the LAGLOBAL research network at the University of London, was asked to contribute to the JCB’s Global Americana exhibition (on view in the Library through this fall), it was no surprise that she chose the Historia Naturalis Brasiliae (Leyden, 1648). Last spring, Françozo received a European Research Council grant for her five-year research project on the text and in August began her fellowship at the JCB and first investigatory stage of the project. As an Almeida Family/John M. Monteiro Memorial Fellow, she will study the Historia Naturalis Brasiliae (HNB) in comparison with two earlier works on the natural history of Ibero-America — Nicolas Monardes' natural history of the New World (Seville, 1565) and the corpus of Francisco Hernandez's work on the natural world of New Spain (Mexico, 1615).

“Being at the JCB allows me to easily compare the editions of the HNB to the various Spanish and Portuguese natural history treatises and travel accounts that preceded the publication of this book,” says Françozo. “Particularly impressive are the Library's collections of part of the Hernández corpus, including the only copy of the Recchi manuscript. Likewise, the JCB's collection of Dutch imprints and manuscripts allows me to understand exactly where the publication of the HNB fits in the history of the Dutch in the Atlantic.” Françozo looks forward to collaborating with the JCB over the course of her project, especially to create a digital platform where scholars and students can learn more about the HNB , Dutch Brazil, and indigenous knowledge in the early modern period.
Fresh Ink: Collecting the World
Congratulations to former fellow James Delbourgo (Paul W. McQuillen Memorial Fellow, 2001-02) for the publication of his new book, Collecting the World: Hans Sloane and the Origins of the British Museum (Harvard University Press, 2017). Sloane was an avid collector of immense wealth and his collecting a world of objects also meant collecting a world of people, including slaves. His marriage to the heir of sugar plantations in Jamaica gave Sloane access to the experiences of planters and the folkways of their human property. He established a network of agents to supply artifacts from China, India, North America, the Caribbean, and beyond. This work offers a new perspective on the complex relationship between global scientific discovery and imperialism in the eighteenth century. The biography was one of several important works discussed last month at the JCB’s “Fire and Water” symposium detailed in the above story.
From the Cataloguer’s Desk: Yankee Doodle, or the American Satan
Allison Rich, rare materials cataloguer at the JCB, found this caricature and its historical connections to be both interesting and entertaining. Seen here is a political cartoon that was published by Matthias Daly in London (c. 1780). This caricature is an etched self-portrait of Joseph Wright, an American engraver and draughtsman who was a student of Benjamin West. Wright was the first American to be admitted to the Royal Academy of Arts (during the American Revolutionary War).

Below the self-portrait and title, it reads, “Ask me what provocation I have had that strong antipathy good bears to bad. Pub. By Ebenezer Scalpp’em on the Banks of the Ohio.” In his Liberty and Freedom: A Visual History of America’s Founding Ideas (Oxford University Press, 2015), David Hackettt Fischer suggests that Wright’s self-portrait was intended to represent Yankee Doodle as a normal person, in opposition to the negative and condescending portrayals of Yankee Doodle by the British. American children sing the famous song today, but British troops sang the tune in the eighteenth century to mock Americans:

Yankee Doodle came to town
Upon a little pony
He stuck a feather in his hat
And called it macaroni. 
Landward Ho! 
As the JCB’s exploration of the Four Elements underscores, water has played a critical role in the history of the Americas and materials related to navigation have long been of keen interest to scholars. Former Librarian Thomas R. Adams and David W. Waters compiled one of the standard bibliographies of the field, English Maritime Books Printed Before 1801 (Providence, 1995), and Danial Elliott, Everett C. Wilkie, Jr. and Richard Ring followed up with Maritime History: A Hand-list of the Collection in the John Carter Brown Library in 2005.

The Library recently made a stellar purchase in this area. The sector on a quadrant, or A treatise containing the description and use of four several quadrants two small ones and two great ones... (London, 1659) by John Collins was written as a resource for sailors and mathematicians and illustrates the use and construction of quadrants and dials in exacting detail.
The Passing of a Fine Friend: Robert W. Kenyon 
The JCB community is deeply saddened by the loss of Robert W. Kenyon , who passed away at the age of 103 last month. A member of Brown University’s Class of 1936, Bob and his late wife Libby were champions of many important causes in Rhode Island and beyond. So, the Library is especially grateful to the Kenyon family for requesting donations in his memory be made to the John Carter Brown Library.

The Kenyons were treasured friends of the Library. In the mid-1980’s, Bob and Libby Kenyon noticed some falling plaster in a corner of the Library’s beautiful MacMillan Reading Room. They inquired as to why it was not being repaired. Then newly appointed Director Norman Fiering explained that funds weren’t readily available. Bob urged the Library to submit a grant proposal to the Champlin Foundation of Rhode Island to restore the Reading Room and make it water-tight. The JCB’s application was reviewed and approved, making it possible to repair the festering plaster problem that was caused by a leak.

In 2006, Bob and Libby established the Elizabeth Goodale Kenyon and Robert W. Kenyon Acquisitions Fund at the Library. Many books have been purchased thanks to their largesse and commitment to scholarly endeavor. For example, the Kenyon endowment made it possible for the Library to purchase Christoph Helwig’s Exercitationem medicam . . . , an important treatise on menstruation that includes remedies from the New World such as sarsaparilla and hot peppers (Basel, Switzerland, 1666).