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May 19, 2015 | 7 – 8 PM
The Myth of Press Gang: Volunteers, Impressment, and the Naval Manpower Problem in the Late Eighteenth Century
with Jeremiah R. Dancy, DPhil
Press Gangs have long been regarded as the principal recruitment tool of the Admiralty for seamen of all skill levels in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Based on original research on over 27,000 men in the British Royal Navy between 1793 and 1802, it has been determined that four out of five men onboard Royal Navy warships were there of their own free will and that the severity of conditions within the British Navy has been vastly exaggerated, demonstrating that much of what has been written about naval manning has been based on conjecture rather than fact.
Jeremiah Dancy is an Assistant Professor of Military History at Sam Houston State University in Texas. He received his DPhil from the University of Oxford. His book, The Myth of the Press Gang, emanating from his doctoral research, came out in early 2015. He holds a BA in history from Appalachian State and a MA in Naval History from the University of Exeter. Jeremiah served as a US Marine for four years.
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All lectures are held at the Houston Maritime Museum, are free to the public, and include admission to the museum collections. Refreshments are served!