The Role of Climate Change in17th Century History

The Bristol County Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists invited Sowams Heritage Area Project Coordinator David Weed to speak to them about the effects of climate change on the history of Europe and North America at their regular meeting held in Dighton, MA on June 18, 2022. Click here for a 55-minute recording of his talk.

Chapter member and local librarian Carol Gafford, who has worked with Dr. Weed on some of the Sowams Heritage Area Projects, offered to introduce him to the group. Dr. Weed began by asking about what we know about climate change today and its effects on current history.

Dr. Weed then described what occurred in Europe and North America when “the Little Ice Age” affected the food supply due to crop failures during cold summers and even colder than usual winters.

The group heard about Roger Williams journey from Salem to Swansea in January, 1636, where he was sheltered and nursed back to health by Ousamequin, the Massasoit of the Pokanoket Nation before Williams moved on to found Providence and spread the idea of the separation of church and state.