Events ~ Food, Faith and Fellowship in Colonial New England ~ April 7 ~ Newport

Food, Faith and Fellowship in Colonial New England

A “Newport Eats” program with Lori Stokes, Ph.D. on April 7th

Newport, RI – What did breaking bread mean to the Puritan settlers of New England? The Newport Historical Society will host Lori Stokes, Ph.D. for a talk on April 7, 2016 at 5:30pm to answer this question during Food, Faith and Fellowship in Colonial New England as part of the Newport Eats history of food initiative.

The earliest English settlers believed that even the humblest of meals had symbolic meaning and spiritual power. Lori Stokes will explore what food and dining meant to Puritan forebears and offer a better understanding of their definition of community. She will review their practical cooking techniques, some of which persisted in New England for hundreds of years (anyone grow up eating boiled vegetables?), while others persist in new forms—for example, the Puritans were early advocates of eating mindfully. From the spirituality of food to the brass-tacks of cooking in a colonial kitchen, attendees can enter the world of 17th-century Puritan foodways and “sit down” at their tables for a lively conversation.

Lori Stokes, who earned her Ph.D. from Stony Brook University, studies the founding decades of the Massachusetts Bay Colony focusing on the period from 1630-80 when the forms of church and state were put in place that would shape Massachusetts and American history for centuries to come. Dr. Stokes is an editor for The Church Records Transcription Project, a digital history project of the Congregational Library & Archives in Boston led by respected Puritan scholar Dr. James F. Cooper. 

This program, which is part of the Society’s 2016 Newport Eats history of food initiative, takes place at the Newport Historical Society’s Resource Center at 82 Touro Street, Newport, RI. General admission costs $5 per person, $1 for Newport Historical Society members and active duty military with ID. Please RSVP to Mat Delaire at 401-846-0813x110 or email

Food, Faith and Fellowship in Colonial New England is generously sponsored by the Harborside Inn.

About the Newport Historical Society
Since 1854, the Newport Historical Society has collected and preserved the artifacts, photographs, documents, publications, and genealogical records that relate to the history of Newport County, to make these materials readily available for both research and enjoyment, and to act as a resource center for the education of the public about the history of Newport County, so that knowledge of the past may contribute to a fuller understanding of the present. For more information please visit



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