A. Roger Ekirch will be at The Regulator Bookshop for a reading and book signing of his new naval history, American Sanctuary: Mutiny, Martyrdom, and National Identity in the Age of Revolution.
American Sanctuary is the extraordinary story of the mutiny aboard the frigate HMS Hermione in 1797 (eight years after the mutiny on the Bounty)--the bloodiest mutiny ever suffered by the Royal Navy, that led to the extradition of the martyred sailor Jonathan Robbins from America to Britain. This event plunged the 20-year-old American Republic into a constitutional crisis, and powerfully contributed to the outcome of the U.S. presidential election of 1800. Ekirch shows how the "Robbins Affair"was responsible for America's historic decision to grant political asylum to refugees from foreign governments, fulfilling Thomas Paine's notion of America as "an asylum for mankind” -- and propelled the issue of political asylum and extradition to the fore-- an issue still being debated today -- more than 200 years later.
A. Roger Ekirch was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Alexandria, Virginia, and Delmar, New York. He is the author of Bound for America, Birthright, and At Day's Close. He holds degrees from Dartmouth College and John Hopkins University, and is a professor of history at Virginia Tech.