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Second Decade

A historical show examining the fascinating events and people of the second decade of the 19th century (the 1810s), hosted by historian Sean Munger.
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Nov 7, 2016

This episode presents two mysterious tales from the Second Decade, both from Caribbean islands. An oft-told account of coffins moving about by themselves in a sealed burial vault in Barbados between 1812 and 1820 has left many people reaching for paranormal explanations like telekinesis or voodoo. But did it really happen? And who was the unidentified woman who washed up in a coffin full of tea on Nevis in 1809?

Sean Munger presents these mysteries in historical context, with a glimpse at the seething hell that was the British West Indies in the 1810s, before the abolition of slavery. As you'll learn from this episode, pretty islands of white sand beaches and gently swaying palm trees have a lot of dark secrets lurking under the surface.

(Background music for this episode licensed CC3.0 by Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston).

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