Profs and Pints is blowing into the Windy City

with great talks at the   

Cambria Hotel - Chicago Loop - Theatre District

32 W. Randolph Street


Keep an eye out for its expansion to other venues in and around Chicago and get your name on the metro Chicago mailing list using the online form below.

Profs and Pints looks forward to staging more fantastic talks in Chicago in 2020. Check back here for details. Venues interested in hosting Profs and Pints events, and people interested in becoming Profs and Pints speakers or hosts, should email

6 pm Tuesday, March 17th at the Cambria Hotel Chicago Loop - Theatre District 

“The St. Patrick’s Day Revolt of 1741,” with John Donoghue, associate professor of history at Loyola University Chicago and scholar of Irish American history.

A 1764 lithograph by William Burgis depicted New York's Ft. George in the decade prior to its destruction in the 1741 uprising. 

Tickets are $12 and must be purchased online and in advance.

On St. Patrick’s Day in 1741, Ft. George, the largest military base in Britain’s North American Empire, went up in flames. Located at the tip of Manhattan Island, Ft. George did not burn by accident. Instead, Irish soldiers serving at the fort and enslaved African Americans from Manhattan reduced the fort to ashes as part of a larger, revolutionary plot. After destroying Ft. George to weaken New York’s imperial forces, the rebels lit thirteen fires around the city to terrify the city’s slave trading merchants and political elite. In the midst of the chaos, the rebels planned to take over New York, create an open city, and place the government in the hands of a multi-racial democracy.

The rebels hatched their plot in Hughson’s Tavern, a place where Irish soldiers, Irish indentured servants, and African American slaves gathered to eat, drink, dance, and make merry. The tavern’s owner, John Hughson, also fenced the goods that Irish and African men and women stole from Ft. George and the homes and shops where they worked. The Irish and Africans who patronized Hughson’s Tavern felt little guilt about such theft. For the Irish, the British had stolen their very nation and reduced it to famine, one of the worst striking across the years before and of the revolt. For Africans, enslavement stole their very lives and labor.

An informer led city officials to the heart of the plot at Hughson’s Tavern, enabling authorities to suppress the revolt before the rebels accomplished their final aim. While the rebels failed, their conspiracy shows us that race did not always master the world views of early Americans. In 1741 New York, African and Irish people, the two most marginalized groups in colonial American cities, believed that what they shared in common outweighed what set them apart. In this light, white and black rebels revered St. Patrick for reasons that would mystify most people who celebrate his memory today. This lecture recovers St. Patrick’s older legacy as a freedom fighter, one who inspired Irish and African rebels in early America.

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Profs and Pints talks represent a great way to introduce young people to various academic fields. Please note, however, that all talks are delivered on an adult level and may feature mature content. Unless otherwise stated in event descriptions, anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. 

A note from Profs and Pints CEO Peter Schmidt about diversity among presenters:

In my recruitment of speakers I am committed to diversity in all of its forms, including gender, race, and ideological orientation. I encourage any college faculty member interested in being featured by Profs and Pints to click this link for important background on the lectures and workshops that Profs and Pints offers and to email for additional information on how to apply.

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