The Newlin Series

Join us for our annual series in which we explore different aspects of Newlin Grist Mill’s unique historical and environmental resources. Get an in-depth look at the site with special programs from both Newlin staff and outside presenters.

Sponsored by Team Toyota, our 2021 Newlin Series focuses on the history of women & work. Like last year’s series, it will be offered virtually via Zoom. Details and registration links below! Scroll down to view recordings of past presentations.

“Making Sense of Women’s Textile Work in the Long 18th Century”
Thursday, October 14th at 7pm – Register here

In this lecture, Emily Whitted and Eliza West share their expertise in women’s textile work in early America. Both expert craftspeople in their own right, West and Whitted will intertwine the stories of stitchers, knitters, and spinners found in the history books with their own hands-on knowledge of fiber and craft. This talk will explore not only the different types of textile work which women performed, but also the blurred lines between domestic and professional labor.

Emily Whitted is a current PhD student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Eliza West is an independent scholar and a former Lois F. McNeil Fellow at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library.

“Chefs & Slaves: The Cooks in Jefferson’s Kitchens”
Thursday, October 21st at 7pm Register here

Three generations of enslaved cooks prepared the meals in Jefferson’s kitchens. All except one were French trained, either in France itself, or by French chefs. No wonder the meals at Monticello are still famous today after 200 years. In this talk, attendees will learn the names and stories of these chefs and spend some time in their kitchens to see the skills and technologies they used to produce meals “half-French half-Virginian.”

Leni Sorensen was born in California, was a folksinger and a member of the cast of the musical HAIR, and at one time catered to movie crews and started a tamale business. She farmed for eight years in South Dakota and earned her MA/PhD from William & Mary. Retired from six years as the African American Research Historian at Monticello she lectures and writes on issues of food history and teaches rural life skills from her farmstead home in western Albemarle County (

“Making Ends Meet: Working Women in the 18th Century”
Sunday, November 14th at 3pm – Register here

This program will be a discussion focused on women in industry in the 18th and early 19th centuries by Amanda Doggett. She will also cover challenges facing women in traditional industries today, as well as the difficulties of researching women’s history in general.

Amanda Doggett is an Apprentice Joiner at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Virginia. Her research focus outside of traditional woodworking includes women’s industrial history, the African and African-Virginian experience in Virginia, as well as gender and sexual history. Amanda is a Certified Interpretive Guide with the National Association of Interpretation and passionate about inclusive and dynamic public history. In her free time, Amanda enjoys running and spending time with her coonhound Chuck. 

View Past Newlin Series Programs

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