Hwang Turns the Pages of History for Future Generations

December 22, 2014

The Senator-elect joins Riverfield students at Pequot Library for a special “Page Turnings” event.

SOUTHPORT – A group of third grade students from Riverfield School looked on with intrigue as Senator-elect Tony Hwang ever so gently turned the page of a book at the Pequot Library last Friday.

This wasn’t any old book. Well, it was actually quite old – 175 years old to be exact.

Senator-elect Hwang joined the students and Pequot Library staff for the special “Page Turnings” event, which provided an up-close look at a selection of rare books about Native Americans, the Pequot War, and King Philip’s War from the Pequot Library’s Special Collections.

On its web site, the Library explains, “History of the Indian Tribes of North America, by Thomas McKenney, was printed in three volumes between 1836 and 1844. These volumes are considered a landmark of American ethnography (the systematic study of people and cultures) and one of the major publications of the nineteenth century.”

The books feature more than 100 portraits of principal Chiefs and other prominent figures in Native American history and culture, including Po-Ca-Hon-Tas, who was known to the students from the popular Disney movie in her name.

Following the Page Turnings event, Senator-elect Hwang joined Pequot’s new executive director, Heather-Marie Montilla, for a brown bag lunch open to the public.

“I am so excited that Pequot Library can share its Special Collections of rare books with the community in new ways by re-conceiving how school children can explore historic primary sources,” Montilla said. “It was truly inspiring for Senator-elect Hwang to join the Riverfield School students in a morning of discovery and enrichment.”

“It was an incredible honor for me to get such an intimate look at these historically significant books. I was amazed at the level of detail of the portraits and interested to read some of the observations of the author,” Senator-elect Hwang said. “What’s more, the Pequot Library is to be commended for taking such excellent care of this collection, and for making it available to the community and our students.”

“It was so wonderful to see Mrs. Montilla engage with the students, and impressive to witness her breadth of knowledge and expertise,” Hwang continued. “Pequot is certainly lucky to have her, just as Southport and Fairfield are lucky to have Pequot.”