The Legend of the Jersey Devil
In 1735, Mother Leeds was about to deliver her thirteenth child. Feeling tired and weary of the burden, she cursed the unborn child. According to the folklore, she gave birth to the devil’s child at their home in the Pine Barrens. Today, the tale of Jersey Devil is often discussed as just that – a tale. However, during the time of the fabled Jersey Devil’s reign of terror, South Jersey residents were truly frightened. How the accounts were reported on and the folklore that developed will be discussed during this session.
Angus Kress Gillespie received his B.A. in American Studies from Yale University and his Ph.D. in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania. His introductory course in American Studies combines academic rigor with real- world curiosity. Much of Gillespie’s research focuses on the cultural implications of large-scale civil engineering works. He has written about highways, skyscrapers, and (most recently) tunnels. His book Twin Towers: The Life of New York City’s World Trade Center (Rutgers University Press, 1999) was a New York Times bestseller.
Co-sponsored by the NJ Council for the Humanities and the Friends of the Library.