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The Power Broker and the King Maker: The Life of Elizabeth Willing Powel with Samantha Snyder

In this episode of Conversations at the Washington Library, Samantha Snyder speaks to Jim Ambuske about the life of Elizabeth Willing Powel. Powel was a prominent Philadelphian who became close to the Washington family. Although her loyalties were unclear in the early years of the American War for Independence, she eventually embraced the Revolution. Powel was at the center of Philadelphia politics, but her influence reached beyond the city to the banks of the Potomac and places further afield. In an era in which women could not vote or hold elected office, Powel was a power broker and king maker in Early American society. 


About Our Guest:

Samantha Snyder is the Reference Librarian at the Washington Library. She is responsible for developing the library's general collections and electronic resources, as well as managing all reference inquiries. She is currently at work on a biography of the life of Elizabeth Willing Powel. 

About Our Host:

Jim Ambuske leads the Center for Digital History at the Washington Library. He received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia in 2016 with a focus on Scotland and America in an Age of War and Revolution. He is a former Farmer Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities at the University of Virginia Law Library. At UVA, Ambuske co-directed the 1828 Catalogue Project and the Scottish Court of Session Project.  Ambuske is currently at work on a book entitled Emigration and Empire: America and Scotland in the Revolutionary Era, as well as a chapter on Scottish loyalism during the American Revolution for a volume to be published by the University of Edinburgh Press.