My name is Adam Hodges-LeClaire, and I’m currently a fourth-year student of Modern History at the University of St Andrews – this blog being part of my work for my final-year course, HI4997 ‘Recording the Past‘, tutored by Professor Gerard De Groot. Rather than writing a conventional thesis that few people would ultimately read, I wanted to turn my ongoing research into 18th century maritime fashion and larger ambition to work in ‘public history’ after university into a blog so that friends, colleagues, and anyone else interested could follow what projects I was doing and participate in my work!
Raised in Massachusetts, I’ve been immensely passionate about the late 18th century since I was very young. More recently, for 4 years I worked as an apprentice tailor and museum educator with the Fort Ticonderoga Association [website here], before embarking on a tall ship named the Hermione for its maiden voyage to America from France. And this past summer I co-led 3 historical expedition programs for kids with Kroka Expeditions, an outdoor school based in Marlow New Hampshire. For me, studying and making clothing is both a means to empathize with and learn from the past (by wearing it 24/7 throughout these projects), and to carry this across viscerally to those who may not have studied or enjoyed history previously.
What does the future hold after graduation in June 2017? Ideally more museum work and constant learning (ideally outside), sharing the history I care so much about with those from all walks of life!