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C.V. Starr Center for the


Study of the American Experience

Family History| American History, with Martha Frick Symington Sanger


Date: 6:00pm EST February 21

A talk with “Maryland Blood” author/family historian

Americans seemingly have an innate curiosity about their family’s past. The surge in popularity of databases like Ancestry.com and the t.v. show “Finding Your Roots” attests to our fascination with our forebears. Martha Frick Symington Sanger’s talk at Washington College demonstrates the unique light that family history shines on American history. Sanger will discuss the process of researching and writing her eleven-generation biography of the Hambleton family, including the challenges she faced and the surprises she encountered. Sanger’s new book, Maryland Blood, spans four centuries of American history as seen through the lens of one Maryland family’s letters. 

The program, sponsored by the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, takes place on February 21 at 6:00 p.m. in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall. The talk is free and open to the public and includes a book signing to follow.

From the arrival of William Hambleton in 1657 to Desert Storm, the Hambletons served in every major American conflict—be it on land, sea, and eventually the air—while also making significant civic and humanitarian contributions. Bankers, businessmen, government officials and visionaries (John A. Hambleton co-created Pan American Airways with Juan Trippe after the Great War), the Hambletons both participated in and created American history. 

Martha Frick Symington Sanger is an eleventh-generation descendant of pioneer William Hambleton and a great-granddaughter of Henry Clay Frick. She is the author of Henry Clay Frick: An Intimate Portrait, The Henry Clay Frick Houses, and Helen Clay Frick: Bittersweet Heiress.  In 1991, Sanger served as an advisor for the introductory video of the New York Frick Collection and exhibitions. She has also been instrumental in widening the use of the family papers and art history materials contained in the Frick archives.