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See me on C-SPAN-3 on Saturday, September 13….

Last month, I was honored to be the keynote speaker at the first annual symposium put on by my friends at Emerging Civil War. A camera crew from C-SPAN was there to record the entire program. I’ve just learned that my talk, which was...Show More Summary

What Historians Missed about the Baptist Kerfuffle

From Edward Baptist’s, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism. What enslavers used was a system of measurement and negative incentives. Actually, one should avoid such euphimisms. Enslavers used measurement to calibrate torture in order to force cotton pickers to figure out how to increase their own productivity and... Continue reading

Ship from doomed 1845 Franklin Expedition found

One of two ships from British explorer Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated 1845 expedition to find the fabled Northwest Passage has been discovered off King William Island in northern Canada. The ship appears to be in excellent condition. It’s standing straight up, with the bow five meters (16’4?) off the sea and the stern four meters [...]

A Sedimental Education

Heather Hoppe-Bruce wrote an op-ed essay in the Sunday Boston Globe about what might be unearthed in a new Boston harbor dredging project. Among the possibilities:HMS DianaOn May 28, 1775, during the Battle of Chelsea Creek, this schooner was abandoned, captured by provincial forces, then set ablaze and run aground. Show More Summary

First Viking fortress in 60 years found in Denmark

Archaeologists from Aarhus University and the Danish Castle Centre have discovered the remains of a huge circular Viking fortress on the Vallø Estate, about 30 miles south of Copenhagen on the Danish island of Zealand. Only seven of these ringed fortresses have ever been discovered, all of them in Denmark or the southern tip of [...]

Even in Death They Still Can’t Get It Right

This past week Mattie Rice, who was a descendant of Weary Clyburn passed away. Over the past few year I wrote extensively about the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ and United Daughters of the Confederacy’s efforts to distort the history of Clyburn. Both organizations did their best to celebrate and remember Clyburn as a soldier rather... Continue reading

A Brief History of São Tomé and...

A brief introduction to the history of São Tomé and Príncipe from the time of early settlement to the present day.

This Day in African History - South Africa's...

Afrikaners traditionally celebrated 16 December as the Day of the Vow, remembering the day in 1838 when a group of Voortrekkers defeated a Zulu army at the

Life in Boylston at Turn of the Nineteenth Century

I wanted to note an article from a regional edition of the Boston Globe last month, about a project at the Boylston Historical Society transcribing the diary of Simon Davis from 1796 to 1810.Most of the journal entries on specific dates record whimsical observations about the weather, as well as casual remarks about the writer’s moods and work. Show More Summary

Roam 1930s and 40s America in 170,000 pictures

In 1935, Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the Resettlement Administration (RA), a New Deal program that aimed to relocate hundreds of thousands of farmers on exhausted land and migrant laborers to viable land in planned communities purchased with low interest loans. FDR established the program by executive order and Congress wasn’t a fan, to say the [...]

Baptist Describes a New Orleans Slave Auction

The following description of a slave auction in New Orleans comes from Edward Baptist’s new book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism. The moment was here, the one that made trees fall, cotton bales strain against their ropes, filled the stores with goods, sailed paper across oceans and... Continue reading

At the Salisbury Mansion

This is the Salisbury Mansion in Worcester, where I’ll be speaking today at noon about “The Breakdown of Royal Rule in Massachusetts, September 1774.” This is one of many events in the city commemorating the local events of that month. Show More Summary

Two Soldiers, Two Stories

Many of you may remember that this past school year I accompanied 35 students on a civil rights trip from Atlanta to Memphis. I was asked to accompany the instructor who organized it, but this year my school is requesting that I lead a trip for what we call Exploration Week, which takes place in... Continue reading

Hampton Court Palace chocolate kitchen and recipe

Since the restored Hampton Court Palace royal Chocolate Kitchen reopened to the public on Valentine’s Day of this year, it has been very popular with visitors. The palace website now has a great section about the Chocolate Kitchens and have recently uploaded a couple of fascinating videos. The first covers the kitchen’s history, its rediscovery [...]

Civil War films featured at drive-in theater

Stephens City, Va., located south of Winchester, is one of the few places left with a genuine, old-fashioned drive-in theater. On Sept. 12, 13 and 14, the Family Drive-In Theatre is offering three nights of Civil War films. The showings...Show More Summary

A Matter “of too small importance to be noticed”

Here’s another snapshot of the situation in Massachusetts in September 1774, from the records of the Worcester Convention. The Whigs were trying to stop all court proceedings under the Massachusetts Government Act to communicate their belief that law violated the constitution. Show More Summary

Edward Baptist on Slavery, the Civil War and American Capitalism

My copy of Edward Baptist’s new book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, arrived and I’ve managed to finish the first chapter. The book is incredibly well written and thought provoking. Baptist places the spread of slavery at the center of the expansion of capitalism from the period... Continue reading

Papyrus fragment is early Christian amulet

A researcher has discovered an important fragment of papyrus that is an early example of Christian scriptures used as an amulet at the University of Manchester’s John Rylands Library. Dr. Roberta Mazza, a Classics and Ancient History professor and papyrologist with a particular interest in ancient religions, was looking through the 1,300 uncatalogued and unpublished [...]

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