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Seeing Early Plays at the Boston Public Library

Earlier this month, Jay Moschella of the Boston Public Library tweeted news of the library’s ongoing project to digitize its sterling collection of early British drama. So I took a look.More than 350 playbooks have been digitized and can now be read through archive.org. Show More Summary

"No Greater Tribute Could Have Been Paid To This Venerable Old Veteran:" The Funeral of Thomas J. Reed, One of the Last Surviving Veterans of the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry

A Horse-Drawn Hearse Carries The Remains of Civil War Veteran Thomas Reed Around the Square in Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania July 1938(Courtesy of Mr. Bob Fisher) Thomas J. Reed was among the last surviving veterans of the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry. Show More Summary

Through the Roof at the Fraunces Tavern Museum, 23 Feb.

On Thursday, 23 February, I’ll make my New York debut with a talk about The Road to Concord at the Fraunces Tavern Museum in lower Manhattan. I’ll speak about the race for artillery in Massachusetts in the late summer and fall of 1774, which spread to the other New England colonies in December and finally brought on war in April 1775. Show More Summary

The Lives of Harry Williams and Vital Jarrot

I started out to write one cute post about men in Tennessee spotting a strange creature in 1794. But that led me into the settlers’ wars against the Cherokee, and how the law treated slavery in pre-statehood Illinois, and today wellShow More Summary

Republicans Honor Lincoln With Fake History

Today the Republican Party decided to mark Abraham Lincoln’s birthday with the following tweet. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that Lincoln ever uttered or wrote these words. Amazingly, the manager […]

Slavery in Early Illinois

Yesterday I mentioned how John Beaird, the instigator of war with the Cherokee in the Southwest Territory in 1793, eventually moved to Illinois with his family and slaves. But Illinois was part of the old Northwest Territory. In 1787 the confederation Congress’s Northwest Ordinance outlawed slavery there. Show More Summary

Celebrating the Confederacy in 1961

Check out this short video of a Civil War centennial parade in Jackson, Mississippi in March 1961. There is no shortage of Confederate flags. It certainly is a wonderful example […]

Monsters in the Southwest Territory

On 24 Sept 1794, William Butler of Northampton ran this item on the last page of his Hampshire Gazette newspaper:CURIOUS ANIMALIn February last, a detachment of mounted infantry, commanded by Captain John Beaird, penetrated fifteen miles...Show More Summary

“America is lost!” Wrote George III—or Did He?

One of the more striking documents in the hand of George III digitized by the new Georgian Papers Programme is an essay that begins:America is lost! Must we fall beneath the blow? Or have we resources that may repair the mischiefs? What...Show More Summary

New to the Civil War Memory Library, 02/09

Brian R. Dirck, Lincoln in Indiana (Southern Illinois University Press, 2017). Erica A. Dunbar, Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge (Atria, 2017). Pamela Haag, […]

The First Snowman

This picture was published at the end of a chapter in the first volume of A History of British Birds, published in 1797 by the English engraver Thomas Bewick (1753-1828). Bob Eckstein’s History of the Snowman says this was the firstShow More Summary

The Memory and Mystery of Eli Whitney

At Slate, Ruth Graham recently published an article on “Why So Many People Think Eli Whitney, Cotton Gin Inventor, Was Black.”As Graham says, Whitney (shown here) was white. His life is well documented. He was born in Westboro in 1765, graduated from Yale, and then went south as a tutor, ending up on the slave-labor plantation of Gen. Show More Summary

Food History Events in Newport and Salem

Speaking of fine eating, as I did yesterday, a couple of historical sites in the region have events coming up focused on food.On Saturday, 18 February, the Newport Historical Society will present “Colonial Food for Thought: A Newport...Show More Summary

Tracking Lincoln on Race and Slavery

This weekend I will be leading a teacher workshop at the Massachusetts Historical Society, which focuses on Abraham Lincoln’s evolving views on race and slavery. As part of my presentation […]

Dinner with the Old Colony Club in 1769

The Old Colony Club started as a group of seven young gentlemen from Plymouth. They formed their club in January 1769, and on 22 December of that year had a dinner to commemorate the landing of the first British settlers in what was then the Plymouth Colony but was subsumed into Massachusetts. Show More Summary

“Building Old Cambridge” in Harvard Square, 7 Feb.

On Tuesday, 7 February, the Cambridge Historical Society will present the authors of Building Old Cambridge: Architecture and Development, Susan E. Maycock and Charles M. Sullivan, speaking at the Harvard Coop. This book is published by the Cambridge Historical Commission and the M.I.T. Show More Summary

New Hotel on Steinwehr Avenue Opening this Spring

From left to right: In the background, the Taneytown Road entrance to the Soldiers National[...] The post New Hotel on Steinwehr Avenue Opening this Spring appeared first on Gettysburg Daily.

“Instructions for my Son George”

Among the documents made public in the Georgian Papers Programme is a little booklet, bound with red string, titled “Instructions for my Son George, drawn by my-Self, for His good, that of my Familys, and for that of His People, according...Show More Summary

Alternative History in Donald Trump’s America

This past week I published two essays at The Daily Beast. The first focused on President Trump’s confusing and self-serving address marking the beginning of Black History Month. “Donald Trump […]

“World Turned Upside Down” in Warwick, 5 Feb.

On Sunday, 5 February, the CaptainCon gathering in Warwick, Rhode Island, will host a playing of “The World Turned Upside Down: An American Revolution Megagame.” Okay, I just learned about this, so I’m relying on the game website for this information: The World Turned Upside Down is a new megagame about the American Revolution. Show More Summary

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