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Second season of ‘Mercy Street’ inspires new tours, events in Alexandria

Alexandria, Va., has long been a tourist destination because of its large historic district and lively restaurant and bar scene. Now, it also features a new assortment of Civil War tours, events and museum exhibits based on the second season of “Mercy Street” beginning Jan. 22. Although the PBS original series wasn’t filmed in Alexandria, […]

A Distant View of Roxbury During the Siege

Here’s an image from the siege of Boston preserved in the collections of the Library of Congress.It’s a drawing labeled “View of Roxbury from the advanced guard house at the lines.” Probably created by a British army officer, it shows what the regulars looking down Boston Neck saw. Show More Summary

How John Howland Fetched Water “with two pails and a hoop”

In April 1770, at age thirteen, John Howland sailed from Newport to Providence to become an apprentice to barber Benjamin Gladding.Apprentices, especially those who had barely begun their training, were required to do household chores. Show More Summary

Blame the Federal Government For Reconstruction

This past week The Washington Post added its name to a growing list of individuals and institutions who would like to see President Obama designate a federal monument to Reconstruction. […]

The J.A.R. Starting the Year Off Big

Over at the Journal of the American Revolution, there have been several articles of interest this year already. And not just because they arose out of conversations involving me.First, the organization has given its 2016 Book of the Year Award to Brothers at Arms, American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved It, by Larrie D. Show More Summary

Kamensky on Copley in Medford, 18 Jan.

Here’s a passage from Jane Kamensky’s biography of John Singleton Copley, A Revolution in Color, that I quite enjoyed. This describes a period in 1774, when Copley was embarking on his long-dreamed-of Grand Tour of Europe to study art. Show More Summary

Chandler on Martin Howard in Newport, 12 Jan.

On Thursday, 12 January, the Newport Historical Society will host Abby Chandler speaking on “The Life and Times of Martin Howard.” Howard was the rare Loyalist who before the Revolutionary War managed to tick off his Whig neighbors in two separate colonies. Show More Summary

Looking back at Loudoun Heights

Once again, there’s been a dry spell on this blog. Between work, my PhD work, and frequent travels to visit a daughter at VMI, I found little time to post anything after my last post in October. Still, that didn’t mean ideas stopped floating about in my head about various topics. I just didn’t have […]

“A comma in the middle of a phrase”

Here’s one last posting about Angelica (Schuyler) Church, for now. In the early years of the republic, she exchanged letters with a lot of American political men, and some of those letters seem flirtatious. Among those correspondents...Show More Summary

“A Soul Too White Ever To Have Killed A Man”

Confederate Veteran magazine is filled with stories of camp slaves, who in one way or another demonstrate their unconditional loyalty to their masters. This often takes the form of rescuing […]

John Barker Church: “the mere man of business”?

So was the marriage of Angelica Schuyler (shown here) and John Carter/John Barker Church happy? We don’t have a body of correspondence between them as we have for, say, John and Abigail Adams. But their marriage lasted until their deaths,...Show More Summary

Confederate Iconography and the National Cathedral

This has to be one of the best discussions about the place of Confederate iconography in our public and private spaces that I have seen. This panel discussion took place […]

Henry Grady Recalls His Father’s Camp Slave

This has to be one of the more interesting postwar references to Confederate camp slaves that I have uncovered. Henry Grady was an Atlanta newspaper editor, but he was best […]

“Even the Carters could not shut their hearts against us”

As I described yesterday, John and Angelica Carter moved from Albany, New York, to Boston in late 1777, John aiming to go into the business of supplying the Continental Army.Another large group of people made a similar journey a few weeks later: the “Convention Army” of British and Hessian prisoners of war after the Battles of Saratoga. Show More Summary

“There is no undoing this gordian knot”

We left twentysomethings Angelica Schuyler and John Carter in the house of her mother’s family near Albany, New York, in July 1777.They had just eloped and were hoping that her father, Gen. Philip Schuyler, would accept their marriage.The couple had apparently asked the general in advance for his permission to wed, and he had refused. Show More Summary

Robert E. Lee and his Body Servant Sell Washing Machines

Confederate generals such as Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were used to sell a wide range of consumer goods at the turn of the twentieth century throughout the South […]

“I have found a wealthy husband”?

Folks who spotted the name of Angelica Schuyler in yesterday’s posting might immediately have thought of last year’s Broadway sensation Hamilton. Angelica is a major supporting role in the play. Renée Elise Goldsberry first played the role and won a Tony Award for it. Show More Summary

Camp Slaves in Print

Just finished writing about this wonderful print published by the New York engraver John Chester Buttre. Many of you are no doubt familiar with Prayer in “Stonewall” Jackson’s Camp (1866). […]

“Carter and my eldest daughter ran off”

On 26 July 1776, the Continental Congress commissioned three men “to liquidate and settle the accounts in the northern department” after the unsuccessful invasion of Canada. The three men the Congress selected were “Mr. James Milligan, Mr. Show More Summary

The First Step in Preserving the Jason Russell House

The Massachusetts Historical Commission and the town of Arlington just granted the Arlington Historical Society a $15,000 grant to study what is necessary to preserve the Jason Russell House. The society explains:The Jason Russell House...Show More Summary

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