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Looking at Brooklyn Then and Now

While speaking in Morristown last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Jason R. Wickersty, a National Park Service ranger.He just wrote an article about the Battle of Brooklyn for the latest issue of Hallowed Ground, the magazine of the...Show More Summary

Dedication of Dr. Joseph Warren Graveside Statue, 22 Oct.

On Saturday, 22 October, a local group of Freemasons will host a ceremony to dedicate a new statue of Dr. Joseph Warren at his latest gravesite in Forest Hills Cemetery.Those Freemasons, working with Warren descendants and the cemetery, commissioned the statue from Robert Shure of Skylight Studios in Woburn. Show More Summary

Sons of Confederate Veterans to Build a Museum to the Lost Cause

Over the weekend the Sons of Confederate Veterans announced that it will build a 17,000 square-foot museum to honor Confederate soldiers and the Confederate cause in Elm Springs, Tennessee, which…

The Richmond Dispatch’s first mention of John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry

… didn’t appear until October 18, 1859… two days after the raid was initiated. For those who know the story, it’s also interesting to read the exaggerated numbers involved in the raid, and the reference to a “Captain Anderson” instead of John Brown. Filed under: Shenandoah Valley history, slavery, Uncategorized Tagged: Abolitionists, Harper's Ferry Raid, […]

“How the Cambridge Alarm Led to the Concord Fight,” in Cambridge, 20 Oct.

Last March I spoke at Longfellow House–Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site about “The End of Tory Row.” That talk was about that Cambridge neighborhood in the early 1770s, defined by one extended family of wealthy Anglican sugar-plantation owners. Show More Summary

John Adams Views Trumbull”s Painting of the Congress

In 1818 the Revolutionary War veteran and painter John Trumbull came to Boston to exhibit his depiction of the Continental Congress considering the Declaration of Independence.Josiah Quincy, son of the Patriot lawyer of the same name, was then between his terms in the U.S. Show More Summary

“Remarks, injurious to the Reputation of General Ward”

Yesterday I described how a sixteen-year-old letter from George Washington was published in 1792, showing the public some less than flattering comments on Artemas Ward, his predecessor as head of the American army outside Boston.At the...Show More Summary

Searching For Black Confederates Under Advance Contract

I couldn’t be more excited to announce that Searching For Black Confederates is now under advance contract with the University of North Carolina Press. It would be an understatement to…

New to the Civil War Memory Library, 10/13

Stephen D. Engle, Gathering to Save a Nation: Lincoln and the Union’s War Governors (University of North Carolina Press, 2016). Lorien Foote, The Yankee Plague: Escaped Union Prisoners and the…

Ward and Washington

When George Washington arrived in Cambridge on 2 July 1775, he took over command from Gen. Artemas Ward. The Continental Congress made Ward its second-ranking general.There doesn’t seem to be any evidence that Ward resented having Gen. Show More Summary

Premature Burials mentioned in Richmond newspapers (1849- July, 1854)

In continuing to recognize Poe on the 167th anniversary of his death… and recognizing what may have been one of his greatest fears… I’ve combed through some of the antebellum newspapers of Richmond, Virginia, using the online source, Chronicling...Show More Summary

The Goddard Boys and the Convention Army

Nathaniel Goddard was born in 1767, son of a Brookline farmer who would serve as wagon-master of the Continental Army during the siege of Boston. Nathaniel grew up to be a merchant in Boston and left recollections published in a 1908 biography by Henry G. Show More Summary

Laurie Halse Anderson in Wellesley, 18 Oct.

On Tuesday, 18 October, novelist Laurie Halse Anderson will speak at Wellesley Books about Ashes, the third volume in her Seeds of America Trilogy. That trilogy, which began with Chains and Forge, stands in a long line of historical fiction for young readers about the American Revolution. Show More Summary

Step Away From the Monument, Mr. Morrissey

This is a wonderful example illustrating the difference between genuine concern about the public display of Confederate iconography and using it as a political football. Richmond mayoral candidate, Joe Morrissey,…

Civil War cannonballs uncovered on S.C. beach by Hurricane Matthew

On Sunday, the day after Hurricane Matthew had roughed up the South Carolina coast, a beach walker checking for storm damage discovered a cluster of cannonballs on Folly Island, near Charleston, S.C.  The 7-square-mile island had been a Union fort during the Civil War and a staging area for attacks on Confederate strongholds. A U.S. […]

Lucy Knox, Mistress of the Chess Board

On 24 Aug 1788, Lucy Knox wrote to her husband Henry from Trenton about having recently beaten Gouverneur Morris at chess. That game might have been good preparation for Morris’s travel later that year to France, where chess could mean so much more. Show More Summary

Fall Lectures at Fort Plain, New York

This spring I enjoyed the American Revolution in the Mohawk Valley conference organized by the Fort Plain Museum in Fort Plain, New York. I was pleasantly surprised to see the turnout—not only are lots of folks in that region proud of...Show More Summary

Why Is Boston Still the Capital of Massachusetts?

When the Revolutionary War began, every colony’s capital but Williamsburg, Virginia, was either on the Atlantic Ocean or on the big Delaware River close to that ocean.Over the next century, however, all of the American states along the Atlantic moved their capitals inland—except two. Show More Summary

Downs and Masur Choose Beaufort, South Carolina

Historians Greg Downs and Kate Masur believe that Beaufort, South Carolina should be declared a National monument by President Obama. The two have taken the lead over the past year…

Open House at Wright Tavern in Concord, 15 Oct.

On Saturday 15 October, there will be a free open house at the Wright Tavern in Concord. This will be the first time in decades that the ground floor of that 1747 building will be open to the public.In 1775 the tavern’s location near the center of Concord made it a site of Revolutionary activity. Show More Summary

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