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Outrage From Old Virginia

Only Richard Williams could interpret my last post about Blake Lively’s new fashion line (inspired by “Georgia peaches” and “sweet tea”) as a full-blown assault against all things Southern. According to Williams, “Some folks just don’t seem to understand that there’s a lot more to the South than 1861-1865, cotton, slavery and hillbillies.” Perhaps the […]

Welcoming Three Documents to the Paul Revere House, 16 Oct.

On the afternoon of Thursday, 16 October, the Paul Revere House will welcome three documents related to the silversmith and early industrialist into its collection.The first of these is a letter that I quoted in 2012 when it was treated by the Northeast Document Conservation Center. Show More Summary

Southern Style Before the Yankees Came

What better way to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the release of the movie, “Gone With the Wind” than with a Fall fashion spread inspired by life on an antebellum plantation. That’s exactly what some actress by the name of Blake Lively is doing. I guess this is how one gets old because before today […]

Daigler Speaks on Intelligence at Minute Man Park, 15 Oct.

On Wednesday, 15 October, Kenneth Daigler will speak on the topic of his book Spies, Patriots and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War at the Minute Man National Historical Park’s Visitor Center in Lexington. This event will start at 7:00 P.M. Show More Summary

Launch of the Hutchinson Letters in Boston, 15 Oct.

According to the Whigs of late colonial Massachusetts, the two great political villains of the age were the royal governors Sir Francis Bernard (1712-1779) and Thomas Hutchinson (1711-1780).Bernard was a British aristocrat who served in a number of colonial posts, including governor of New Jersey, before governing Massachusetts from 1760 to 1769. Show More Summary

Standing Up For Citations

The question of how sources ought to be cited in a work of non-fiction history came up again this past week with the release of Karen Abbott’s new book, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War. The book tells the story of four women, who engaged in various acts of espionage […]

Missouri town remembers 1864 massacre

A memorial dedication is scheduled Sunday for a group of Civil War heroes who didn’t don military uniforms but died defending their homes. On Oct. 10, 1864, a group of old men and teenage boys rode or walked out of the town of Emma, in central Missouri, to meet an enemy four times as large. All 26 died when attacked by bushwhackers. Read full article >>

A Hip-Hip Hamilton Coming to the New York Stage

Early next year Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical about Alexander Hamilton is scheduled to open Off Broadway in New York. Miranda, who won Tony and Grammy Awards for In the Heights, performed some of this material as “The Hamilton Mixtape” at an evening of poetry at the White House in 2009 and at Lincoln Center. Show More Summary

A Visit With Governor Andrew

Today I took advantage of a day off from work and beautiful weather to drive down the coast to the Hingham Cemetery to visit the final resting place of Governor John A. Andrew. The headstone is very simple, but a few years after his death a group of admirers commissioned a beautiful statue sculpted in […]

The Construction of “Liberty Hall”

From Michael Quinion’s World Wide Words I learned that the phrase “Liberty-Hall” appeared in print in Britain at the same time the American colonies were demanding British liberties as well. The first appearance was in a 1770 song penned by the actor and writer George Alexander Stevens (1710-1784, shown here). Show More Summary

Playing Civil War in 1862

Here is an interesting little find from Slate’s history blog. In 1862 the Philadelphia publishing company Charlton and Althrop released this board game to promote patriotism and Union throughout the North. You advance on the board by landing on spaces that support the Union cause and lose ground by landing on spaces that threaten it. […]

Key property added to Cedar Creek Battlefield

A large piece of Shenandoah Valley farmland that played a supporting role in the Battle of Cedar Creek  on Oct. 19, 1864, has been preserved with a conservation easement costing $2,272,000. The announcement was made Wednesday at a news conference by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation of Woodstock, Va. Read full article >>

Portrait of the Artist as a World Traveler

On the left side of Johann Zoffany’s group portrait of the Royal Academy in 1771-72, toward the back of the crowd, is an unusual face for eighteenth-century London: a Chinese artist named Tan Chitqua.The Oxford Dictionary of National...Show More Summary

What’s In a List? I’ll Tell You

Megan Kate Nelson’s new post at Historista is sure to keep the controversy surrounding James McPherson’s recent New York Times “best of” list alive. There are two issues discussed in her post that I think are best kept separate even though there is some overlap. First, Megan highlights the extent to which academia remains an […]

Why Can’t We Get Beyond an “Aloof” Stonewall Jackson?

Do we need another five hundered page biography of Stonewall Jackson? Sure, why not. And from what little I’ve read so far, S.C. Gwynne can certainly turn a phrase. That said, I was hoping for a more nuanced look at Jackson’s understanding of politics and specifically the politics of slavery on the eve of the... Continue reading

Making an Exception for Exceptionalism

When I first wrote about criticisms of the new Advanced Placement U.S. History guidelines last month, Boston 1775 reader and teacher Jimmy Dick sensed that a lot of the criticism grew from “a deep seated belief in American Exceptionalism.”...Show More Summary

What I Told the Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History

This morning I had a pleasant conversation with the executive director of the Danville (Va.) Museum of Fine Arts & History about how to respond to public concerns regarding plans to remove a Confederate flag from the grounds. I am not sure how they came by my name, but I was happy to listen and... Continue reading

An Exceptional Thinker in Colorado

During the ongoing debate over teaching U.S. history in Colorado, one member of the state Board of Education, Pam Mazanec of Larkspur, commented on Facebook that she felt that the Advanced Placement U.S. history course would “portray...Show More Summary

North Carolina to Construct Civil War History Center

While Virginia has done more than any other state to commemorate the Civil War 150th, North Carolina is not far behind. In addition to conferences and various exhibits, you can now add a history center to the list. It looks like an ambitious project.

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