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Revisiting the Long Room Club

As long as I’m discussing how Boston’s pre-Revolutionary Whigs organized, I should go back to the Long Room Club. Back in 2013 I said that: the earliest printed reference to this group was in Samuel Adams Drake’s Old Landmarks and Historic Personages of Boston (1873), which cited no source for that information. Show More Summary

The “Burning Misconceptions” of Sherman’s March

In this presentation Anne Rubin offers an overview of her new book, Through the Heart of Dixie: Sherman’s March and American Memory. I am close to finishing it and will write a review for Civil War Book Review. [Uploaded to YouTube on December 9, 2014]

Whom Do We Mean by “Sons of Liberty”?

One for the perennial questions about America’s Revolution is how we should understand the “Sons of Liberty,” as American activists called themselves. With a television show of that name on the way, I suspect the question will come up...Show More Summary

Charles T. O’Ferrall remembers the trial of Southern Unionist, Col. John Strother

Something I ran across again, just recently… and, a pleasant “revisit” of a couple of my favorite topics (Southern Unionism and David Hunter Strother). As some may recall, I have mentioned the incident relating to the capture and trial of Col. John Strother in a previous post… as remembered by his son, David Hunter Strother. No […]

Battle Cry of Freedom Turns 25

This year the American Historical Association will mark the 25th anniversary of James McPherson Pulitzer Prize winning book, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era with a panel discussion that includes Judith Giesburg, Lesley Gordon, Michael Todd Landis,and Daniel E. Sutherland. McPherson will also be in attendance as the panel chair. Panelists will offer […]

The Sons of Liberty Medal

In 1874 James Kimball wrote in the Essex Institute Historical Collections:The following is from a private manuscript in my possession, written by Col. John Russell in 1850, whose father was one of the “Sons,” and an active participator...Show More Summary

What Do We Need To Know About Traditional Military History?

From Earl Hess’s essay on the state of Civil War History in the latest issue of Civil War History. In addition, despite the appearance of some top-quality memory studies by Carol Reardon, Brian Craig Miller, and Kevin Levin, a number of examples of this genre exhibit poor scholarship. Unfortunately, it is easy for a graduate […]

The Hangings of Thomas Paine

In 1791 and early 1792, Thomas Paine published the two parts of The Rights of Man, supporting the principles of the French Revolution and proposing radical reforms for British society. The book inspired a lot of reform societies, and also a lot of backlash. Show More Summary

An Empire on the Edge on the T.V.

On Sunday, 7 December, C-SPAN 2 will air a talk by Nick Bunker, author of An Empire on the Edge: How Britain Came to Fight America, at the New-York Historical Society in October. An Empire on the Edge focuses on the years 1772 to 1775,...Show More Summary

Who Said “Hang Separately”?

In his Memoirs of His Own Time, first published in 1811, Alexander Graydon wrote:Both the brothers, John and Richard Penn [shown here], had been governors of Pennsylvania; the former being in office at the beginning of hostilities. By...Show More Summary

Same Flag: From Selma to Ferguson

Selma to Montgomery, Alabama (March 21, 1965) Ferguson to Jefferson City, Missouri (December 4, 2014)

The Last Members of the North End Caucus

Last month I highlighted from the Boston News-Letter and City Record’s 1826 publication of records from the pre-Revolutionary North End Caucus. The periodical credited “a gentleman at the North End” for sharing his knowledge of the period, and presumably sharing those documents. Show More Summary

McBurney on “Spies in Revolutionary Rhode Island,” 11 Dec.

On Thursday, 11 December, the Newport Historical Society will host a lecture by Christian M. McBurney on the topic of his new book, Spies in Revolutionary Rhode Island. Aquidneck Island and Narragansett Bay were contested territory during the Revolutionary War, with American, British, and French troops occupying Newport at different times. Show More Summary

A Reconstruction Milestone That Went Unnoticed

Tim Scott was sworn in today as the newest Senator from the state of South Carolina. That’s not such a big deal until we add in the fact that he is the first African American since Reconstruction to be elected to the Senate from a former Confederate state. I’ve been surprised by how little this […]

Selig on Rochambeau at Washington’s Headquarters, 11 Dec.

On Thursday and Friday, 4 and 5 December, Longfellow House–Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site in Cambridge will host its annual Holiday Open House, this year in conjunction with the Friends Meetinghouse, the choir of the Latter-Day Saints Church, and other institutions in the neighborhood. Show More Summary

The Civil War Monitor’s Best Books of 2014

This year Terry Johnston was once again kind enough to ask me to contribute to another roundup of the best books of the year for the magazine. The categories were slightly different this year, but I don’t think there are any surprises regarding my top picks. If you don’t like my picks you can peruse […]

The 48th/150th: In Fort Hell

150 years ago, the dirt-covered and weary soldiers of the 48th Pennsylvania were settling into a new 'camp,' as it were, taking up position in the fortification known as Fort Sedgwick but more often called--and more widely known--Fort Hell. Show More Summary

Bostonians from A to Z

The Boston Athenaeum has done a service to local historians by digitizing its collection of town directories, which includes publications from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. John Norman published the first such directory in 1789 under the formal title of The Boston Directory. Show More Summary

Conservatives and the Confederate Flag

In this short video a black Republican argues against the Confederate flag. His understanding of the history of the Democrat and Republican parties is problematic, but the broader argument certainly complicates our understanding of the deep divisions that exist in this ongoing controversy. [Uploaded to YouTube on November 25, 2014]

“Law and (Dis)Order in Boston, 1773” at Old South in December

In historical Boston, December is Tea Party time, and the Old South Meeting House and Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum are collaborating on a series of public presentations.Friday, 5 December, 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.Holiday Open House...Show More Summary

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