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Harrisburg held grand review of the Union’s black troops 150 years ago and will do it again Nov. 14

Harrisburg, Pa., put on a grand event for the U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) seven months after white troops had marched in a victorious parade through Washington D.C. to mark the end of the Civil War. Whether the black troops were specifically excluded from the national, two-day celebration is still being debated, but on Nov. 14, […]

“As regular as a military Corps”

As I read the accounts of anti-Stamp Act demonstrations from late 1765, I’ve been struck by their emphasis on the crowd’s military discipline. After the 1 November procession, Gov. Francis Bernard reported to London: “[Ebenezer] MackIntosh...Show More Summary

“The union was established in a very ceremonial manner”

So what did the “Union” of North End and South End gangs on the fifth of November 1765 look like?As the Massachusetts Historical Society quoted in 2009, chronicler James Freeman described the day this way:the disorders which had been...Show More Summary

The Danger of Pope Night in 1765

As I described earlier in the week, Boston’s civic leaders were very nervous that the fifth of November in 1765 would bring on a riot. As it usually did.On that date young British males traditionally observed Guy Fawkes Day or Pope Night by carting around effigies of the nation’s political and religious villains and burning them. Show More Summary

Flag from CSS Shenandoah, furled Nov. 6, 1865, on display again 150 years later

After circumnavigating the globe and capturing or sinking 38 commercial Union ships, the raider CSS Shenandoah finally furled her huge Confederate flag at Liverpool, England, and surrendered eight months after the surrender at Appomattox.  She was the last Confederate combatant of the war and had been hunted by the U.S. Navy. From 10 a.m. to […]

A Quick Word About Historiography and Popular History

I am charging through T.J. Stiles’s new biography of George Armstrong Custer, which I agreed to review for The Daily Beast. I’ve read his previous…

Conversations at Washington’s Headquarters

It’s not every day we get a chance to discuss George Washington’s policy decisions at one of his military headquarters.This month, the Supervisory Park Ranger at Longfellow House–Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site in Cambridge,...Show More Summary

John Huske on “an inland tax” for North America

As shown yesterday, on 1 Nov 1765 Bostonians hung an effigy of John Huske from Liberty Tree. Most histories say this was based on the mistaken notion that Huske had proposed the Stamp Act in Parliament when in fact he had opposed it.I’ve...Show More Summary

New to the Civil War Memory Library, 11/03

David T. Dixon, The Lost Gettysburg Address: Charles Anderson’s Civil War Odyssey (B-List History, 2015). Mark Dunkelman, Patrick Henry Jones: Irish American, Civil War General,…

“There’s that Villain H—k”

On 1 Nov 1765, Bostonians hung two men in effigy from Liberty Tree. One was George Grenville, the prime minister who had sponsored the Stamp Act.The other was identified in the newspapers as “J–hn H–sk–” or “J—n H—k” and in a word balloon in Paul Revere’s engraving (shown here) as “that Villain H—k.”On that effigy hung this label:Quest. Show More Summary

A recent acquisition with ties to a Virginia Unionist

Though I usually limit myself to collecting titles written by residents of the Shenandoah Valley during the antebellum period, or those focused on the antebellum Shenandoah written after the fact by those who lived it, I do stray from that path from time to time. In one such instance, not too terribly long ago, I […]

Did White Northerners Abandon Reconstruction?

One of the most common tropes embraced in reference to the post- Civil War period is the idea of a ‘white Northern retreat from Reconstruction.’ …

“The day the stamp-Act was to take Place”

The Stamp Act was scheduled to take effect on the first day of November in 1765. After that date, all courts in British North America were supposed to reject filings that weren’t on stamped paper. All ships leaving American ports onShow More Summary

Meanwhile, in London…

As their anti-Stamp Act campaign got started in the late summer of 1765, American Whigs were heartened by the news from London that Prime Minister George Grenville’s ministry had fallen. This change had nothing to do with the unhappiness in America. Show More Summary

Stamp Masters in the Deep South

In South Carolina, two men received appointments under the Stamp Act: George Saxby as inspector of the stamps and Caleb Lloyd as distributor.This appears to have been a way to spread the patronage around. But official news of those appointments...Show More Summary

Civil War Memory’s Fall Peak

Here is a pic of one of my favorite Civil War soldier monuments at Forrest Hills Cemetery here in Boston. It’s about two miles from…

Two Virginia Gentlemen and the Stamp Act

As I noted back in May, the Virginia House of Burgesses was the first American institution to protest the Stamp Act—albeit not as forcefully as first thought, or later reported.Virginians were also ahead of their southern neighbors in...Show More Summary

Ole Miss Made It Clear, Southern Miss Should Do the Same

The decision yesterday to remove the state flag from the campus of the University of Mississippi followed votes by the Student and Faculty Senates. In…

When “Clamours run very high” in Philadelphia

As of 8 Sept 1765, the stamp agent for Pennsylvania, John Hughes, had heard demands for his resignation, but he brushed them off. Then on 12 September, he reported to the man who had secured that appointment for him:Our Clamours run very high, and I am told my House shall be pull’d down and the Stamps burnt. Show More Summary

More Trouble for the American Stamp Agents

So far Boston 1775 has recounted the resignations of the stamp tax collectors in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut, and Maryland. What was going on in Britain’s other North American colonies in 1765? In Nova Scotia, Archibald Hinshelwood (d. Show More Summary

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