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An American Artist in London

Yesterday I quoted a Boston News-Letter advertisement about a black man making portraits in Boston in 1773. I also noted how Prince Demah (Barnes) painted William Duguid in February 1773, according to a note on the back of that portrait,...Show More Summary

The Fate of Lee-Jackson Day in Charlottesville

I think it is safe to say that later this evening the Charlottesville (Va) city council will vote to end the practice of recognizing Lee-Jackson…

“Poignant and heartbreaking.”

No, not my lovemaking, Battle Lines. Or so says Publishers Weekly. The full review, if you want to read it but fear of links, is below the fold. In 15 harrowing chapters, Fetter-Vorm (Trinity) and Ari Kelman’s (A Misplaced Massacre) graphic take on the Civil War brings home the shattering costs of America’s epochal conflict […]

Henry Louis Gates, Black Confederates and White Liberal Academics

Last Saturday Megan Kate Nelson, my wife and I went to see Suzan Lori Parks’s three-act play, “Father Comes Home From the Wars.” I don’t…

The Mysteries of Scipio Moorhead

On 7 Jan 1773 and nine more times that year, the Boston News-Letter ran this advertisement:At Mr. M‘Lean’s, Watch-Maker, near the Town-House, is a Negro Man whose extraordinary Genius has been assisted by one of the best Masters in London; he takes Faces at the lowest Rates. Show More Summary

Lt. Williams: “I am sorry to say I am Commanded by Mrs. Moodie”

Lt. Henry A. Williams didn’t just complain about the 2nd Artillery Regiment and Capt.-Lt. Jacob Kemper, as detailed yesterday. As Holly A. Mayer quotes him in Belonging to the Army: Camp Followers and Community During the American Revolution, Williams also had things to say about his own captain, Andrew Moodie, and the captain’s wife. Show More Summary

Capt.-Lt. Kemper Confronts “unofficer and ungentlemanlike behavior”

Yesterday I mentioned Maria Sophia Kemper, daughter of German immigrants to New Jersey. Her brother Daniel became Assistant Clothier-General to the Continental Army, and her brother Jacob joined the officer corps.Jacob Kemper served in Col. Show More Summary

Celebrating the Murder of a President

I hesitate giving this posting from the League of the South, announcing their intention to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln,…

A Valentine’s Card from 1752

Historic New England’s collection includes this cutwork valentine with German fraktur calligraphy. The border features men, women, birds, and flowers cut from paper. In the center is a poem, which reads in translation:Let love occupy your heartLet love inflame you continually. Show More Summary

Harold Holzer wins prestigious Lincoln Prize

The 2015 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, which carries a $50,000 award, was given this year to Harold Holzer of New York, for his most recent book, “Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion.” Holzer is one of theShow More Summary

Alexandria building is star of new PBS Civil War series

PBS announced last month that a new series on the Civil War, expected to be released in the winter of 2016, will be set in Union-occupied Alexandria, Va. where a luxury hotel owned by a Confederate supporter is seized for use as a Union Army hospital. Show More Summary

Visit Washington’s Headquarters, 19 Jan.

On Thursday, 19 February, Ranger Garrett Cloer of the National Park Service will lead special tours of the Cambridge mansion that was Gen. George Washington’s home and headquarters from July 1775 to early April 1776. That estate is now...Show More Summary

Remembering the “Men of God” in Sherman’s Army

This afternoon I was notified about another Kickstarter campaign, this one from the good folks at the National Civil War Chaplains Museum at Liberty University…

“Schooldays” with the Dublin Seminar in Deerfield, 19-21 June

Sunday, 15 February, is the deadline for submitting a proposal for a paper to this year’s Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife at Historic Deerfield. The theme is “Schooldays in New England: 1650-1900.” The conference will be held...Show More Summary

The Battle of Aiken, SC

Today is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Ailken, South Carolina, wherein the still-feisty Confederate cavalry of Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler set a trap for, and nearly destroyed a brigade of, Judson Kilpatrick’s 3rd Cavalry Division. Show More Summary

Lincoln’s Fremont Problem

According to historian Louis Masur, Abraham Lincoln was “upset” by Union General John Fremont’s decision on August 30, 1861 to announce from his headquarters in St. Louis the general emancipation of rebel-owned slaves in Missouri (p. 28).  Yet, in his first letter to Fremont requesting changes in this proclamation, which he sent by special messenger from Washington […]

Slaves at the Smith Parsonage in Weymouth, 26 Feb.

On Thursday, 26 February, the Abigail Adams Historical Society will present a program on “Slavery at the Abigail Adams Birthplace” in cooperation with Weymouth Public Libraries. As an adult, Abigail Adams strongly opposed the institution of slavery, yet she grew up in a slaveowning household. Show More Summary

“Be Kind”

I really need to get back to J.K. Paulding, and hope to do so soon, but in the meantime… Lacking in my knowledge of the Crusades (apart from the romantic efforts of antebellum Virginians to recapture a little of that), I spent some time recently (thanks to a recent event that made news), looking at a […]

A small sample.

My friend Phillip Barron has put together a flip book of sample pages from Battle Lines. If you’re interested, you can check it out here.

Paul Revere House Events in February

February school vacation seems to be coming early this year in greater Boston, what with all the snow keeping schools closed. By the middle of next week, when the schools are actually scheduled to be closed, families could be so desperate to get out of the house that they might brave the worst blizzards. Show More Summary

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