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Looking for the R.N.C.’s “Critical Topics” in A.P. U.S. History

Having found the 2006-07 version of the College Board’s guidelines for the Advanced Placement U.S. History test (P.D.F. download), I decided to test it against the objections listed in the Republican National Committee’s resolution from last month.The R.N.C. Show More Summary

The Problem With Baptists “The Half Has Never Been Told”

I think I am beginning to get a grip on what some people find troubling about Edward Baptist’s new book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism. Before saying anything I should point out that my understanding of the historiography of slavery is limited. I’ve read a number of... Continue reading

The “5-Page Topic Outline” and the “98-Page Framework”

One of the common complaints about the new Advanced Placement U.S. History Course guidelines is that they’re so much longer than they were before. For instance, World Magazine reported: The new framework is 98 pages long, compared to the five-page topic outline teachers used previously, [critic Larry] Krieger said. Show More Summary

Just Imagine What the Virginia Flaggers Could Accomplish…

… if they could get more than 10 people to show up to one of their protests.

150th anniversary of Third Winchester

The small staff of the nonprofit Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, in New Market, Va., is doing the work of many as it prepares for the 150 th anniversary of the Battle of Third Winchester  on Sept. 19-21. This weekend, they are finishing a long list of to-dos including the completion of walkways, fencing and sign placement. Read full article >>

What Lies Behind Complaints about the A.P. U.S. History Test

One of the hot topics is American historiography lately has been an attack on the new Advanced Placement U.S. History course and test guidelines (P.D.F. download). Last month the Republican National Committee passed a resolution calling for those guidelines to be both rewritten and investigated. Show More Summary

The Lovett School in Atlanta Remembers the Civil War

Even if you just have just a few minutes check out this wonderful dramatic reading focused on the Civil War in Georgia performed by students a The Lovett School in Atlanta. This is one of the best student productions that I’ve seen in quite some time and serves as a useful model to connect an... Continue reading

Great Hamilton

Ten years ago Hamilton, Ohio, founded in 1791, installed a statue of its namesake, Alexander Hamilton. (The city has branded itself as a “City of Sculpture.”)Kristen Visbal won the competition to design and produce the Hamilton statue. Show More Summary

A Lee Who Supports W&L’s Decision to Remove Confederate Flags

In his convocation address yesterday at Washington & Lee University, President Ken Ruscio reflected on his decision to remove Confederate flags from inside Lee Chapel. At one point Ruscio shared a letter he received from an Alumnus of the Class of 1949. I have been following the issues…. I write to offer my unqualified endorsement... Continue reading

Soldiers of the 48th: Private Charles Abel T. St.Clair, Co. A. Killed On This Date In 1864

A proud Private Charles A.T. St.Clair stands for his photograph before setting off for war. Charles St. Clair was just sixteen years of age when the American Civil War broke out that fateful spring of 1861. Too young...Show More Summary

Just In Case You Are Taking the GED…

…here is what you need to know about the American Civil War. [Uploaded to YouTube on September 10, 2014]

Smithsonian to Restore Landsdowne Portrait Starting in 2016

The “Landsdowne portrait” of George Washington, painted by Gilbert Stuart in 1796 and purchased by the Smithsonian in 2001, is scheduled to be cleaned and restored starting in 2016. The Associated Press reports: Conservators wanted to clean and restore the painting for many years, but the museum was reluctant to take it off view. Show More Summary

See me on C-SPAN-3 on Saturday, September 13….

Last month, I was honored to be the keynote speaker at the first annual symposium put on by my friends at Emerging Civil War. A camera crew from C-SPAN was there to record the entire program. I’ve just learned that my talk, which was...Show More Summary

What Historians Missed about the Baptist Kerfuffle

From Edward Baptist’s, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism. What enslavers used was a system of measurement and negative incentives. Actually, one should avoid such euphimisms. Enslavers used measurement to calibrate torture in order to force cotton pickers to figure out how to increase their own productivity and... Continue reading

A Sedimental Education

Heather Hoppe-Bruce wrote an op-ed essay in the Sunday Boston Globe about what might be unearthed in a new Boston harbor dredging project. Among the possibilities:HMS DianaOn May 28, 1775, during the Battle of Chelsea Creek, this schooner was abandoned, captured by provincial forces, then set ablaze and run aground. Show More Summary

Even in Death They Still Can’t Get It Right

This past week Mattie Rice, who was a descendant of Weary Clyburn passed away. Over the past few year I wrote extensively about the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ and United Daughters of the Confederacy’s efforts to distort the history of Clyburn. Both organizations did their best to celebrate and remember Clyburn as a soldier rather... Continue reading

Life in Boylston at Turn of the Nineteenth Century

I wanted to note an article from a regional edition of the Boston Globe last month, about a project at the Boylston Historical Society transcribing the diary of Simon Davis from 1796 to 1810.Most of the journal entries on specific dates record whimsical observations about the weather, as well as casual remarks about the writer’s moods and work. Show More Summary

Baptist Describes a New Orleans Slave Auction

The following description of a slave auction in New Orleans comes from Edward Baptist’s new book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism. The moment was here, the one that made trees fall, cotton bales strain against their ropes, filled the stores with goods, sailed paper across oceans and... Continue reading

At the Salisbury Mansion

This is the Salisbury Mansion in Worcester, where I’ll be speaking today at noon about “The Breakdown of Royal Rule in Massachusetts, September 1774.” This is one of many events in the city commemorating the local events of that month. Show More Summary

Two Soldiers, Two Stories

Many of you may remember that this past school year I accompanied 35 students on a civil rights trip from Atlanta to Memphis. I was asked to accompany the instructor who organized it, but this year my school is requesting that I lead a trip for what we call Exploration Week, which takes place in... Continue reading

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