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The “battle” for the eastern panhandle of West Virginia

I posed a question yesterday, via Facebook, asking if it was only historians who wondered what Berkeley and Jefferson counties would be like if they were returned to Virginia in the years immediately after the Civil War. Of course, I have my doubts that it is only historians that wonder about such things, but I suspect, […]

Commemorating the Fifth of March, 5 Mar.

This is the time of year I start posting so much about a Massacre that it’s a wonder the F.B.I. isn’t trying to decode my iPhone. But that’s because the anniversary of the Boston Massacre is coming up on the 5th of March.This year that...Show More Summary

American Revolution Conference in Williamsburg, 18-20 March

On the weekend of 18-20 March, America’s History, LLC, will host its 5th Annual Conference on the American Revolution in Williamsburg, Virginia. There’s a stellar lineup of speakers, plus me.This conference will take place two months before the one in central New York that I described yesterday. Show More Summary

You Just Might Be a Racist If…

The video below was uploaded just this morning. I have no idea where it was filmed. In fact, it doesn’t really matter whether it was filmed in Mississippi or Maine. I have little patience for the discussion of whether every display of the Confederate flag on private property reflects a […]

Fort Plain Museum’s American Revolution Conference, 9-12 June

The 2016 Conference on the American Revolution in the Mohawk Valley will take place on 9-12 June. I’ll be one of many speakers at this event, organized by folks at the Fort Plain Museum in New York. It’s designed both to introduce visitors...Show More Summary

Mississippi’s Meaningless Confederate Heritage Proclamation

Over the past two days I have received three requests from media outlets to comment on Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant’s designation of April as Confederate Heritage Month. Given the amount of coverage received, you would have thought that this was the first time such a proclamation had been issued. This […]

Jerusalem Banned in Boston

I haven’t found any newspaper notices of the model of ancient Jerusalem in Boston the way it was advertised in Philadelphia, New York, Newport, and Providence (as quoted over the past two days).But we know it was on display at the White Horse Tavern in the South End by 26 Oct 1764 because the merchant John Rowe (shown here) went to view it. Show More Summary

Jerusalem on the Road

Yesterday I quoted a couple of sources from Philadelphia about a model of ancient Jerusalem built by “an illiterate shoemaker” in Germantown.On 7 May 1764 the New-York Gazette announced that “JERUSALEM, a View of that famous City, after...Show More Summary

Jerusalem on Display in Germantown

In 1888 the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography published some extracts from the diary of Hannah Callender (1737-1801), a Quaker woman who evidently grew up in a comfortable mercantile family. Here’s part of Callender’s entry for 2 June 1762:1762, 6th mo., 2d day.—... Show More Summary

A King’s Chapel Anniversary

This photo and the following come from Boston tour guide and educator Ben Edwards. This 2,437-pound Paul Revere bell at King’s Chapel was installed on February 23, 1816—exactly 200 years ago. On October 16, 2011, we saw an 1801 Paul Revere bell raised with the aid of a giant crane into the tower of Old South. Show More Summary

The Confederate Battle Flag Was Not “Stolen From the South”

Thanks to Al Mackey for posting this short clip of a recent talk in which Professor James I. Robertson responds to a question about the current debate about the display of the Confederate flag. I was surprised and disappointed that Robertson didn’t simply suggest that the battle flag belongs in […]

Let Me Know When the Slaves Arrive in the North

Nate Parker’s movie about Nat Turner’s Rebellion, The Birth of a Nation, caused quite a buzz at last month’s Sundance Film Festival. The success of recent Hollywood films such as 12 Years a Slave and Django, as well as the new television series, Mercy Street, point to a growing interest […]

Friends of Minute Man Lectures, 28 Feb. and 13 Mar.

The Friends of Minute Man National Park will present two historical lectures over the next month.Sunday, 28 FebruaryTaylor StoermerGraduate School of Arts & Sciences Fellow & Instructor of Public History at Harvard UniversityFormerly...Show More Summary

“First in the hearts of his fellow-citizens” first?

Yesterday I quoted the famous praise for George Washington that appears in the House of Representatives’ record for 19 Dec 1799: “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”Those words were entered into the record by Rep. Show More Summary

Celebrating Washington in Cambridge and South Boston, 22 Feb.

George Washington’s Birthday is on Monday, February 22. I was going to spotlight the special tours of the general’s headquarters in Cambridge that day, led by Garrett Cloer of the Longfellow House–Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site. Show More Summary

Farnsworth’s Charge, Redux

I just found a very interesting tidbit…. A certain Gettysburg licensed battlefield guide has stated a theory that Farnsworth’s Charge occurred a mile or so away from where traditional accounts place it. I’ve always maintained that that theory is just that–a theory. Show More Summary

Looking forward in the Shenandoah (Jan. 1866)

Perusing some Valley newspapers recently, I ran across an interesting article in the Spirit of Jefferson (Charles Town) which did not reflect on the devastation left by war, but on the future of the Valley and its residents. There is no portion of the whole agricultural district of the Union richer than the Valley of […]

Three Hundred Years of Speed Limits for Boston Drivers

If we can believe Wikipedia, Boston drivers have required strict measures for over two and a half centuries:First Speed Law in AmericaThe first speed limit in the United States was set in Boston in 1757 by the board of selectmen (similar to a city council). Show More Summary

New to the Civil War Memory Library, 02/19

Two important book prizes have recently been announced. First, Martha Hodes’s Mourning Lincoln (Yale University Press) won the Lincoln Prize and Ada Ferrer’s Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution (Cambridge University Press) won this year’s Frederick Douglass Prize. I read and thoroughly enjoyed the former, but […]

“I do not like Madme. le Brun’s fan colouring”

Yesterday I mentioned the exhibit in New York about the French portraitist Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun. I wondered if any of the American diplomats in Paris had crossed paths with her, so I looked up her names in Founders Online. In 1787...Show More Summary

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