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Confederate Heritage in the Dog Days of Summer

My apologies for the lack of posts over the past week. I’ve been working on the book, getting my AAS seminar ready and spending time…

“They soon returned to the Charge with redoubled Fury”

Yesterday I quoted the 2 Sept 1765 Newport Mercury’s description of the Rhode Island capital’s anti-Stamp Act protest on 27 August. Locals hung up effigies of stamp agent Augustus Johnston and supporters Martin Howard, Jr. (shown here), and Dr. Show More Summary

Anti-Stamp Act Protests in Rhode Island

Public protests against the Stamp Act spread outside of Boston in August 1765 so quickly that I’ve fallen behind the sestercentennial anniversaries of those events.Since the Newport Historical Society is commemorating that port town’s protests with a reenactment today, I’m focusing on the events in Rhode Island. Show More Summary

Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer takes new job at Hunter College; encouraged by Hillary Clinton

Harold Holzer, who is best known for his writing, co-authoring or editing some 50 books on President Abraham Lincoln, will begin a new day job on Sept. 1 as director of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College in New York. Holzer, who began his career as a newspaper reporter, recently retired from […]

Watching the Mob with Deacon Tudor

One of the most telling accounts of the mobbing of Lt. Gov. Thomas Hutchinson’s house on 26 Aug 1765 came from John Tudor (1709-1795), a merchant, marine insurance dealer, and deacon who lived nearby in the North End. After that event,...Show More Summary

“The same enraged mob whent to the house of Judge Hutchinson”

On 26 Aug 1765, the Boston Gazette ran this notice on the bottom of its third page amidst the local news: Messieurs Edes & Gill.I Desire the Printers of the Thursday’s Paper [Richard Draper’s “News-Letter”] to tell their Readers whoShow More Summary

“The usual Notice of their intention to plunder & pull down an House”

Eleven days after Andrew Oliver resigned as Massachusetts’s collector of the stamp tax on 15 Aug 1765, the Boston crowd mobilized again. It looks like the Stamp Act was no longer the main grievance on people’s minds on 26 August. Instead, Bostonians were out to chastise other royal officials for holding back the town’s economy. Show More Summary

Trump, populism, Hofstadter, Heer.

In The New Republic, Jeet Heer says that Donald Trump is not a populist, he’s “the voice of aggrieved privilege—of those who already are doing well but feel threatened by social change from below, whether in the form of Hispanic immigrants or uppity women.” Or the voice of the white American man enraged at the […]

Mixed response to campaign to remove Confederate battle flag

Within days of the killings  of nine African Americans in a Charleston church, allegedly by a white man who liked to pose for photographs with the Confederate battle flag, there was a national uproar about the prominent display of that flag at numerous locations across the South. A campaign was quickly mounted to remove not […]

Andrew Oliver’s August Resignation

The anti-Stamp Act protest in Boston on 14 Aug 1765, followed that evening by the destruction of Andrew Oliver’s new building and other property, had a quick result: Oliver resigned as stamp agent for Massachusetts. Oliver told his Connecticut...Show More Summary

Discussing Confederate Iconography at Annual Meeting of AASLH

Although it was organized last minute, I thought some of you would like to know that I will be co-moderating a discussion on the ongoing…

Details of the First Stamp Act Protest

The anonymous account of Boston’s 14 Aug 1765 Stamp Act protest I quoted yesterday also includes a passage that’s prompted a lot of questions about who was behind the event: …thus Hung the Image thro all the Day tho Three Guineas [£3.3s.] was offerd to any one that should take it down and no one dared to make the Tryall. Show More Summary

Do the Archives Matter in the Digital Age?

I am in the process of finalizing my syllabus for the research seminar that I will be teaching his fall at the American Antiquarian Society.…

Another Account of the Stamp Act Protests

About a century ago, there was a trend in American publishing to issue the works of famous authors in multi-volume sets. Those were “limited and numbered editions,” but that often meant the publisher would print only a few hundred copies...Show More Summary

“It was rumord about my turn would be next”

Yesterday I quoted Lt. Gov. Thomas Hutchinson’s account of the anti-Stamp demonstration and riot on 14 Aug 1765. The next day, Andrew Oliver (Hutchinson’s brother-in-law) put out word that he was resigning as stamp master, though heShow More Summary

What a Slave Census Can Tell Us

Thought I would end the work week with a little crowd-sourcing related to my Silas Chandler biography. Right now I am analyzing the journey from…

Thomas Hutchinson and the First Stamp Act Mob

Boston 1775 now returns to exploring the sestercentennial of the movement against the Stamp Act, and specifically the experiences of Lt. Gov. Thomas Hutchinson.Hutchinson wrote his own long description of the Stamp Act disturbances in a letter to London, recently published in the Colonial Society of Massachusetts’s Papers of Thomas Hutchinson. Show More Summary

The Rise and Fall of Thomas Wooldridge

Thomas Wooldridge (often called Woolridge) returned to London by September 1773, having cultivated a relationship with Secretary of State Dartmouth and made contact with merchants in multiple North American ports. Through his father-in-law,...Show More Summary

Sons of Confederate Veterans Kicked Out of Lee Chapel

This week the Stonewall Brigade of the Sons of Confederate Veterans learned that they will not be allowed to use the Lee Chapel on the…

Phillis Wheatley and Susanna Wooldridge

Yesterday I proposed that Phillis Wheatley wrote her “Ode to Neptune” about Susanna Wooldridge (sometimes spelled “Woolridge”). Here’s my argument.On 29 Aug 1771, the New-York Journal ran this piece of news from London:Saturday lastShow More Summary

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