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“Military Theaters” Symposium in Schenectady, 11 Nov.

The American Revolution Round Table of the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys is hosting a free symposium in Schenectady, New York, on Veteran’s Day, 11 November.The symposium is on the topic of “The Military Theaters of the American Revolution”...Show More Summary

How Southern Socialites Rewrote Civil War History

There have been a number of short videos released that explore the history of Confederate monuments, but this one takes a step back to acknowledge the crucial role that the […]

Abigail Adams Birthplace Tour in Weymouth, 4 Nov.

On Saturday, 4 November, the Abigail Adams Historical Society will welcome visitors for “Behind the Scenes at the Abigail Adams Birthplace,” a tour of the building with preservation carpenter Walter Beebe-Center.The organization says:The...Show More Summary

False Anniversaries for Equiano and Wheatley

Earlier this month, on 16 October, Google’s doodle of the day featured the eighteenth-century author Olaudah Equiano, as shown above. Which was great, except that the company said it was doing so to celebrate Equiano’s 272nd birthday. Show More Summary

Call for Papers on “Monumental Narratives”

The Grace Slack McNeil Program for Studies in American Art at Wellesley College and Historic Deerfield are teaming up to sponsor a one-day symposium on “Monumental Narratives: Revisiting New England’s Public Memorials.” This event will...Show More Summary

Not a Black Historian in Sight

This morning the National History Center will host a Congressional briefing on the history of Civil War monuments. They have assembled an impressive panel of three senior scholars, including Karen […]

“Washington Slept Here” Symposium at Mount Vernon, 3-4 Nov.

On 3-4 November, Mount Vernon will host the 2017 symposium of the Washington Library, which has the theme of “George Washington Slept Here: Travel, Rest, and Memory of the First President.”The speakers include: Philip Levy, “Where George...Show More Summary

“Colonial Boston’s Public Schools” at Old North, 1 Nov.

On Wednesday, 1 November, I’ll speak at the Old North Church on “Classes and Forms: The Landscape of Colonial Boston’s Public Schools.” This talk is part of the Old North Foundation’s Speaker Series focusing on the ordinary people of Boston. Show More Summary

That White Boy Nathan Bedford Forrest Could Jump

One of the more difficult subjects in my Black Confederates book has been trying to understand why some African Americans identify with this myth. There are a range of perspectives […]

“Advise and Dissent” Panel in Boston, 23 Oct.

On Monday, 23 October, the Massachusetts Historical Society will host a panel discussion on the topic “Advise and Dissent? The Role of Public History in Modern Life.”The society asks:What is the role of historical organizations in aShow More Summary

Lauding “the Trajan of America”

In looking at accounts of John Hancock’s funeral in 1793, I was surprised at the praise that newspaper writers heaped on him.Today we think of Hancock as a lightweight compared to the Adams cousins, the Virginians, and most other Revolutionary politicians who remain household names. Show More Summary

Ta-Nehisi Coates on the Confederate Slave Enlistment Debate

At the very beginning of his new collection of essays Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a few thoughts about the historical significance of the Confederate slave enlistment debate. According to Coates the […]

“Marks of respect paid to the memory of our deceased Governour”

Here are some additional details from Gov. John Hancock’s funeral on 14 Oct 1793. First, the 21 October Columbian Gazetteer of New York reported on the response of the new acting governor:A correspondent who cast his eye at the present Commander in Chief, the venerable SAMUEL ADAMS, was sensibly affected with the appearance of this hoary Patriot. Show More Summary

Gov. Hancock’s Funeral Procession

At sunrise on Monday, 14 Oct 1793, all the church bells in Boston began to ring. They tolled for an hour in tribute to Gov. John Hancock, who had died the previous Tuesday and was being buried that day. All the flags “in town, at the Castle, and on the masts of the shipping in the harbour, were half hoisted.” At one o’clock, all the shops closed. Show More Summary

Reactions to Gov. John Hancock’s Death

The 14 Oct 1793 Boston Gazette reported this response to Gov. John Hancock’s unexpected death on the 8th:Tuesday last, agreeably to previous orders, the several Independent Companies and the several Companies of Militia in this Town, paraded early in the Morning, in complete Uniform, in order for Inspection, &c. Show More Summary

Upcoming Talks About Confederate Monuments and Memory

For those of you in the Milwaukee area I will be speaking at two locations in Kenosha on Wednesday about the history and memory of Confederate monuments. At noon I […]

“His death was unexpected, although he has been indisposed”

John Hancock was in poor health for the last decade of his life. Political opponents, and even some friends, muttered that he exaggerated his medical problems to get out of difficult situations. The most famous example of that was when...Show More Summary

The Cornerstone of the Confederacy on the Verge of Defeat

Having just finished writing about the debate over slave enlistment that took place throughout the Confederacy by mid-1864 through March 1865, it is safe to say that I’ve read hundreds […]

“The concourse of spectators was greater than we ever remember”

Earlier in the week I wrote about the funeral of Christopher Seider. The merchant John Rowe stated in his diary, “I am very sure two thousand people attended his Funerall.” That would have been one of every eight people in Boston.John...Show More Summary

Local Militia Muster in Westboro, 14 Oct.

On Saturday, 14 October, the Westborough Rotary Club and the Westborough Historical Society will present a re-creation of a town militia muster.Specifically, this event commemorates the 243rd anniversary of the Westborough militia’sShow More Summary

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