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Downs and Masur Choose Beaufort, South Carolina

Historians Greg Downs and Kate Masur believe that Beaufort, South Carolina should be declared a National monument by President Obama. The two have taken the lead over the past year…

Open House at Wright Tavern in Concord, 15 Oct.

On Saturday 15 October, there will be a free open house at the Wright Tavern in Concord. This will be the first time in decades that the ground floor of that 1747 building will be open to the public.In 1775 the tavern’s location near the center of Concord made it a site of Revolutionary activity. Show More Summary

Ran Away from the Regiment?

This notice appeared in the 16 Jan 1769 Boston Chronicle:STOLEN or STRAYED,From the 59th Regiment Barrack in New-Boston, the 11th inst. January; a small brown and white Spanish DOG, answers to the name of Bravo, had on a brass Collar, marked Den. Show More Summary

How to Interpret a “Black Confederate” Pensioner

Stay tuned. In the next few days I am going to be able to share some exciting news about who is publishing my black Confederates book. In this short video…

Site of vice-presidential debate has a Civil War connection

Farmville, Va., the host of Tuesday night’s debate between the vice-presidential hopefuls, was one of the places Gen. Robert E. Lee stopped to find food for his troops as they retreated from Petersburg in 1865.

Finding a Franklin Bust from France

This spring the Incollect site published Pamela Ehrlich’s article “The Lost Bust of Benjamin Franklin.” It begins: In 1949, France sent forty-nine World War I-era wooden railroad cars filled with gifts across the Atlantic to thank Americans for their aid in the aftermath of World War II. Show More Summary

Site of vice-presidential debate has Civil War connection

Farmville, Va., the home of Longwood University where the Democratic and Republican vice-presidential candidates debated Tuesday night, played a little-known role in the Civil War. Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and his troops, having evacuated Petersburg on April 2 and 3, 1865, were traveling south to join Gen. Joseph Johnston’s Army of Tennessee in North […]

Public Historians and Confederate Monuments

Looking for a little help today. In about a month I will hopefully begin to receive individual chapters from the contributors to a book of essays that I am putting…

Key phrase… “buried alive”, in 19th century newspapers

This week marks the 167th anniversary of the strange events leading up to the death of Edgar Allan Poe, and as Poe focused so often on people being buried alive, it seems fitting that I take a little time to examine what the newspapers reveal. Poe’s “The Premature Burial”, by the way, was published in […]

Madison in Massachusetts, 7 and 21 October

On Friday, 7 October, the Massachusetts Historical Society will host Kyle Jenks in the person of President James Madison, looking back on the criticisms of the U.S. Constitution from Massachusetts delegate Elbridge Gerry.Gerry was at...Show More Summary

The Haunted House that wasn’t – Richmond Dispatch staff and their own “In Search Of” (1852)

Why not? It’s October, after all… I’m not quite sure if both James A. Corwardin (Proprietor of the Daily Dispatch) and Hugh R. Pleasants (Editor) took part, but, in September 1852, some of the staff (apparently) of the Daily Dispatch decided to visit a haunted house in Richmond, and report their findings (in the issue […]

Going Rogue With Keith Harris

I am happy to announce that the first three episodes of Keith Harris’s new podcast, The Rogue Historian, is now live and yours truly is the guest for Episode 1.…

“William Costin’s reputed father was white”

As I wrote yesterday, Martha Washington’s son John Parke Custis is believed to have had a child by an enslaved woman named Ann Dandridge around 1780 as well as children with his wife, Eleanor.Jack Custis died in 1781 of a disease he contracted during the siege of Yorktown. Show More Summary

Expanding the Extended Washington Family

Last month the Boston Globe ran an Associated Press dispatch about how two historic sites, Arlington House and Mount Vernon, were presenting the evidence that the Washington family—which is to say, Martha Washington’s descendants—included...Show More Summary

Is This the Confession of a Neo-Confederate?

I passed this essay along by William Black last week and have been thinking about it ever since. Black is currently a Ph.D candidate at Rice University in history and…

Forsyth County, Georgia’s Confederate Heritage

This image appears in a new book about Forsyth County’s history and its struggle to remain an overwhelmingly white community through the 1990s. I have not read it, but plan…

“The Arms Race of 1774” in Worcester, 4 Oct.

This Tuesday, 4 October, I’ll speak at the American Antiquarian Society about “The Arms Race of 1774.” Our program description:Starting in September 1774, Massachusetts patriots and royal governor Thomas Gage raced for the province’s most powerful military resources—cannon and other artillery pieces. Show More Summary

A Look at Boston’s Lost and Found

Last month at the African American Intellectual History blog, Jared Hardesty wrote about a surviving scrap of colonial Boston town records and what they reveal about the town’s black population.The story starts in the Boston Public Library’s...Show More Summary

American Foreign Policy and the Protection of Slavery

You need to pick up a copy of Matthew Karp’s new book, This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy, if you haven’t done so already.…

“Several of us dress’d in woman’s clothes”

At the end of September 1780, Lt. Enos Reeves (1753-1807) and his company of the 11th Pennsylvania Regiment were in Haverstraw, New York, on the Hudson River.They didn’t have much to do. On 4 October Reeves wrote to a fellow officerShow More Summary

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