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Camp Servants and Confederate Exceptionalism

Over the past few weeks I’ve made steady progress on my new manuscript, which is now tentatively titled, Searching For Black Confederates: The Civil War’s…

Virginia Takes an Even Less Firm Stand Against the Stamp Act

None of Virginia’s established political leaders liked the Stamp Act. Gov. Francis Fauquier (shown here) had advised his superiors in London against it. John Robinson, speaker of the House of Burgesses, and Peyton Randolph, attorneyShow More Summary

The 48th/150th: The Dead of the 48th Pennsylvania

As initially envisioned and intended, this date--May 30--was, in 1868, originally designated as Decoration Day, a day of solemn remembrance during which Americans were to pause and pay tribute to those who died fighting in defense of the United States during the Civil War. Show More Summary

Virginia Takes a Less Firm Stand Against the Stamp Act

On this date 250 years ago the Virginia House of Burgesses took up the resolutions against the Stamp Act that Patrick Henry had drafted the previous day. Those same legislators had narrowly approved them as a committee of the whole, but this was the official vote. Show More Summary

The High Ground Held

This morning I read through an essay by Robert K. Sutton about the National Park Service’s Holding the High Ground initiative, which grew out of…

Virginia Considers a Firm Stand Against the Stamp Act

Britain’s North American colonies had a chance to weigh in on the Stamp Act before Parliament passed it, as described back here. All of them said it would be a Bad Thing. Few or none offered any alternative way for the Crown to raise revenue for its army on the continent. Show More Summary

An idea whose time has come….

My friend Craig Swain has a very thought-provoking post on his blog indicating that the time has come for the founding of a state battlefield park in Culpeper County, Virginia. I commend it to you. One would be hard-pressed to find a...Show More Summary

Advertising-Supported

I”m sorry I didn’t spot this blog when it was running. In December 2013 and January 2014, the “Begs leaves to acquaint his subscribers” blog reproduced advertisements from the Boston Gazette for the corresponding weeks in 1771 and 1772.The...Show More Summary

An End to Disunion

This Sunday the New York Times’s Disunion column will come to an end. I am going to miss it. The column brought together academic and…

Who Was Crispus Attucks’s Father?

Many websites and books identify Crispus Attucks’s father as Prince Yongey (or Young or Jonar), based on the fact that Framingham records say a man of that name married Nancy Peterattuck on 19 May 1737.However, according to William Brown’s runaway advertisements, “Crispas” was about twenty-seven years old in 1750. Show More Summary

Is a Public Memory of Reconstruction Possible?

The New York Times has a feature up today in which they ask a group of historians to reflect on how Reconstruction ought to be…

Sorting Out the Versions of Crispus Attucks

This is a view from the Crispus Attucks Footbridge in Framingham, built near the area where he was reportedly born and worked for William Brown. And it looks like a good place to pause and reflect about how to reconcile the conflicting...Show More Summary

How a Pennsylvania high school got the name Grand Army of the Republic

In the rapidly growing Pennsylvania city of Wilkes-Barre in the 1920s, the school board readily approved construction of a new high school. Then the big question was what to name it. On the board were three sons of Civil War veterans and one of them, John A. Show More Summary

The Last Relics of Crispus Attucks

William Cooper Nell wasn’t the only Boston author researching the Boston Massacre in the nineteenth century. Another was Frederic Kidder, who published his History of the Boston Massacre in 1870. In one footnote he wrote:Crispus Attucks is described as a mulatto; he was born in Framingham near the Chochituate lake and not far from the line of Natick. Show More Summary

More Information about the Attucks Family

In 1860 the historian and activist William C. Nell addressed a crowd at the ninetieth anniversary of the Boston Massacre. That event took place in an auditorium called the Meionaon, part of the Tremont Temple. [Why don’t we have a Meionaon...Show More Summary

Because Nothing Says Memorial Day Like a Confederate Flag Burning

Artist John Sims and Julian Chambliss, chairman of the Department of History and Africa and African-American Studies program at Rollins College in Florida, will spend…

The Brown Family Memories of Crispus Attucks

As I quoted yesterday, in 1857 the descendants of William Brown of Framingham published a claim that he had been the owner of Crispus Attucks, victim of the Boston Massacre.They made that statement in a small book published to celebrate...Show More Summary

Civil War Memorial Day ceremonies planned in Washington and Petersburg, Va.

President Lincoln’s Cottage at the United States Soldiers’ and Airmen Home  in Washington, D.C., and Pamplin Historical Park  in Petersburg, Va., are each hosting Memorial Day ceremonies May 25.At the Lincoln Cottage, Memorial Day will...Show More Summary

The Crispus Attucks Teapot

Among the artifacts in the “We Are One” exhibit at the Boston Public Library is a teapot linked to Crispus Attucks, now owned by Historic New England. (And shown here thanks to a Harvard course on material culture.)I read about this teapot years ago, but I’d never seen it before. Show More Summary

“We Are One” Exhibits Opens in Boston

Earlier this year I recommended the “God Save the People” exhibit at the Massachusetts Historical Society. This month the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, just a few blocks away on Boyltston Street, opened a new exhibit called “We Are One.” It’s also very good. Show More Summary

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