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Alonzo Cushing relative found to accept Medal of Honor

A blood relative of Lt. Alonzo Hereford Cushing, a hero soldier who died on the last day of the Gettysburg battle, has finally been found, meaning the White House can now go ahead with a postponed Medal of Honor ceremony. Read full article >>

Celebrating Abigail and John Adams, 24-26 October

Saturday, 25 October, will be the sestercentennial of the marriage of Abigail and John Adams. The Abigail Adams Historical Society, Adams National Historical Park, and First Church in Weymouth will commemorate that 250th anniversary with a series of events over the weekend. Show More Summary

Stephen Berry on Why Our Civil War Matters

Stephen Berry is one of my favorite Civil War historians writing today. He has tackled a wide range of subjects from Civil War soldiers to the Lincolns. Regardless of the topic, I am always challenged by his thorough analysis and creativity of thought. This year’s Bottimore Lecture was delivered by Steve and is focused on […]

Civil War Trust meets goal of 40,000 acres preserved

The 40,000 acres preserved since 1999 is equivalent to 62.5 square miles, according to the Civil War Trust, which announced Monday  that it had met a goal it had set for itself three years ago with the purchase of 654 acres at North Anna, Va.,  battlefield. The trust has now preserved battlefield acres at 122 Civil War battlefields spread across 20 states. Read full article >>

“History of Boston” Online Course Starts 20 Oct.

Suffolk University is offering a free online course on the “History of Boston” with Prof. Robert Allison, chair of the college’s History Department and author of several short, solid books about local history.I believe this qualifies...Show More Summary

Alistair Cooke Explores America’s Civil War

This BBC documentary hosted by Alistair Cooke, which aired in 1972, is well worth watching if you have the time. The content of the documentary reflects some of the new scholarship on slavery but overall the script is marred by the Lost Cause narrative and a problematic view of Lincoln and, especially, Reconstruction. Some of […]

It's Caturday (Photoshop Edition)!

About a month ago I went to our wonderful local animal shelter, Father John's Animal House, and took photos of some of the animals available for adoption. Here are the results. Happy Caturday!

Four battlefields receive grants to buy land

The National Park Service on Friday announced the awarding of $2.2 million in grants to four Civil War battlefields to purchase land: Gettysburg, Pa., Manassas, Va., North Anna, Va.  and Rappahannock Station, Va.  The funds come from...Show More Summary

One Woman’s Work for “Gentility and Consumerism” in Newport, 16 Oct.

On Thursday, 16 October, the Newport Historical Society will host a lecture on “Gentility and Consumerism in Eighteenth-century Newport: A Widow’s Story” by Christina J. Hodge. Hodge’s new book Consumerism and the Emergence of the Middle Class in Colonial America focuses on Rhode Island widow and shopkeeper Elizabeth Pratt. Show More Summary

Things old that are new again…

I’ve come into some unusually good deals lately and have added significantly to the “old wing” of my library… hence old things are indeed new again. The majority of these (in fact, all but the two on the top) date prior to the Civil War. Essentially, all that you see here have connections to the […]

Outrage From Old Virginia

Only Richard Williams could interpret my last post about Blake Lively’s new fashion line (inspired by “Georgia peaches” and “sweet tea”) as a full-blown assault against all things Southern. According to Williams, “Some folks just don’t seem to understand that there’s a lot more to the South than 1861-1865, cotton, slavery and hillbillies.” Perhaps the […]

Welcoming Three Documents to the Paul Revere House, 16 Oct.

On the afternoon of Thursday, 16 October, the Paul Revere House will welcome three documents related to the silversmith and early industrialist into its collection.The first of these is a letter that I quoted in 2012 when it was treated by the Northeast Document Conservation Center. Show More Summary

Southern Style Before the Yankees Came

What better way to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the release of the movie, “Gone With the Wind” than with a Fall fashion spread inspired by life on an antebellum plantation. That’s exactly what some actress by the name of Blake Lively is doing. I guess this is how one gets old because before today […]

Daigler Speaks on Intelligence at Minute Man Park, 15 Oct.

On Wednesday, 15 October, Kenneth Daigler will speak on the topic of his book Spies, Patriots and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War at the Minute Man National Historical Park’s Visitor Center in Lexington. This event will start at 7:00 P.M. Show More Summary

Launch of the Hutchinson Letters in Boston, 15 Oct.

According to the Whigs of late colonial Massachusetts, the two great political villains of the age were the royal governors Sir Francis Bernard (1712-1779) and Thomas Hutchinson (1711-1780).Bernard was a British aristocrat who served in a number of colonial posts, including governor of New Jersey, before governing Massachusetts from 1760 to 1769. Show More Summary

Standing Up For Citations

The question of how sources ought to be cited in a work of non-fiction history came up again this past week with the release of Karen Abbott’s new book, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War. The book tells the story of four women, who engaged in various acts of espionage […]

Missouri town remembers 1864 massacre

A memorial dedication is scheduled Sunday for a group of Civil War heroes who didn’t don military uniforms but died defending their homes. On Oct. 10, 1864, a group of old men and teenage boys rode or walked out of the town of Emma, in central Missouri, to meet an enemy four times as large. All 26 died when attacked by bushwhackers. Read full article >>

A Hip-Hip Hamilton Coming to the New York Stage

Early next year Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical about Alexander Hamilton is scheduled to open Off Broadway in New York. Miranda, who won Tony and Grammy Awards for In the Heights, performed some of this material as “The Hamilton Mixtape” at an evening of poetry at the White House in 2009 and at Lincoln Center. Show More Summary

A Visit With Governor Andrew

Today I took advantage of a day off from work and beautiful weather to drive down the coast to the Hingham Cemetery to visit the final resting place of Governor John A. Andrew. The headstone is very simple, but a few years after his death a group of admirers commissioned a beautiful statue sculpted in […]

The Construction of “Liberty Hall”

From Michael Quinion’s World Wide Words I learned that the phrase “Liberty-Hall” appeared in print in Britain at the same time the American colonies were demanding British liberties as well. The first appearance was in a 1770 song penned by the actor and writer George Alexander Stevens (1710-1784, shown here). Show More Summary

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