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Missing Stamp Act Sources

Yesterday I quoted an extract from Jared Ingersoll’s letter of 11 Feb 1765, about the House of Commons debate over the Stamp Act, as it appeared in the 27 May Boston Post-Boy. Researching that text was a good reminder of how spotty the...Show More Summary

What we do.

Julie Schumacher’s Dear Committee Members captures the absurdity of the present moment in the hallowed halls of academe: the beleaguered state of the humanities; the way a shrinking pie has left even tenured scholars, already an insecure subset of the species, more fragile than usual; the fraught relationship between faculty and their administrative paymasters. In […]

Introducing the 10th Anniversary Re-Design

Welcome to Civil War Memory’s 10th anniversary re-design. Now I know that the real anniversary won’t take place until November, but I decided to cheat…

Finally, the Debate Over the Stamp Act

So did Isaac Barré speak against the Stamp Act in the House of Commons on 6 Feb 1765? Edmund Burke recalled that debate as unexciting, but on 12 February Horace Walpole wrote that Barré had delivered “a pretty heavy thump” to bill advocate Charles Townshend. Show More Summary

The Debate Over the Debate Over the Stamp Act

In 1765, when the House of Commons started to debate the Stamp Act, there was no official record of Parliament’s debates, either from the government or private organizations.In fact, it wasn’t entirely clear that reporting on parliamentary debates in detail was legal. Show More Summary

Introducing the Stamp Act

On 6 Feb 1765, two and a half centuries ago, the chief British minister, George Grenville (1712-1770, shown here), formally introduced the Stamp Act into the House of Commons. That wasn’t a sudden move. Grenville had floated the idea of a stamp tax—in practical terms, a tax on paper—for the North American colonies in the previous spring. Show More Summary

That Talk…Again

Let me start out by saying that I really do appreciate all of you for taking the time to share your thoughts on this site. I couldn’t be more pleased that this site’s content has the potential to generate what are often lengthy threads. But there is a downside. First, I have to moderate your […]

Cambridge Forum Lectures on Video

In recent years I’ve moderated a series of annual talks at the Cambridge Forum by historians of the Revolutionary era.These talks all have a link to George Washington since they’re primarily co-sponsored by the Friends of Longfellow House–Washington’s Headquarters and the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati. Show More Summary

Tempus sic conterere

I write to record a position on a subject already treated in more specialist fora. I refer, of course, to a matter routinely, if implicitly, raised by the auditors of curricula, every time they ask for samples of a syllabus: if they request more than one, what do they say they want? Syllabi? Or syllabuses?1 […]

Eager to Enlist, Yet Easily Overlooked: Eastern Massachusetts Indians in Combat in 1775

Today I’m pleased to share an essay from guest blogger David K. Thomas, a student at Colby College in Maine. Isaac Comecho. Thomas Cognehew. Alexander Quapish. Joseph Paugenit. Fortune Burnee, Jr. These are not household names. But they...Show More Summary

The Legalities of Licensing Historical Tour Guides

The National Constitution Center has highlighted a case under consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court about whether cities can require tour guides to pass tests of historical knowledge before being licensed.Federal courts have issued contradictory decisions on that point in cases from Washington, D.C., and New Orleans. Show More Summary

What Does This Have To Do With Confederate Heritage?

I’ve always been interested in how the our interest in the past is weaved through our understanding of the present. All of us are influenced by our personal values and assumptions concerning a wide range of issues from politics, to personal background to the kinds of forces that lead to change. It is with this […]

Nonsense pertaining to Robert H. G. Minty

Robert H. G. Minty plays a critical role in my current book project, which is a detailed tactical study of the first day of the Battle of Chickamauga, September 18, 1863. Consequently, I have spent quite a bit of time studying him and...Show More Summary

For the record, I drew it. Jonathan is responsible for the juvenile text.

Battle Lines has its first review. From Kirkus (2/15/15): A graphic rendering of epic destruction and intimate despair, as the authors make Civil War scholarship come alive for readers young and old.The artistry of Fetter-Vorm (Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb, 2013) powerfully captures the devastation that the war wreaked on the […]

Perils of the digital archive

For my new book, I spent long hours trawling through the many, many reels of the microfilmed diaries of Henry Morgenthau, Jr. We didn’t have them at my university, so I had to order a few at a time from Interlibrary Loan, wait, and then seize upon them and go through them before they were […]

Another Dimension for Battle Road?

Last week the University of Pennsylvania library announced the purchase of a collection of manuscripts about the occult and alchemy. The original collector was Charles Rainsford, a British army officer during the Revolutionary War (shown here). Show More Summary

How many historians…

…does it take to create a spamnado? Earlier today, what seems like the entire profession received an automated e-mail from some organization whose servers are hosted by Cal Tech. The original message was spam of some sort, I’m guessing, though I didn’t pay any attention to it, so I can’t say for sure. What came […]

Third Time’s a Charm?

I ran this image three years ago, and a similar image four years before that. (But we won’t speak of “The wretched blunder of the over sized balls.”)

Millard Fillmore, "the most Jacksonian of any president of the era"

2 months agoHistory / US History : Electratig

Our thirteenth president, Millard Fillmore, is typically cast as a craven milquetoast who facilitated the Compromise of 1850 because he didn't have the guts to stand up to the southern Slave Power. I have long argued that this is nonsense. Show More Summary

“Neither Slavery Nor Involuntary Servitude”

One hundred and fifty years ago Congress passed the Thirteenth Amendment and paved the way for ratification by the states. With a roll call and signatures roughly 240 years of slavery ended and yet as a nation we do nothing to publicly acknowledge this milestone. It’s striking given our collective embrace of a narrative that […]

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