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Archaeology changes understanding of Missouri battle

On May 18, 1863, Union soldiers were on a foraging mission in Jasper County, Missouri and had made their first stop at the prosperous farm owned by the Rader family. While loading wagons with provisions, they were attacked by a large number of Confederate guerrillas led by Thomas Livingston. As the local story goes, the […]

Honoring Belinda’s Contribution to the Law

In 1936, Harvard University appropriated the heraldry of the Royall family to be the crest of its law school, honoring Isaac Royall for endowing the first law professorship.Under the holophrastic Harvard motto, that crest shows three sheafs of wheat bound up after harvesting. Show More Summary

‘Every Student Her Own Historian’

It’s hard to believe that my American Studies Seminar at the American Antiquarian Society has come to an end. I first want to thank Paul…

“For the very purpose of having conversations about this”

At Yale, one of the dormitories for upperclassmen (called “residential colleges”) is named after John C. Calhoun, the U.S. Vice President and Senator who championed nullification and slavery in the early 1800s.Back when the residential-college...Show More Summary

Civil War-era holiday celebration at Appomattox Court House

On Dec. 13, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the National Park Service is inviting the public to an admission-free day at Appomattox Court House to see the improvements made in the park since last year and the Christmas decorations in the village. According to park spokesman Ernie Price, improvements include a new introductory film and […]

The Power of Iconoclasm, and How to Keep It from Fading

Last month I attended Wendy Bellion’s lecture on “Representing Iconoclasm: Paint, Print, Performance” at the American Antiquarian Society. And I find that’s clarified my thinking about the current campaign to change the seal of the Harvard...Show More Summary

The Anniversary Americans Ignore

Today is the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment. It was the former Confederate state of Georgia that sent the amendment over…

How Isaac Royall Came to Endow a Harvard Law Professorship

As historical background for the current controversy over Harvard Law School’s adoption of the Royall family crest, the Harvard University Press recently published a long extract from On the Battlefield of Merit, Daniel R. Coquillette and Bruce A. Show More Summary

Back to college… at 50?

As I mentioned earlier this fall, back in September I enrolled in a college course to test the waters to see if the time (mostly, if I had the time) was right to take the plunge back into academia. Though I only made my way through one course (finishing up this week), I did find […]

Removing Symbols of the Old Ways

On 18 July 1776, the Massachusetts Council oversaw the reading of the Declaration of Independence at the State House. Afterwards, the public pulled down the royal emblems of the lion and unicorn from that building and burned them inShow More Summary

An Anti-Stamp Stamp

In the second quarter of 2016, the U.S. Postal Service will issue this stamp commemorating the repeal of the Stamp Act. Which makes this a stamp celebrating the end of another stamp.Linn’s Stamp News & Insights reports, “The stamps will...Show More Summary

Tea Burning in Lexington, 13 Dec.

The Lexington Historical Society and Lexington Minute Men are commemorating the town’s burning of tea on 13 Dec 1773, three days before the destruction of newer tea in Boston harbor, with an expanded program this year. Here is the schedule...Show More Summary

The 250th is Coming! The 250th is Coming!

On Monday evening I attended a panel discussion at the Old North Church, sponsored by Revolution 250 to discuss the anniversary of events leading up…

Confederate Flags Return to W&L’s Lee Chapel

Well, not exactly, but John Paul Strain’s latest effort at realism is the next best thing for those people upset with the recent removal of…

Mrs. Murray’s Medium in Gloucester

In 1795, two years after the Boston’s first theater opened on Federal Street, it hosted its first play “Written by a Citizen of the United States.”The anonymous author of The Medium: or, Happy Tea-Party (the subtitle later changed to Virtue Triumphant) was Judith Sargent Murray, already busy as an essayist. Show More Summary

“New England Captives” Tour, July 2016

Historian Donald Friary and the New England Historic Genealogical Society are offering what looks like an unusual tour of New England and Canada next summer. The theme is “New England Captives Carried to Canada.” The description: Between...Show More Summary

The Other Side of Stone Mountain

Just finished a brief exchange with a public historian that I highly respect. He sent me a brief note regarding a recent story that appeared…

“The dead siphoning life from their relatives”

On Thursday, 3 December, Clark University in Worcester will host a seminar with Brian Carroll on “The Introduction of Vampire Belief to New England.”I’ve got your attention now, don’t I? Here’s the event description:Between 1782 andShow More Summary

New to the Civil War Memory Library, 11/30

Just a quick thank you to those of you who have purchased items on Amazon through my blog. As I have pointed out before, I…

Viewing the Tea Party in Context

If you attend the Boston Tea Party reenactment at Old South and the Boston Tea Party Ships, I have two things for you to keep in mind about what you’re hearing.As I’ve written before, it’s unlikely that many friends of the royal government came to Old South to debate what to do about the tea. Show More Summary

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