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A Mysterious Saber in Guysborough

This is my favorite news story of the week. Though I suppose I should say “favourite.”Homeowners in Guysborough, Nova Scotia, were having some renovations done when the workers brought down a saber they had found behind a wall.Specifically,...Show More Summary

Sensing the Civil War

Earlier this week Oxford University Press sent me a review copy of Mark Smith’s new book, The Smell of Battle, the Taste of Siege: A Sensory History of the Civil War. It’s a short book so I decided to jump right in and although I enjoyed Listening to Nineteenth-Century America, this one fell short in... Continue reading

Pam Mazanec Should Have Taken AP US History Before Trying to Revise It

I’ve been following the story out of Colorado surrounding the Board of Education’s concerns about the revised AP United States History curriculum. Earlier today and following protests by both teachers and students the board backed off from any plans to challenge the curriculum in the classroom. From the beginning it was clear that the position... Continue reading

Anniversary of the death of Lt. John Meigs

One hundred and fifty years ago today, Oct. 3, 1864, the eldest son of the influential Union Army’s Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs  was shot and killed in the Shenandoah Valley while scouting a wooded area in Dayton, Va. The death of Lt. Show More Summary

“Last Capital of the Confederacy” to Remove Flag

There are three narratives that have come to define our Civil War sesquicentennial. They include the story of the black Union soldier, along with emancipation, as the dominant narrative as well as the rise of the Civil War in the West and guerrilla warfare. The last one has to be the steady retreat of Confederate... Continue reading

Just One More History Comic

Adventure Comics, #296, from May 1962 featured a story titled “Benjamin Franklin’s Super-Reporter.” It was drawn by Al Plastino, and some fans think the script was by Bill Finger, best known for co-creating Batman.The story, according...Show More Summary

Rounding Out the “History in Comics” Panel in Cambridge, 4 Oct.

As I’ve mentioned, on Saturday I’m moderating a panel at the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo in Cambridge about “History in Comics.”Two of the panelists are Jason Rodriguez, editor of the new Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750, and E. Show More Summary

The South Carolina Confederate Flag’s Days Are Numbered

The question of whether the Confederate Battle flag should remain on the grounds of the state capital is now a campaign issue. Well, it’s always been an issue since it was removed from atop the State House in 2000. Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Vincent Sheen, is running on a platform that includes the permanent removal of... Continue reading

A Bite of Joel Christian Gill’s Strange Fruit

As I mentioned back here, I scripted one of the stories in the new anthology Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750. I wrote that script with the artist Joel Christian Gill in mind, and was lucky enough that he agreed to work on the project.Joel is a professor and now chair of the Foundations Program at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. Show More Summary

Putting a Minor in History to Work

The creator of this video claims to be putting his minor in history to good use by sharing what the Civil War was really about. I think you know what this is code for. I will try to find out where his minor in history was completed, though I am fairly confident that no one... Continue reading

Eighteenth-Century Comics from E. J. Barnes

One of the contributors to Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750 is the Cambridge writer-artist E. J. Barnes, who tells the story of Thomas Morton’s short-lived early-1600s colony at what is now Mount Wollaston in Quincy.She’ll also be on our “History in Comics” panel this Saturday at the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (M.I.C.E.). Show More Summary

“We Shall Overcome”

Looks like more Confederate Battle flags are flying over America’s Southern highways, but I suspect that heritage groups won’t be celebrating. A group calling itself “The Lewla Movement” hopes to spark discussion about race relations, history and the meaning of the Confederate flag. I appreciate how this billboard juxtaposes the history of the flag and... Continue reading

The 48th/150th: Captured At Peebles's Farm, Died In Salisbury Prison

Salisbury Prison, as depicted in this 1886 lithograph(University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) ? 150 years ago today, the 48th Pennsylvania lost 55 men in the Battle of Peebles's Farm. Four of these men were either killed or mortally wounded; eight others were wounded. Show More Summary

The Exceptionalism of American Slavery

As I continue to make my way through Edward Baptist’s book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, I can’t help but think about its implications for the way we think about the idea of American Exceptionalism. It’s a timely issue given the recent debates about the revised AP... Continue reading

Colonial Comics, and a Panel about History in Panels

This blog entry is brought to you in part by Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750, a new anthology of historical comics edited by Jason Rodriguez with assistance from A. Dave Lewis and myself.As yesterday’s Boston Globe reported,Show More Summary

White Southerners To Dedicate Monument to Confederate Massacre

There are a number of narratives that have emerged over the course of the sesquicentennial. While the story of black Union soldiers has taken center stage, focus on the War in the West and guerrilla warfare isn’t far behind. Scholarship on the Western theater is on the rise, but popular interest can also be seen... Continue reading

A Short Look at the Vita Brevis Blog

Recently I came across the Vita Brevis blog from the New England Historic Genealogical Society, “designed to offer the reader short essays by the Society’s expert staff on their own research as well as news of the greater genealogical...Show More Summary

Walking in Lincoln’s Footsteps

I had an incredible time in Springfield, Illinois this past weekend. Thanks to Sam Wheeler, who is the Research Historian for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, for inviting me to speak at Friday’s Luncheon. He was an incredibly gracious host. My talk on Louis Martin and the Crater went over very well. The audience asked... Continue reading

Thoughts on the opening days of “the Burning”

In a rare opportunity (at least it’s been rather rare, for me, in these past two months) this morning, I had the chance to sit in my study… a window open… and enjoy a cup of coffee while I took in all that I could on this early Autumn day. The cool air (a brisk […]

Constitutional Challenge

A few weeks back Al Carroll, a retired history professor, argued on History News Network that the U.S. Constitution has been an elitist, deeply flawed, and technically illegitimate document from the start.Certainly there were many more...Show More Summary

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