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“An officer told Lord Cornwallis not long ago…”

On 11 Dec 1781 the Pennsylvania Packet newspaper published some news under the dateline “London, July 28.” That was the usual signal to readers that the following items were copied from the latest London newspaper to arrive in Philadelphia.Then...Show More Summary

Shelby Foote’s Flawed Understanding of Slavery and the Civil War

I don’t want to get into a debate about whether or not Shelby Foote is properly described as a historian. What I can say is that after reading an interview […]

Cornwallis and the Women of America

While Ben Franklin’s World host Liz Covart was at Mount Vernon recently, an interpreter gave her a paper with this quotation attributed to Gen. Cornwallis: “We may destroy all the men in America, and we shall still have all we can do...Show More Summary

Julian Peters’s Battle of Québec

Julian Peters is a comics creator from Montréal, Canada. Among his current projects is a graphic novel about the 1759 siege of Québec, in which Gen. James Wolfe took the city from Gen. Louis-Joseph de Montcalm.On this webpage, Peters...Show More Summary

A Filled-In Trench in Charleston?

Here’s an archeological find that caught my eye several weeks back, as reported in the Post and Courier of Charleston, South Carolina:The Historic Charleston Foundation has been researching the rear yard behind its Aiken Rhett HouseShow More Summary

Minute Man Park Presentations in August

Here are free public presentations scheduled for today and the rest of August in Minute Man National Historical Park.Saturday, 5 August, and Sunday, 6 August, at 2:00 P.M.The Wayside Living History PlayersThe Wayside, 455 Lexington Road...Show More Summary

To Hell With Your Confederate Heritage

Catherine Templeton, who is running to be South Carolina’s next governor, had this to say in response to critics who took issue with her position on the display of Confederate […]

The Massachusetts Militia, and Its Exceptional Men

Next week I’ll be one of the presenters at a teachers’ workshop organized by Minute Man National Historical Park. My topic will be the Massachusetts militia system and that institution’s role in The Road to Concord. Preparing for that session, I’ve been reviewing the Massachusetts militia laws. Show More Summary

How Should This Battle Flag Be Interpreted?

It’s been two years since the Confederate battle flag was removed from the State House in Columbia, South Carolina, following the brutal murders committed by Dylann Roof in Charleston. The […]

Who Was Behind Samuel Adams’s 1776 “Oration”?

Another reason to doubt that Samuel Adams actually wrote and delivered the oration credited to him by a London pamphlet of 1776 is that he wasn’t known as an orator. For example, when the town of Boston commissioned annual orations from 1771 into the 1800s on the Fifth of March or the Fourth of July, Adams never took on the task of speaking. Show More Summary

“Purporting to have been delivered by Samuel Adams”

Yesterday I described an oration that Samuel Adams delivered in Philadelphia on 1 Aug 1776—or at least that was what a pamphlet published in London said.In his 1865 biography of Adams, descendant William V. Wells wrote:There appeared...Show More Summary

The Philadelphia Oration of Samuel Adams

In late 1776 a pamphlet appeared in London with the title:An Oration Delivered at the State-House, in Philadelphia, to a very numerous Audience, on Thursday the 1st of August, 1776; by Samuel Adams, Member of the the General Congress of the of America. Show More Summary

England Expects (note on Dunkirk)

First of all, let nobody say Christopher Nolan lacks a sense of humor: for the second time, he’s kept Tom Hardy under a voice-distorting face mask for almost an entire movie. I am morally certain that Nolan understands this as a wink to the audience as well as a challenge to Hardy; the director likes […]

The Long Retreat of Confederate Heritage

I found this detailed timeline at a website called The Confederate Society of America. It is difficult to tell whether it is comprehensive, but it certainly will give you a […]

“Four Loose Cannons” for Download

Last week I had my post-midnight visit with Bradley Jay at WBZ-AM radio. The conversation was fun and detailed and as coherent as I can be that late at night.That segment of the Jay Talking show is now available as a podcast episodeShow More Summary

Capt. John Trull: “Stand trim, men.”

In 1888 Edward W. Pride’s Tewksbury: A Short History recounted the town’s response to the Lexington Alarm and added:One of the Tewksbury men was Eliphalet Manning. One of Captain [John] Trull’s grandsons, Mr. Herbert Trull, often related that when a boy, on his way to Salem, he used to pass Manning’s door. Show More Summary

Empty Pedestals Hold Plenty of Meaning

Historian Caroline Janney published a thoughtful piece this week in The Washington Post in which she warns of the pitfalls of removing Confederate monuments. She focuses specifically on the Heyward […]

The Campaign to Repair and Repaint Spell Hall

The Gen. Nathanael Green Homestead in Coventry, Rhode Island, is using Facebook to raise money to fix up the building’s exterior.The president of the non-profit corporation that maintains the house, Dave Procaccini, says: “we are raising...Show More Summary

“Concord Secrets” at the Concord Museum, 31 July

On the evening of Monday, 31 July, I’ll speak at the Concord Museum on the topic of “Concord Secrets of 1775.”Here’s the event description:In the early spring of 1775, Concord was full of secrets. One prominent farmer was collectingShow More Summary

"Dear Ma. . ." The Civil War Letters of Lieutenant Curtis C. Pollock To Be Published. . .

Lieutenant Curtis C. Pollock Company G, 48th Pennsylvania Infantry {Hoptak Collection} As I have noted many, many times before in posts about the discovery of letters or documents or photographs or what-have-you pertaining to the 48Show More Summary

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