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A Peek in the D.A.R. Library in D.C.

Yesterday I visited the research library at the national headquarters of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, D.C., for the first time. For folks visiting Washington, the library is quite accessible: the building entrance...Show More Summary

The best review of my writing career

With many thanks to Dave Roth, the publisher, for giving me permission to reprint it here, here is Rob Grandchamp’s extraordinary review of “The Devil’s to Pay”: John Buford at Gettysburg. A History and Walking Tour that appears in the current issue of Blue & Gray Magazine. Show More Summary

How Fleetwood Hill looks today….

Here is how Fleetwood Hill looks today, June 1, 2015. This view is taken from the Flat Run Valley, to the south of where Lake Troilo once sat. Thank you to all of you who made this view possible–and especially to Bud Hall, the CivilShow More Summary

A British Comedian on the “New England Stage”

John Bernard (1756-1828) was a British actor of middling success known chiefly for comedies. He toured the U.S. of A. starting in 1797 and wrote his memoirs of the country in a manuscript published as Retrospections of America in 1887. Show More Summary

Camp Servants and Confederate Exceptionalism

Over the past few weeks I’ve made steady progress on my new manuscript, which is now tentatively titled, Searching For Black Confederates: The Civil War’s…

Virginia Takes an Even Less Firm Stand Against the Stamp Act

None of Virginia’s established political leaders liked the Stamp Act. Gov. Francis Fauquier (shown here) had advised his superiors in London against it. John Robinson, speaker of the House of Burgesses, and Peyton Randolph, attorneyShow More Summary

The 48th/150th: The Dead of the 48th Pennsylvania

As initially envisioned and intended, this date--May 30--was, in 1868, originally designated as Decoration Day, a day of solemn remembrance during which Americans were to pause and pay tribute to those who died fighting in defense of the United States during the Civil War. Show More Summary

Virginia Takes a Less Firm Stand Against the Stamp Act

On this date 250 years ago the Virginia House of Burgesses took up the resolutions against the Stamp Act that Patrick Henry had drafted the previous day. Those same legislators had narrowly approved them as a committee of the whole, but this was the official vote. Show More Summary

The High Ground Held

This morning I read through an essay by Robert K. Sutton about the National Park Service’s Holding the High Ground initiative, which grew out of…

Virginia Considers a Firm Stand Against the Stamp Act

Britain’s North American colonies had a chance to weigh in on the Stamp Act before Parliament passed it, as described back here. All of them said it would be a Bad Thing. Few or none offered any alternative way for the Crown to raise revenue for its army on the continent. Show More Summary

An idea whose time has come….

My friend Craig Swain has a very thought-provoking post on his blog indicating that the time has come for the founding of a state battlefield park in Culpeper County, Virginia. I commend it to you. One would be hard-pressed to find a...Show More Summary

Advertising-Supported

I”m sorry I didn’t spot this blog when it was running. In December 2013 and January 2014, the “Begs leaves to acquaint his subscribers” blog reproduced advertisements from the Boston Gazette for the corresponding weeks in 1771 and 1772.The...Show More Summary

An End to Disunion

This Sunday the New York Times’s Disunion column will come to an end. I am going to miss it. The column brought together academic and…

Who Was Crispus Attucks’s Father?

Many websites and books identify Crispus Attucks’s father as Prince Yongey (or Young or Jonar), based on the fact that Framingham records say a man of that name married Nancy Peterattuck on 19 May 1737.However, according to William Brown’s runaway advertisements, “Crispas” was about twenty-seven years old in 1750. Show More Summary

Is a Public Memory of Reconstruction Possible?

The New York Times has a feature up today in which they ask a group of historians to reflect on how Reconstruction ought to be…

Sorting Out the Versions of Crispus Attucks

This is a view from the Crispus Attucks Footbridge in Framingham, built near the area where he was reportedly born and worked for William Brown. And it looks like a good place to pause and reflect about how to reconcile the conflicting...Show More Summary

How a Pennsylvania high school got the name Grand Army of the Republic

In the rapidly growing Pennsylvania city of Wilkes-Barre in the 1920s, the school board readily approved construction of a new high school. Then the big question was what to name it. On the board were three sons of Civil War veterans and one of them, John A. Show More Summary

The Last Relics of Crispus Attucks

William Cooper Nell wasn’t the only Boston author researching the Boston Massacre in the nineteenth century. Another was Frederic Kidder, who published his History of the Boston Massacre in 1870. In one footnote he wrote:Crispus Attucks is described as a mulatto; he was born in Framingham near the Chochituate lake and not far from the line of Natick. Show More Summary

More Information about the Attucks Family

In 1860 the historian and activist William C. Nell addressed a crowd at the ninetieth anniversary of the Boston Massacre. That event took place in an auditorium called the Meionaon, part of the Tremont Temple. [Why don’t we have a Meionaon...Show More Summary

Because Nothing Says Memorial Day Like a Confederate Flag Burning

Artist John Sims and Julian Chambliss, chairman of the Department of History and Africa and African-American Studies program at Rollins College in Florida, will spend…

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