The Week in Early American History

TWEAHWelcome to your weekly roundup of early American history headlines. Now that you’ve aced your presidential history knowledge,  and reviewed this reading list of their lives, it’s on to the links! Continue reading

The Week in Early American History

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I may be imagining things, but it seems that every time I take a turn with TWEAH there’s a major weather event going on outside my window. That may not be the case, but this edition comes to you with the first New England snow of the season. So if you’re stuck inside this morning, or just back from shoveling, take a few minutes to make a hot drink and see where The Junto may lead you.

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Historical Heroes

Albert Gallatin (1848)I don’t like Abraham Lincoln. Working in Springfield, Illinois, that’s not an especially popular viewpoint to hold. Yet it is working in Springfield, Illinois, that has really led me to that conclusion. It’s almost impossible to escape the shadow of Honest Abe here. Bronze statues sit prominently in downtown; all sorts of programs and buildings at my university bear Lincoln’s name. His face even peers out from every license plate in the state. It’s a historical cult of personality that can feel alienating to a revolutionary specialist.

(Though he does have a good nose for sniffing out dodgy car dealers.) Continue reading

The Week in Early American History

TWEAHHappy Mother’s Day! Go call your Mom, then come back and take a look at our weekly round-up.

First, in honor of the holiday, one above-the-fold link: Heather Cox Richardson, writing at the Historical Society blog, looks at the origins of Mother’s Day. Hint: it’s not about “people be[ing] nice to their mothers.”

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The Week in Early American History

Unearthing the Past - UVA MagazineThis week brings a rich harvest of material on slavery, memory, and public history.

First, we have two fascinating filmed conversations. At the Graduate Center at CUNY, James Oakes talks to  Sean Wilentz about his new book, Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865. And at the New-York Historical Society,  Harold Holzer speaks with Tony Kushner on the subject of Lincoln (and, of course, Lincoln).

Next, we take a look into slavery at Jefferson’s university. In an article in University of Virginia Magazine and a blogpost for Encyclopedia Virginia, Brendan Wolfe contextualizes a recent archaeological discovery.

In the Washington Post, meanwhile, J. Freedom du Lac reports on Colonial Williamsburg’s difficulty recruiting slave interpreters. And how did 19th-century African American portray their own emancipations? Good interviews Deborah Willis and Barbara Krauthamer about their photographic history.

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