The Week in Early American History

TWEAHMail service was suspended in New England on Saturday (sadly, a possible harbinger of things to come), but a massive snowstorm (and the pain of shoveling) cannot stop the Junto’s week-in-review post.

It seems odd that the day is passing with relatively little fanfare, but today is actually the 250th anniversary of the Treaty of Paris ending the Seven Years’ War. A momentous occasion with enormous consequences (that were, as often happens, largely unforeseen at the time).

In any event, on with the links!

Dr. Joanne van der Woude of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands has asked us to help her advertise a Ph.D. position at the school in American Studies with an emphasis on early America. If interested, the full advertisement is available on our Fellowships page. (All inquiries should be directed to Dr. van der Woude.)

When statues walk: Follow the story of Frederick Douglass’ role in the D.C. bid for statehood here.

To remember the ladies, please set your DVR: Just in time for Presidents’ Day, C-SPAN’s First Ladies series kicks off on February 18.

Legal eagles, rejoice: A three-volume edition of  St. George Tucker’s Law Reports and Selected Papers, 1782-1825 is now available, drawn from an impressive archive that includes 35 notebooks recording 1,100 cases in the Virginia courts.

Time=money: Thai Jones explores Josiah Warren’s short-lived experiment in “equitable commerce” and the anarchy behind retail therapy.

With a reference to the U.S. Postal Service and its financial troubles at the top of the post, you should also expect some historical perspective: Richard John on the importance of the Post Office in community-building, and someone familiar on the Confederacy’s experiment with forcing the Post Office to operate in the black.

Seven years in the making, the special exhibit “Behold, America!” opens jointly in three San Diego museums, thoughtfully showcasing treasures of early American art in a longer timeline.

Welcome to a new group, the British Association of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, “engaged in progressive, interdisciplinary Americanist scholarship.”

The Omohundro Institutue gathered a number of thoughtful tributes to Alfred Young, which offer glimpses to Young’s personality as well as his influence on the field.

Marcus A. McCorison, longtime Librarian and President of the American Antiquarian Society, died this week at the age of 86. The AAS has scheduled a memorial service for next Saturday in Worcester.

The David Library of the American Revolution has digitized its Guide to the Sol Feinstone Collection, the base of DLAR’s manuscript holdings.

Andrea Stuart discusses her new bookSugar in the Blood, about her family’s history with sugar and slavery in Barbados. She notes that “I realized that this was the truth of it … of my family’s story that … one side of my family had owned another, and that that was as bleak and as straightforward as it got.”

We take a broad view of early America, so we also bring news that researchers at three universities have announced that they have used a DNA (ancient DNA) sampling to uncover the changes wrought by the Aztec conquest in the Xaltocan, which was as they note, “the capital of a pre-Aztec Mexican city-state.”

Ed Ayers, History Guy and President of the University Richmond, contemplates a “more radical online” teaching approach than MOOCs, including highlighting emancipation project.

And finally, it’s not really early America, but it’s not every day that someone announces the discovery of an English monarch’s skeleton in a car park. So we bring you the story of the remains of Richard III, found in Leicester. Of somewhat more direct interest, Catherine Fletcher of the University of Sheffield highlights the publicity around the discovery of the remains as a good time to ask how historians and the media place value on research findings. For us early Americanists, it might be helpful in reading Fletcher’s essay to replace the phrase “kings and queens” with “Founding Fathers.”


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