The Week in Early American History

TWEAHIt’s hard to believe that the end of June is already upon us. This week features one of the biggest events of the Civil War sesquicentennial with the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. Look for more on that event (both 150 years ago and today) in next week’s edition. Meanwhile, on to this week’s links!

Have you ever wondered where in time a historian would go if he had the chance? The Journal of the American Revolution has the answer to that question (and 11 others) in Todd Andrlik’s interview with T.H. Breen.

A very NSFW post about a seventeenth-century sex manual from The Appendix.

Gordon Wood takes to the NYRB letters section to defend the proposition that Sally Hemings bore children by Thomas Jefferson, with reference to Annette Gordon-Reed’s magnificent work on the topic.

Writing in the Boston Review, Pamela Karlan uses Second Amendment jurisprudence to poke a Justice Scalia-sized hole in the theory of originalism.

Guys, people in the seventeenth century drank lots of coffee, coffee houses served as hubs of early modern “social media,” and The New York Times is ON IT.

Caleb McDaniel has a great post up on his research blog about re-figuring how many slaves were transported to Texas to evade the Union Army during the Civil War.

According to Fortune magazine, the Civil War was about tariffs. Yes, apparently we’re having that discussion again. Mark Cheathem at Jacksonian America takes the honors to explain on a state-by-state basis how badly wrong the piece is. (As a number of commenters have noted, those interested may also wish to consult Brian Schoen’s book, The Fragile Fabric of Union: Cotton, Federal Politics, and the Global Origins of the Civil War.)

Meanwhile, back at the Revolution, J.L. Bell compares the capitalization on early printings of the Declaration of Independence.

We have several posts on professional life for you. Katherine Harris, an English professor at San Jose State, has a wonderful if horrifying post that quantifies the precarious financial life of a professor. (She previously wrote about an experiment she conducted to see whether she could afford to have a child. Warning: it gets ugly.)

On a similar note, Joshua Carp at Order of Education announces the creation of GradPay, a crowdsourced project to evaluate graduate student stipends.

From Savvy Writers comes a guide to just what rights you have and are signing over to the publisher when you sign a book contract.

And Katrina Gulliver writes at Inside Higher Ed that we should display more gratitude in our dealings with other scholars.

When it’s my turn to do TWEAH, you get a sub-section on The Week in Post Office History (I know, I know, and I’m sorry, but I really can’t do this every week). This week, word from our neighbors to the north that the Canadian government will celebrate the 250th anniversary of Canadian postal service with a stamp honoring its founder: Benjamin Franklin. And at Historying, Cameron Blevins analyzes financial data on the Post Office Department to learn more about which part of the country was a drag on the bottom line in the 19th century.

Finally, we leave you with a not-at-all-early-American history video clip from my recent research trip, promoting the use of ZIP codes in the 1960s.

One response

  1. It’s kind of crazy, and I wonder if it tells us anything interesting, that the Jefferson/Hemings thing is still being challenged, and that Wood actually had to respond to it.


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