The Week in Early American History

TWEAHLet’s cool off with some early American history headlines. To the links!

Paths to Power: SUNY-Buffalo students currently excavating the old Erie Canal neighborhood invite the public to visit the site, talk to archeologists, and view artifacts. A history buff in search of a retirement home acquired a campsite and portage route on the Lewis and Clark Trail, and now hopes to avert construction of a $200 million transmission line on the Columbia River property. The BBC journeyed to Virginia and interviewed members of the six Native American tribes currently seeking formal recognition from the U.S. government. Also: Taylor Stoermer investigates the “Tory myth;” Craig Fehrman of The Los Angeles Times looks away to the dedication of the Jefferson Davis Library; and Corey Robin weighs in on “Libertarianism, the Confederacy, and Historical Memory.”

Sight, Sense, Spectacle, and Sound: Over at Religion in American History, Ben Wetzel reviews Richard M. Gamble’s In Search of the City on a Hill, highlighting Gamble’s “persuasive argument and admirable conclusion, which calls present-day Christians to think more discerningly about the differences between the City of God and the City of Man.” In 18th-century news, Holly A. Mayer describes how reading Johnny Tremain led her to study Moses Hazen and the lives of camp followers, and also what to include on your next Revolutionary reading list. Want to read notes on a scandal? Students at Lehigh University have created a 16-episode miniseries covering the Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings controversy, with a timeline and related resources. “It’s the summer of 1814, and the British are coming”: Oh, say?! There’s still time to catch 1814! The War of 1812 Rock Opera, at Washington, D.C.’s Fringe Festival. Once you’ve learned the lyrics, take a break and check out Amanda Moniz’s blog for a sweet taste of American history through desserts.

Elsewhere, Danielle Skeehan reconstructs the soundscape of the Middle Passage, which “relied on the human voice, the body, and the ship—rather than traditional instruments—to make sound. Notably, these sounds are produced by people using the material conditions of their imprisonment—instruments of labor, chains, and the ship itself.” Amid the spate of superhero sequels, take a look at the trailer for 12 Years a Slave (rating:R; in theaters, Oct. 2013) and learn more about Solomon Northup here. A reenactment of 1st Battle of Bull Run (1st Manassas, 21 July 1861) is on view here.

New Arrivals: The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association has named Dr. Douglas Bradburn to serve as founding director of The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, slated to open on 27 Sept. And in Worcester, Massachusetts, Molly O’Hagan Hardy will join the American Antiquarian Society this fall as Digital Humanities Curator. Welcome, all!

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