The Week in Early American History

TWEAHThere’s a lot to get through this week, so let’s jump right into it.

The well-deserved praise for and memories of the late Pauline Maier continue to appear. Richard Bernstein’s obituary, published at H-LAW, includes a touching personal note, while two junior scholars recall with fondness Dr. Maier’s scholarly generosity: Be sure to read David Sehat’s reflections at the S-USIH blog and those of Chris Beneke at The Historical Society Blog.

On the technology, digital history, and open access front, Micah Vandergrift offers a retrospective on what has been dubbed #AHAGate on his blog, and at Digital Sandbox, Jason M. Kelley provides a useful overview of the open access movement and its implications for the historical profession. Meanwhile, Liz Covart of Uncommonplace Book continues her “How to Twitter” series with an entry on History Hashtags.

John Fea shares this interesting episode from his recent tenure review (congrats from your friends at The Junto, Dr. Fea!):

The members of the [tenure] committee thought that the claims Wineburg made (and I developed in my chapter) about the study of history—it humbles us, it makes us hospitable to others, it forces us to see the world through the eyes of others, it relieves us of our narcissism, it educates us, it humanizes us—could be claimed for other disciplines as well.  A philosopher and a scientist on the committee were particularly critical of my historical exceptionalism.  Couldn’t philosophy and the study of the universe accomplish the same tasks?  Perhaps my claims for the study of history were too strong?

David Gleeson and Don MacRaild have started a new blog (The Atlantic Irish), so be sure and read their first post on “The Antebellum Irish and the ‘Gang of Eight’ Bill.” Bloomberg notes that Elon Musk’s proposed hyperloop “owes most of its inspiration to ideas that have been around for two hundred years,” pointing to an 1812 proposal by one George Medhurst for “a plan for the rapid conveyance of goods and passengers … by the power and velocity of air.”  At the Journal of the American Revolution, Matthew Dziennik posted a two-part series on “The American Revolution A-Z.” Click on over to see if you agree with his choices.

Mark Cheathem’s always-excellent blog included a review of Gene Allen Smith’s new book, The Slaves’ Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812, which was then followed up a few days later with an interview of the author. The Religion in American History blog had some great early-American content, including this post by new contributor Laura Arnold Leibman on Jewish marriages in early America and David Komline’s introducing readers to the riches of the Moravian archives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

We’ll wrap things up with week with this exclusive take from The Onion, in which David McCullough “wonders how much scratch he could shake out of Frederick Douglass,” and this stinging rebuke by Clutch‘s Britni Danielle to All Def Digital’s attempt at satirizing how Harriett Tubman came to “run the Underground Railroad.”

Finally, this week’s Tweet of the Week comes from our own Rachel Herrmann:

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