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Posts Tagged ‘2011’

Announcement: May 21 Deadline for R&AC Conference Special Rates

We interrupt the regular blog schedule to make a brief but important announcement from Philip Goff, Professor of Religious Studies and American Studies and director of the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture.

May 21 is the deadline for special rates for registration and rooms at the JW Marriott Hotel. The Biennial Conference on Religion and American Culture is slated for June 4-7, 2015, and online registration is now open.

Until May 21, registration fees are $60 for students and $110 for professionals. Thereafter the fees will be $85 and $135, respectively.

A special conference rate of $99 per night (plus taxes) has been made available for a block of rooms thanks to support from Lilly Endowment. That special rate will end once that block of rooms is sold out, but rooms must be booked by May 21. The rate will then be the JW Marriott’s regular rate.

Register and make your hotel registration at www.raac.iupui.edu. The full slate of sessions and speakers is available on the website.

Photo Credit: Daniel Schwen, “Central Canal and Indianapolis skyline,” 2008

Happy 7th Birthday (+ 1 week) to RiAH!

Paul Harvey

Hey, a week ago today was the 7th birthday for this blog, and the fact that I forgot about it entirely should give you youngsters a little clue about life in your 50s. Wait, where are my glasses? It’s true that this blog began as a self-promotional lark, but somehow it has grown into a wonderfully enriching professional community, and my thanks to all who have been a part of that.

So, happy birthday to us! (and happy 6th birthday as well to John Fea’s blog, the first-born child of our blog here). We have some changes ongoing right now which will be fully implemented in the fall. As you can see from our masthead, Cara Burnidge (just named a new assistant professor at University of Northern Iowa !!!!) and Michael Hammond are moving into the roles of co-blogmeisters, while I settle into the balcony chairs of Statler and Waldorf. My thanks to Cara and Michael for transitioning the blog into a new era, while I just try to remember where I put my keys and my glasses.

As you have seen as well, we have a couple of new bloggers coming on board. For those interested in writing for the blog, please contact Cara and let her know your interests. Our facebook and twitter followings have both exceeded 1,500 and are going strong, and my thanks to our team of social media gurus for keeping that going — that would be Carol Faulkner and Trevor Burrows on the facebook side, and Paul Putz and Michael Hammond on the Twitter side.

I’ll stick around for a few months for the transition, but hope to be settled into my retirement home sometime this fall. Until then, thanks for reading, blogging, commenting, facebooking and tweeting our posts. And for those who wish to write directly to me, please do so in large print.

The American Indian Empowerment Act of 2011 (H.R.3532 )

On December 1, 2011, Congressman Don Young, R-Ak, introduced the American Indian Empowerment Act of 2011 that would allow Native nations to request that the Secretary of the Interior take tribal lands out of trust status and convey them to the individual tribe.  This would convert federal trust lands to a restricted fee tribal land status.

As currently written, this legislation would ensure that the lands retain their Indian Country status, keeping out state taxation and jurisdiction, and include the ability of Native nations to pass tribal laws on their lands and conduct other business.

You can read the short bill on the Library of Congress link: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:h.r.3532:

Here's what Indian Country Today said about the legislation:

The American Indian Empowerment Act would allow tribes to lease their lands without having to gain approval from the Secretary of the Interior and would grant tribes to enact laws that preempt federal laws or regulations governing the tribe’s land.

Rep. Don Young, chairman of the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs and a co-sponsor of the bill said: “This bill is going . . .  empower[ ] America’s first people to use their lands the way they see fit . . . For those who say this legislation is too ‘radical’, I say that that’s exactly what is needed. America’s tribes are sitting on valuable lands that contain countless resources, yet every time they try to develop that land, the Federal Government is standing in their way playing big brother.”

Rep. Dan Boren, D-Ok, co-sponsored the bill:  “I am pleased to work with Chairman Young on this bill, which would bring more sovereignty to tribes across the country.” 

Read more: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2011/12/01/american-indian-empowerment-act-introduced-65350#ixzz1nLTQaC00

The White House Christmas Card: 2011

It’s Christmas
Eve.  I think this is the latest I’ve
ever waited to post about the official White House Christmas Card since Istarted posting a picture of the card in 2006.  
Over the
last couple of years it has been more difficult than usual to find a mention of
the card, but this year I’ve actually dreaded writing about it.   No, I’m not bored with the process.   I still think the whole history of the official
White House Christmas Cards is an interesting topic.   I like to see the particular cards sent by
each administration, how the artwork was chosen, who the artist might happen to
be…..I love the whole idea of the card…..but the controversies over the last
year are getting old.
folks think particular cards fall too far on the side of Christianity with
Bible verses, etc. while other folks get upset because the card might lack even
a hint that it’s a Christmas card.
appears to be no happy medium.
This year
the card features a view of the White House Library with President Obama’s dog,
Bo, sleeping by the fireplace.  The
inside of the card reads, “From our family to yours, may your holidays shine
with the light of the season.”    The
presidential seal is also included inside the card.

artwork for the card was produced by Mark Matuszak, an artist from Los Angeles,
California.  In an interview published by
The Times, Matuszak said the White House asked him for “something home related”.   He
produced the artwork and then used Photoshop to insert the Obama’s dog into the
I actually
like this scene since this is not a White House view that has been used in the
past.  It also uses a piece of White
House artwork which is another interest of mine.   The painting by Georgia O’Keeffe from 1930
titled Mountain at Bear Lake – Taos hangs in the library over the
fireplace.  The lovely table featured in
the scene is loaded with wrapped presents beneath a huge red poinsettia. 
There are
no laws or protocol governing the cards other than tradition.  The First Lady’s office works on the
Christmas card design, but ultimately the President and First Lady make the
final choice.   
This year’s
card follows along with many past cards that featured  interior views of the White House while other cards feature exterior views.  Yet former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah
Palin has found issues with the card stating it fails to accentuate “family,
faith, and freedom.”
I think
the naysayers would find something wrong with the card no matter what the
design was.   There certainly were a
number of comments made regarding the choices the Bush White House chose for
the card during his administration.
about the Christmas card aisle at your favorite store.  There are boxes and boxes of the cards with
each having a different design and focus.  
Some are very religious, some are humorous, some have pastoral scenes,
and then others follow the Santa theme.
design is a Christmas card whether we personally like it or not, and this year’s
White House Christmas card follows along with the same theme as many other
White House cards have done in the past.    

At some point it comes down to a matter of personal taste and what you think is appropriate.

A Brace of Bunker Hill Authors in 2011

This season has brought two new books on the Battle of Bunker Hill and surrounding events, and both authors will be speaking in Boston over the next two days.

On Thursday, 16 June, Prof. Paul Lockhart of Wright State University will lecture at the Massachusetts Historical Society on his book The Whites of Their Eyes: Bunker Hill, the First American Army, and the Emergence of George Washington. His previous books include The Drillmaster of Valley Forge: The Baron de Steuben and the Making of the American Army.

This talk is co-sponsored by the Longfellow House–Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site in Cambridge, now offering free tours every Wednesday through Sunday. Lockhart’s lecture is free and open to the public, with refreshments before and books for sale after, but the historical society asks people to reserve a space in advance.

On Friday, 17 June, James L. Nelson will be the orator at the Bunker Hill Day Commemorative Exercises. His latest book is With Fire and Sword: The Battle of Bunker Hill and the Beginning of the American Revolution. The exercises at the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown start at 10:00 A.M., following a religious service and a parade.

Nelson is the author of George Washington’s Secret Navy, Benedict Arnold’s Navy, and George Washington’s Great Gamble, as well as some award-winning maritime historical fiction. With Fire and Sword might be Nelson’s first book about fighting over (gasp!) land. But of course Royal Navy gunners were the first British to fire on the provincials building their redoubt on Breed’s Hill.

Memorial Day 2011

At the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg

Thousands came out to commemorate Memorial Day here in Gettysburg last Monday and congregated in the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. The parade preceding the the ceremony in the burial grounds was colorful, frequently inspiring (especially with the aged veterans), and at times, unusual. Nevertheless, the commemorations were largely fitting and scores of people from all over the nation and the world were present. The photo above, I feel, represents the best of Memorial Day – with Americans of all ages and backgrounds gathering to pay homage in a common purpose of remembering and honoring the past.

The Soldiers’ National Cemetery is the final resting place of over 3,500 Civil War dead who were killed amidst the Gettysburg Campaign. At the symbolic and physical center of the semi-circle are the of graves stands the Soldiers’ National Monument, which is a memorial not only to the soldiers themselves but the very thing they fought for – Union. Although their portion of the cemetery composes the majority of burials on the site, there are approximately 3,000 veterans from subsequent American conflicts in the annex and surrounding sections. These combatants too fought for many of the same ideals of their 1860s predecessors.

One of the first portions of the parade to enter the National Cemetery were Confederate Living Historians. However, the burial place was intended solely for the Federal dead of the battle. The vast majority of Confederates who perished at Gettysburg remained on the field where they had fallen for nearly a decade. Not until the 1870s were many of them relocated to Richmond, Virginia’s Hollywood Cemetery, Raleigh, North Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia. Historians are aware of approximately ten southerners who were misidentified and laid to rest in an all “Yankee” cemetery.

This sight was perhaps the most curious of scenes from the parade. I will allow you to form your own opinion. I will say, however, the photo led to some interesting philosophical and social questions amongst some of my friends. How might you incorporate this image in the historical context of Memorial Day?

Mr. James Getty as Abraham Lincoln is a common facet of Memorial Day and Remembrance Day ceremonies throughout Gettysburg. For several decades now, he has been known as one of the most prominent Lincoln Presenters. His presentation of the Gettysburg Address never ceases to entertain and enlighten.

A great color guard of New York Fire Zouaves. (Unfortunately, the flags are blocking their pretty awesome 1860s fire helmets.)

An interesting array of reenactors portraying soldiers from numerous American Wars, including the Revolution, War of 1812, Mexican War, and World Wars.

The array of Living Historians chronicled Korea through Vietnam as well.

Former and current Marines enter the gates of the National Cemetery.

A young sailor depicting a WWII serviceman (who obviously received loving recognition from some young lady).

A reenactor depicting a Vietnam-era paratrooper of the 101st Airborne.

Another rather unusual sight was a Robert E. Lee reenactor driving a silver convertible with the Stars and Bars and Virginia State Flag fluttering from the car. (Also note the Lee license plate.) This one definitely had more horsepower than Lee’s original Traveller. One again, what are we to take from this manner of historical commemoration?

A Confederate officer salutes veterans watching the parade.

Another encouraging scene was young people, including these Boy Scouts, laying flags, flowers, and wreaths upon the graves of the veterans. What a great way to nurture a personal connection to this historic site.

Vice Admiral John M. Mateczum was the main speaker at the Memorial Service. He delivered a speech which was quite good and personal. In his address, he remembered a former aid who volunteered to do a tour duty in the Middle East and was unfortunately killed in the line of duty. It is the common sacrifice of combatants from multiple American Wars which draw us to sacred sites such as Gettysburg. We yearn for that personal connection to our past as well as our present.

Just when I thought I saw plenty of colorful scenes that Memorial Day, I traversed to the Pennsylvania Monument on the battlefield. There, the CNN Express, Fox News, and scores of other news organizations awaited the arrival of Sarah Palin and her family. (She largely evaded their presence, however.) What can we learn from all of these photos? I’m sure each of us have our own answer. Likewise, I think it is safe to say that Gettysburg and other National Parks and historic sites represent very different things to very different people. But this is what the National Parks are all about – being able to pilgrimage to a place to reflect, connect, promote, and/or enjoy for diverse reasons. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on commemoration and memory.

Twitter Feed, 27 Feb–10 Mar 2011

  • RT @executedtoday: If judge overruling jury’s death sentence betrays #amrev Revolution ow.ly/440AL does it work the other way around? #
  • @JBD1 Boylston Street Borders to remain open till April. How many books will be left then? #
  • RT @amhistorymuseum: Today in 1807: Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is born in Portland, Maine. ow.ly/3Nltm #
  • Via @bencarp, Kermit the Frog reports on Boston Tea Party: bit.ly/es3IC1 (Accents almost as much fun as in JOHN ADAMS miniseries.) #
  • From RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, essay by Colonial Williamsburg junior interpreter on portraying slave: bit.ly/gwr1QY (h/t @KevinLevin) #
  • @HannahMCrocker Interesting use of “Dutch” to mean German in re Christopher Seider. #
  • Old North Church in Boston to offer grade 5-12 teacher workshop in April on “Tories, Timid or True Blue?” website: bit.ly/dG0VZA #
  • Society of Early Americanists’ meeting in Philadelphia this week: is.gd/VbfC1z (h/t @JBD1) #
  • From NY TIMES, James & Benjamin Franklin on opposite sides of smallpox inoculaton issue, and later death of Ben’s son: nyti.ms/fKdALh #
  • RT @history_book: The Ties That Buy: Women and Commerce in Revolutionary America – Ellen Hartigan-O’Connor. amzn.to/fB81Ei #
  • RT @franceshunter: Meet Edward Coles — the anti-Jefferson: ow.ly/45CKu // A path not taken often enough in early republic. #
  • RT @HistoricNE: We’re looking for a senior membership mgr., based at Otis House in Boston. bit.ly/ihdn7c #
  • RT @history_book: With Fire & Sword: The Battle of Bunker Hill & Beginning of American Revolution – James L. Nelson. amzn.to/eyoQqj #
  • Hmmm. I know of another high-profile book about Bunker Hill battle on the way. #
  • RT @WilliamHogeland: New post in my series “Founding Finance” for @NewDeal20. tinyurl.com/6eyb44c #
  • RT @myHNN: Resolution could honor little-known Revolutionary War history bit.ly/gGNzEP #
  • RT @myHNN: Public weighs in on Battle of Camden park bit.ly/eJ5FbV // Like every nation, we tend to do better remembering victories. #
  • RT @lucyinglis: Reading about how the spread of pawn shops encouraged the growth of burglary in Georgian London. ‘Svery interesting. #
  • RT @illustr8r: Real Estate Developer Donates #Washington History Collection to GWU bit.ly/e7bos2 #revwar #
  • Tonight at 7:00, lecture on “That Detestable Herb” and the 1773 tea boycott, Loring-Greenough House in Jamaica Plain: www.jphs.org/ #
  • From the Beehive, a poem on the dreadful winter of 1779-80: bit.ly/guMkmm #RevWar #
  • Nominations for George Washington Book Prize from Washington College in Chestertown, MD: bit.ly/ynbVi #
  • The booming caricature business in Georgian London: bit.ly/etShE6 Have political cartoons advanced since then? #
  • RT @AmericanHistFF: Need an antique or a reproduction of United States map? We have a nice selection! ht.ly/45LL9 #
  • RT @CapitolHistory: Today in 1805 VP Aaron Burr bid the Senate farewell while under indictment for killing Alexander Hamilton during a duel. #
  • For 200 years, Aaron Burr was the only US VP to shoot someone while in office. #
  • RT @vahistorical: Ed Lengel’s lecture “George Washington in Myth & Memory” is now online: tiny.cc/yalin. #rva #va #
  • RT @NewportHistory: Join us tomorrow night at 5:30pm for presentation about Jamestown, RI’s history bit.ly/gKz3sh #
  • RT @NYHistory: Today in 1769, DeWitt Clinton, NY governor, scholar, proponent of Erie Canal, is born. His portrait: on.fb.me/fZfMDl #
  • New issue of Colonial Williamsburg Journal, w/articles on letter-writing, Trumbull’s art, living history, Civil War: bit.ly/9LugN7 #
  • AGE OF FRACTURE, Daniel T. Rodgers’s intellectual history of late 20th century: bit.ly/hFWa7j (Out of period, but in the family) #
  • RT @melissacwalker: ♥a book about Revolutionary-time girls being badass. Thanks to Laurie Halse Anderson, natch. su.pr/AfWaEO #
  • RT @LiteraryRob: This tree (and its legend) will never die. bit.ly/g25cQJ // Historical background: bit.ly/heKWw1 #
  • RT @amhistorymuseum: Today in 1807: Congress outlaws importation of slaves. See artifacts from the slave trade: ow.ly/457N7 #
  • From one of @2nerdyhistgirls, report on talk by Edward Lengel, author of INVENTING GEORGE WASHINGTON: bit.ly/eBRl4D #
  • Illustrations by Mead Schaeffer from 1931 biography of George Washington: bit.ly/i44CLA #
  • RT @derekwbeck: The Statuettes of George S. Stuart — Part 1: Political Leaders of 1775 bit.ly/eFr3L0 #
  • RT @history_book: Remaking Custom: Law and Identity in the Early American Republic – Ellen Holmes Pearson. amzn.to/hT7AuI #
  • Did #RevWar start in Vermont? Revolutionary Westminster: From Massacre to Statehood – Jessie Haas – History Press. amzn.to/i1voTx #
  • RT @NYPLMaps: E.D. Morel’s “Sketch of the Northern part of Africa 1790″ (note trans-Saharan trade route) bit.ly/h6QPxn #
  • RT @JBD1: AGR: Interpretation of Monticello as a plantation instead of just a house with cool gadgets in it will change view of TJ #sea11 #
  • RT @historytavern: The History Tavern: where the past is always on tap: Propaganda in the American Revolution bit.ly/hsW6R3 #
  • RT @JBD1: Announcement – 2013 SEA conference will be in Savannah! #sea11 #sea13 (just to lay the groundwork) #
  • RT @JBD1: Final paper: Jordan Stein – “Can we have sex in the archives?” #sea11 (thanks the half-dozen folks who actually shared stories) #
  • From the Millions, Janet Potter on reading bios of the first 15 US Presidents: bit.ly/ic2Y2z #
  • Speaking of which, Ron Chernow’s WASHINGTON wins history prize from New-York Hist Socy: nyti.ms/dLGQsz #
  • From @caleb_crain in 2005, the unnecessary, pretentious, impractical luxury of deckled edges: bit.ly/gYZkE3 Hear, hear! #
  • RT @lynneguist: Pahk Yuh Cah: Non-Rhotic New England | Dialect Blog bit.ly/fBnwTw #
  • From the New-York Hist Socy, artifacts of 18th-century haberdashery merchant Mary Alexander: bit.ly/hEh0YY #
  • Upcoming programs at American Antiquarian Socy include @bencarp on Tea Party, Kendall on Webster, Ellis on Adamses. bit.ly/gmWwfI #
  • RT @theurbanologist: Talking Tea Party: J. Adams remembers. Interesting and revealing words. t.co/QiizQ0B #
  • NY TIMES review of Imogen Robertson’s INSTRUMENTS OF DARKNESS, forensic mystery set in 1780 England: nyti.ms/i2v6Gj #
  • From WtBerkshires: “Washington favored bold, complex battle plans requiring close coordination of many detachments.” bit.ly/fZAIXS #
  • From C-SPAN2, three hours with Pauline Maier on US Constitution ratification: cs.pn/ffAq6Q #
  • From WALL ST JOURNAL, Maya Jasanoff on five best books about Loyalists: on.wsj.com/hzjyzI (Not including her new one) #RevWar #
  • Some covers of STARTLING #COMICS featuring the Fighting Yank superhero: bit.ly/f4XT40 For background: bit.ly/g16v3b #
  • RT @lucyinglis: Reading a medical tract on ‘simple operations’ for the scrotum, 1771. // Before effective anesthesia, too! #
  • RT @WilliamHogeland: My series on American #finance wars in the founding era. Will startle. tinyurl.com/4o699kc #RevWar #
  • George Washington’s teeth and more at Minnesota Hist Socy thru May: bit.ly/feEP5d (h/t @illustr8r) #
  • RT @56Signers: Hopkins not immune 2 ths paradox. Jefferson, Carroll, Rutledge, Franklin & other signers all said slavery wrong but had own. #
  • RT @marianpl: “Finding Your Ancestors in New England Poverty Records”, come to the talk 3/8/11 in Andover, MA #genealogy ow.ly/49mAx #
  • Exploring artifacts of printer Isaiah Thomas’s life at American Antiquarian Socy, which he founded after becoming rich: bit.ly/efgx6Z #
  • Annette Gordon-Reed presents paper on Hemings family in 1800s at Schlesinger Library, Harvard, 10 Mar, 5:30: bit.ly/hSdMl7 #
  • RT @JBD1: Paul Erickson’s review of the play “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” is in the new interim Common-place is.gd/aPTQIW #
  • RT @vahistorical: VHS creating searchable online slave database. Dominion grant will fund this AA history project. #
  • RT @RagLinen: Silence Dogood Rides Again: Blogging the frontiers of early American history – ow.ly/49zJ1 #
  • Start of the #RevWar as seen by Salem couple, portrayed at Old South Meetinghouse, Boston, Thurs, 11 Mar, 12:15: bit.ly/eYIUDq #
  • Webinar with Marian Pierre-Louis on finding people in New England records of the poor, 2 Apr, 1:00: bit.ly/fljajp #genealogy #
  • I’ll moderate panel on #RevWar start at Old South, Boston, next Thurs, 17 Mar: bit.ly/fnb7K0 “Moderate” may mean “stir up trouble.” #
  • Latest COMMON-PLACE now has #comics, but with awkward and unnecessary digital page turns, so I’m not reading it. bit.ly/fDF1P3 #
  • At COMMON-PLACE, “How Photo-Flo and elbow grease are saving New England’s historic cemeteries”: bit.ly/hwXdpt #
  • RT @marianpl: Symbolic Past: #gravestone of Samuel Abbot, Andover, MA – 1769 killed by a cart at age 6. #genealogy ow.ly/4b2RP #
  • From Early American Crime, Rhode Island man becomes paranoid, kills family. How did neighbors of 1715 understand that? bit.ly/fIBKJD #
  • RT @Taylor_Stoermer: Check out CW’s podcast of Susan Kern discussing her new book, “The Jeffersons at Shadwell”: bit.ly/g7IwK6 #
  • RT @dereklan: Is Readex good or bad for historical research? // Yes. #
  • RT @AdeTinniswood: My NPR interview about America’s Barbary Wars is posted here n.pr/fqnXIP #
  • RT @librarycongress: Stories of American Loyalists Subject of Book and Discussion: 1.usa.gov/gxwSrI #RevWar #
  • RT @Harvard_Press: An intellectual history of our own time is hard to pull off, but Dan Rodgers has “done it well” bit.ly/e2BvNV #
  • RT @illustr8r: National Museum of American History Embarks on Conservation of #Jefferson’s edited Bible tinyurl.com/4nkmw7w #
  • RT @harveyjkaye: On Thomas Paine and politics today (VIDEO) bit.ly/dHf1SX #
  • RT @NYHistory: Looking back at America’s historic relationship with North Africa bit.ly/gx89hh // foreign tribute 1/6 of US budget #
  • Autopsy of the Chevalier d’Eon, the talk of late 1700s London, in 1810: bit.ly/gz4D32 (h/t @lucyinglis) #
  • Discussion of sources on French Revolution at Massachusetts Hist Socy, particularly in John Adams family papers: bit.ly/heht2b #
  • Young Dutch woman in 18th-century Moroccan harem—or was she giving readers the titillation they wanted? bit.ly/fpY85F #
  • Dutch sailor left on desert island in 1725 for child rape, and goes mad: bit.ly/e0QV75 #
  • I’ll speak about Gen. Washington’s intelligence at Longfellow House-Washington’s HQ on #EvacuationDay, Mar 17: tinyurl.com/yhnvdb4 #

Twitter Feed, 22-26 Feb 2011

After two weeks off the air, Loudtwitter returned as silently as it had disappeared.

  • From NY TIMES, tryouts for the Washington Nationals’ “Racing Presidents” mascots (incl. Washington, Jefferson): nyti.ms/eJYwaw #
  • BOSTON GLOBE editorial about statue of Dr Joseph Warren, now at school where he studied (and briefly taught): bit.ly/fVyly1 #
  • In Dr Warren’s day, Roxbury Latin was public school in Roxbury. Now a private school in West Roxbury suburb. Class issues arise. #
  • Boston Tree Party wants volunteers to plant apple trees in city this spring: bit.ly/fGtJi2 (Dr. Warren’s father would approve.) #
  • From NY TIMES oped page, Scott Casper on “Rebranding Mount Vernon” in late 1800s: nyti.ms/dVrLf9 #
  • Website for PBS documentary on Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of George Washington: tinyurl.com/4gqzcny (h/t @illustr8r) #
  • From Ta-Nehisi Coates, remembering Oney Judge, escapee from the Presidential mansion: bit.ly/hiczM2 #
  • Monticello scholars using Google track some of Thos Jefferson’s books to Washington U in St. Louis: bit.ly/gkKTEI (h/t @elektratig) #
  • RT @NewDeal20: Palin & Bachmann Would Call 18th-c. Philadelphia Freedom Fighters ‘Un-American’” bit.ly/hXR8Vh by @WilliamHogeland #
  • RT @WilliamHogeland: I’m writing new series “Founding Finance” for @newdeal20 www.newdeal20.org/ Economic radicalism of the 18thC. #
  • RT @bencarp: Why the President Got Sexified shar.es/3YbMY // Did it really start with JFK? What about Pierce, Harding? #
  • RT @bencarp: Now listed as a prize-winner: Defiance of the Patriots, Yale University Press shar.es/3Yopk #
  • RT @amhistorymuseum: Today in 1792: Postal Service Act regulates US Post Office Department. ow.ly/1br0sp #
  • RT @amhistorymuseum: Today in 1885: The Washington Monument is dedicated. Image of it during construction: ow.ly/3Nkab #
  • RT @2nerdyhistgirls: In honor of birthday: the ever-evolving Washington Cake: bit.ly/gVVK0Y #historicfood #President’sDay #
  • RT @A FBurialGrndNPS: #Virginia’s Great Dismal Swamp hosted self-emancipated #Africans in 18th century: ow.ly/3ZZS2 #
  • RT @BostonHistory: Historic Newspapers – Original or reprint? How to tell the difference. ow.ly/40EYc #
  • RT @TheOnion: Report: Presidents Washington Through Bush May Have Lied About Key Matters onion.com/aCKr0k #presidentsday #
  • RT @smithsonian How do curators @amhistorymuseum authenticate objects? Washington’s masonic apron, pt 1 ow.ly/41haD #
  • RT @Taylor_Stoermer: joys of the long s. RT @footnotesrising: just searched on “apoftolic” in early american imprints and got 1244 results? #
  • RT @rarenewspapers: REVOLUTIONARY WAR Ending ? British Say 1776 Newspaper * – eBay (item 390291612822): bit.ly/dYC5sc #
  • RT @rarenewspapers: HORATIO GATES Charleston SC Revolutionary War Newspaper – eBay (item 390291615652): bit.ly/g2ezjy #
  • RT @CitizenWald: ~1780 house in Dudley, MA under demolition order. Owner will sell for $1. Must be moved. bit.ly/gLuZk9 #
  • Should Boston’s Greenway have a bronze statue of Johnny Tremain? bit.ly/gGLUZH #
  • RT @Readex: From AAS’s Past Is Present, Fraud Week, Part 2: Will the Real George Washington Please Sign Here? – bit.ly/h4Ru32 #
  • RT @RagLinen: 40,000 to 80,000 Men in Arms On Their Way To Boston, Sept 1774 bt.io/GjHq #
  • RT @ResObscura: Did Newton really destroy the @royalsociety portrait of Robert Hooke? Probably not, says historian: bit.ly/hMpVoK #
  • RT @shperdue: Archivist Ferriero on putting the Founding Fathers Papers free online by Rotunda/UVA Press bit.ly/eLKb3M #
  • From Nat’l Heritage Museum, prints commemorating death of George Washington: bit.ly/fo15f9 #
  • Two British jailbirds appear to turn their lives around by joining the British army in #RevWar: bit.ly/f38z3v #
  • Archeological analysis of bottles, other material from Gen. Washington’s headquarters in Cambridge, MA: bit.ly/hAB2gp #
  • RT @jmadelman: And just for fun, Franklin’s 1728 epitaph for himself, via @librarycompany yfrog.com/h045ungj #
  • RT @BostonHistory: Paul Revere House distributes public notice for review of Lathrop Place expansion. ow.ly/43AjM #
  • BBC reports rare Button Gwinnett signature found in parish marriage ledger—could be worth $$$, but can’t be sold because it’s govt record. #
  • RT @2palaver: Some interesting speakers: Hingham Library to host series on life in New England 3/5, 3/26, 4/16 bit.ly/i9f30a #
  • RT @AFBurialGrndNPS:@howardu students built a memorial to the #african burial ground at George Washington’s plantation ow.ly/43HIV #

Call for Papers – 2011 ICMH

The United States Commission on Military History (USCMH) invites U.S. historians to submit papers for the 2011 congress of the International Commission of Military History (ICMH) to be held at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 28 August – 2 September 2011. The theme of the congress will be  “Decolonization: Colonial Wars and Independence Wars [...]

Call for Grad Student Papers – 2011 ICMH

The United States Commission on Military History (USCMH) invites U.S. graduate students (those enrolled in a Ph.D. program but not yet awarded the Ph.D.) to submit papers for the 2011 congress of the International Commission of Military History (ICMH) to be held at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 28 August – 2 [...]

Twitter Feed, 30 Jan-4 Feb 2011

  • RT @peterfrancisco: Remembering James Tate: Augusta #RevWar soldier. Battle of Cowpens and Battle of Guilford Courthouse ht.ly/3MHQI #
  • RT @AmerCreation: Another Recycled Post on John Adams’ Unitarianism nblo.gs/dEARh #
  • RT @CricketinMaine: How can one ancestor cause so much TROUBLE? #genealogy #familyhistory #
  • RT @Aaron_Eyler: New A.P. Biology Is Ready, but U.S. History Isn’t – NYTimes.com www.nytimes.com/2011/01/30/education/30advanced.html #
  • If Laurence Sterne had wanted TRISTRAM SHANDY to look like this, one presumes he would have had the printers effect it. bit.ly/dEPmKI #
  • Today’s good news: Found copy of document I’ve been looking for for years. Today’s bad news: Really neat theory blown out of the water. #
  • RT @56Signers: Robert Morris trivia: 1st 2 use $ sign in official govt correspondence! Face on $10 and $1000 bills in 19th century. #ushist #
  • RT @RagLinen: Want to see the first map of the United States (1784)? ow.ly/3NJhV #
  • Assange: “Our founding values are those of the U.S. revolution.” aol.it/g2MGO3 Franklin certainly leaked sensitive documents in 1773. #
  • RT @illustr8r: Rare Martha Washington Letter Found at Cloud County Museum www.ksallink.com/?cmd=displaystory&story_id=16140 #
  • RT @56Signers: 5 Declaration of Independence signers captured & jailed by Brits. NONE tortured or killed as often said in email chain. #
  • RT @56Signers: Captured signers often treated with respect befitting ranking officers. (Not true of men from lower “classes.”) #
  • RT @illustr8r: Archaeologists Uncover “Lost” Chess Pawns Used by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson bit.ly/hwsymc #revwar #teaparty #
  • RT @history_book: History of the Liverpool Privateers and Letters of Marque – by Gomer Williams [from 1897] amzn.to/gbA6mO #
  • RT @lucyinglis: ‘We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.’ Jonathan Swift, 1711 #
  • RT @quackwriter: RT @TheLitDetective: I’m in @newscientist w/piece on 18th-c doctors investigating vampire reports: bit.ly/fqQ10z #
  • RT @SarahBrannen: Woohoo!!! twitpic.com/3w5xv4 // Boy on a man of war. [USS Constitution] #
  • RT @derekwbeck: British Gen. Henry Clinton’s Secret Letter « bit.ly/eZewG5 #RevWar #
  • RT @2nerdyhistgirls: Intimate, but creepy, too: RT @kittenville Intimate Swift letters reproduced “baby talk” reut.rs/ggckKO // TMI! #
  • .@historying: “gold rush” on Google NGrams gives puzzling pattern” // What’s puzzling? Also, try with capitals: bit.ly/f8UH2I #
  • RT @NYHistory: miniature portrait of NY Sons of Liberty leader Alexander McDougall from our collection: on.fb.me/gG07w1 #history #
  • From c1773, the large family of Elizabeth DePeyster and Charles Willson Peale: bit.ly/h1NWcF #
  • RT @FANGORIA: 1700s Exorcism movie with Jeff Bridges?! bit.ly/hjTCei #
  • RT @amhistorymuseum: Today in 1783: Britain issues Proclamation of Cessation of Hostilities in #RevWar. Grenadier’s cap: ow.ly/3FZKL #
  • RT @FortTiconderoga: A spectacular pair of buff leather breeches, ca. 1780. fb.me/Du1wHWOV #
  • RT @AmericanHistFF: Today in History – Feb 4, 1789 – Electors unanimously chose George Washington 1st president of the United States. #
  • At NEW YORKER, Jill Lepore says winter of 1713 had more snow: nyr.kr/fqL0vi As if that makes it better. #
  • From @lucyinglis, great interview with Julie Flavell, author of WHEN LONDON WAS CAPITAL OF AMERICA: bit.ly/eBfdrF #

Loudtwitter seems to have gone down again, so this might be the last Twitter Feed post for a while.

2011 State of the Union

If you missed last night’s State of the Union address, you can check it out online. That’s the video, here’s the transcript. I thought I’d pick out an excerpt on energy from the speech to share:

That’s what Americans have done for over 200 years: reinvented ourselves. And to spur on more success stories like the Allen Brothers, we’ve begun to reinvent our energy policy. We’re not just handing out money. We’re issuing a challenge. We’re telling America’s scientists and engineers that if they assemble teams of the best minds in their fields, and focus on the hardest problems in clean energy, we’ll fund the Apollo projects of our time.

At the California Institute of Technology, they’re developing a way to turn sunlight and water into fuel for our cars. At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, they’re using supercomputers to get a lot more power out of our nuclear facilities. With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. (Applause.)

We need to get behind this innovation. And to help pay for it, I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. (Applause.) I don’t know if — I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own. (Laughter.) So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.

Now, clean energy breakthroughs will only translate into clean energy jobs if businesses know there will be a market for what they’re selling. So tonight, I challenge you to join me in setting a new goal: By 2035, 80 percent of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources. (Applause.)

Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal and natural gas. To meet this goal, we will need them all — and I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen. (Applause.)

Twitter Feed, 7-19 Jan 2011

  • RT @WilliamHogeland: HNN picked up the Lepore-Wood story (and FB board): bit.ly/ikpawx // Thanks for the alert! #
  • Cliopatria’s awards for history blogs in 2010: bit.ly/iawKnh #
  • RT @alberkes: Here’s a cool demonstration of Jefferson portraiture in action: bit.ly/gjD8Y8 #
  • RT @BOAFNPS: Seasonal Park Ranger position available at Boston African American National Historic Site. Interviews… fb.me/ESSWI05U #
  • RT @amhistorymuseum: 6 Jan 1759: 26 y.o. George Washington marries Martha. One of her gowns: ow.ly/3lVsq #
  • RT @WestholmePub: Like spies? Author John Nagy on INVISIBLE INK at Franklin T’shp Library, Somerset NJ, 1/12, 7pm on.fb.me/hEqhGN #
  • RT @amhistorymuseum: Today in 1789: America’s first presidential election is held. You know who won, right? ow.ly/3lVCb #
  • From Walking the Berkshires, archeological finds from the #RevWar Battle of Short Hills, NJ, 1777: bit.ly/hpz7fS #
  • From Walking the Berkshires, mapping study of #RevWar Battle of Princeton, 1777: bit.ly/gE2F6b #
  • From BOSTON GLOBE, curious collection of links on Paul Revere for kids: bit.ly/g9k0Kc No Paul Revere House, no paulreveresride.org #
  • RT @amhistorymuseum: Today in 1790: Pres. George Washington delivers the 1st State of the Union address. ow.ly/3lW93 #
  • RT @INDEPENDENCENHP: Jan and Feb. no tickets required to visit Independence Hall! Tix never required for Liberty Bell! ow.ly/3zwBJ #
  • @IamSauerkraut Doesn’t look like Princeton battlefield report is public. Commissioned by nonprofit gp in NJ. #
  • BOSTON GLOBE article by @ericanoonan on @rmartello’s new book about @PaulRevere1734′s manufactures: bit.ly/heXOKY #
  • RT @joe_allen_black: How well do you know Paul Revere? Test yourself with this quiz from Boston.com – ow.ly/3AK8q #
  • @beatonna Hutchinson finished his history book, got to tell his side of Revolution with courageous, put-upon royal governor and all. #
  • Drummer Samuel Newby, 35 years a soldier, including thru the #RevWar: bit.ly/htys89 #
  • RT @RagLinen: RT @chuckholland: Nice simple interactive on the American Revolution. bit.ly/bfCqeA #sschat #historyteacher #RevWar #
  • Link to Gordon Wood’s full review of Jill Lepore’s WHITES OF THEIR EYES: www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=179181182147&topic=16888 #
  • Russell Freedman picture book on Lafayette won Sibert Honor this morning. The KIRKUS review: bit.ly/fZK0e1 #
  • RT @UChicagoMag: What would the U.S. look like under an originalist [? Scalia's] interpretation of the Constitution? nyti.ms/g0XbBy #
  • RT @gordonbelt: A face from King’s Mountain from The Last Muster: Images of the Revolutionary War Generation bit.ly/gSrRJl #
  • RT @LooknBackward: When Copley couldn’t find a corkscrew… bit.ly/gF2PCd // Hard to believe this was painted without model. #
  • Links and comments from @williamhogeland and myself on Wood review of Lepore: on.fb.me/dFLvSc Join the conversation! #
  • Panel on American Founders & Religion at Virginia Festival of the Book in March: bit.ly/eFr16P #
  • From Discovery News, a saponified mummy from 18th-century Philadelphia: bit.ly/hrJoaU #
  • From @ValleyForgeNHP, “Lock, Stock and Barrel” conference on life & culture of #RevWar soldiers, Mar 2011 bit.ly/fS6Bdq #
  • RT @2nerdyhistgirls: Visit Bath instead of snowy NE: RT@austenonly Lady Russell’s Winter Pleasure wp.me/pGJsu-1mk #
  • @2nerdyhistgirls Last time I was in Bath, it was snowing lightly. #
  • RT @vahistorical: VHS lecture Thurs 1/13 @ noon: “The Jeffersons at Shadwell” by Susan Kern: tiny.cc/kr014. #rva #va #
  • RT @derekwbeck: Protests at Funerals: a Tradition as Old as Samuel Adams bit.ly/hA5M6m @Boston1775 #
  • @2nerdyhistgirls Never been to Bath, Maine. But you’re right—snow wouldn’t be so notable there. #
  • .@brianjohnriggs: @Boston1775 is a good place to start understanding history through technology. // Thanks! #
  • In the NEW YORKER, historian Jill Lepore on how we read the Constitution: nyr.kr/eVnAaM #
  • How portraits of William Dawes and wife ended up in Evanston, Ill., courtesy of US Veep Charles G. Dawes: bit.ly/eZwxeI #
  • Inside Higher Ed’s podcast with Elise Lemire, author of BLACK WALDEN, about slavery and aftermath in Concord, Mass.: bit.ly/g6m9Yi #
  • RT @historytavern: “@Yesterday_Today: 1776: #RevWar – British forces raided Prudence Island, RI, to steal sheep tl.gd/84gcs7 #
  • RT @AFBurialGrndNPS: A slaveholder’s diary documents resistance of self-emancipated #Africans during #RevWar: ow.ly/3CWcO #
  • RT @marianpl: I wish I could get to #Boston more often. Great talks at the Boston Public Library this Spring #genealogy ow.ly/3DA75 #
  • @bencarp NEHGS announced your talk there without a starting time. Also not on website’s schedule. So if crowd is sparse, it’s not you. #
  • RT @ToddHouse: RT @archivesinfo Copp’s Hill in Decay. How can we reverse trend? New ArchivesInfo blogpost bit.ly/dILM7Q #
  • From BOSTON GLOBE, interview with new head of Concord Museum: bit.ly/gpjVHJ #
  • Upcoming lecture on tracing Boston Tea Party participants at NEHGS by @bencarp: web1.americanancestors.org/Event.aspx?id=22465 #
  • @bencarp A new addition to that calendar grid. Thanks! #
  • RT @56Signers: SIGNER MYTH ALERT! Black #soldiers did fight that #Christmas #1776 #battle, but Whipple & Prince did not #sschat #
  • RT @davidlibrary: David Library lecture by D. A. Saguto examines ‘sole’ of the American Revolution bit.ly/gV4DDG #
  • RT @56Signers: Brits offered #freedom to slaves who ran away to fight for Brits. #Washington & #Jefferson both lost slaves this way. #
  • @jmadelman: “Via Megan McArdle, a response about two-spacing” // Everyone has right to opinion, but that opinion is wrong. #
  • 2nd-grade research on Phillis Wheatley at Massachusetts Historical Socy: bit.ly/dZN9c0 #
  • RT @davidlibrary: Was George Washington a “swinger”? davidlibraryar.blogspot.com/ #
  • RT @myHNN: Team May Have Found Sword Hilt Belonging to Blackbeard bit.ly/fx7nje #
  • RT @Readex: Historical Society: Primary Sources: Indentures histsociety.blogspot.com/2011/01/reading-primary-sources-indentures.html #
  • RT @bradhart78: New Connecticut (Vermont) Declares Independence nblo.gs/d36tT #
  • Hearing tumultuous applause in M L King’s “I Have a Dream” speech as he quotes from Declaration of Independence. #
  • Gravestone for a Connecticut man who died marching to Boston, Sept 1775: bit.ly/fV2kYy #RevWar #
  • Turns out Voltaire never wrote, “…I will defend to the death your right to say it.” A woman did. bit.ly/dTaoCo #
  • From artist Sage Stossel & BOSTON GLOBE, Battle Road house sees expat Sudanese vote on their south’s independence: bit.ly/ecf8W8 #
  • Anyone want to buy me this Paul Revere print of the Boston Massacre from 1770? bit.ly/gdODjX #
  • How about Gen Nathanael Greene’s Society of the Cincinnati medal? bit.ly/e0uYLF #
  • ~1768 embroidery by Polly Burns (1753-1794?) of Boston estimated to sell for $60,000+: bit.ly/g9dKXi #
  • RT @amhistorymuseum: Today in 1706: Benjamin Franklin born. Podcast on his legacy, interplay of technology & democracy: ow.ly/3m26Y #
  • RT @56Signers: Boiling books to restore a 1770s map. nyti.ms/e4jkmn // Only 4th copy of Ratzer’s NYC map known to survive. #
  • Grandson of Lexington’s Capt John Parker offered thoughts that inspired M L King’s “bends toward justice” statement: bit.ly/i162Qz #
  • Tomorrow at Massachusetts Historical Socy, the state’s connection to the French Revolution: bit.ly/dHFK0T #
  • At American Antiquarian Socy, commonplace book of Boston merchant Thomas Hubbard (1702-73): bit.ly/eS9cTj #
  • RT @SecondVirginia: Historic Mount Vernon: Washington’s Estate & Gardens seeking part-time historic trade interpreters fb.me/MBqDIXxR #
  • Lahontan’s critique of Europe ~1700 thru observations on Native Canadians: bit.ly/fWSOeN #
  • RT @InlySchool: via Sommer Reading: I just finished Forge, the sequel to Laurie Halsen Anderson’s a… ow.ly/1aUr2f #
  • Okay, Bill Maher misrepresents the Founders also: bit.ly/gDWAYp But at least he’s funny on purpose. #
  • Profile of Boston immigrant, printer, and Loyalist John Fleeming: bit.ly/fPISgR #RevWar #
  • From HNN, Thomas S. Kidd on faith and our sainted George Washington: bit.ly/fgAKqj #
  • RT @history_book: Materials and Medicine: Trade, Conquest & Therapeutics in the 18th Century – by Pratik Chakrabarti amzn.to/iiRp7E #
  • RT @handsonhistory: Republican Introduces Bill That Kills Historic Preservation Funding bit.ly/i7s1B7 #
  • From Dan Allosso at the Historical Society, reading estate inventories in western Massachusetts: bit.ly/i3BcHW #
  • RT @RagLinen: On May 29, 1789, President Washington hosted America’s 1st state dinner for ministers from France & Spain. ow.ly/3GMyt #
  • RT @2nerdyhistgirls: Yes, that’s Lady Worsley bit.ly/hYXJV6 more about her marriage & #scandal that ended it: bit.ly/gnpnLw #
  • RT @AYWalton: The fate of George Washington’s enslaved cook Hercules: www.ushistory.org/presidentshouse/slaves/hercules.htm #
  • Anyone know tips, resources, or archives on divorces in Rhode Island, ~1775? Looking for particular unhappy couple. #genealogy #rhodeisland #

Twitter Feed, 27 Dec 2010-4 Jan 2011

  • 20:22 Anyone know about Rhode Island divorce records, circa 1775? I’m wondering if Godfrey and Mary (Butler) Wenwood divorced around then. #
  • 20:27 @seaheff Lovely photo portraits, but the beards, yeah. The “beardless boys” come off best. #
    [That comment’s about this link]
  • 21:33 RT @RagLinen: Paper Conservation: Saving Historic Newspapers From Loss – ow.ly/3vUnk #
  • 22:22 RT @RagLinen: #RevWar C-SPAN panel featuring authors T.H. Breen [American Insurgents] and Jack Rakove [Revolutionaries] ow.ly/3vXuP #
  • 22:40 Edward Rothstein of NY TIMES really doesn’t like President’s House park in Philadelphia: nyti.ms/eHebY5 #
  • 23:42 RT @RagLinen: 10 Colleges Offering Free History Courses Online – ow.ly/3wkdj // Including U Wash on #RevWar: bit.ly/fj8rby #
  • 23:44 RT @history_book: The History of Suicide in England 1650-1850 – Pickering & Chatto. amzn.to/bhslmv #
  • 23:45 RT @marianpl: Roots & Rambles: My Top 10 Favorite Blogs of 2010 #genealogy #history ow.ly/3wneA #
  • 23:52 Another year older. I suppose I should pay some bills. #
  • 16:22 Rep Michelle Bachmann: Reading Gore Vidal’s historical novel BURR made me a Republican. bit.ly/epyviT #
  • 16:24 Boston’s 5th of November in 1769 (with pix from 1767): bit.ly/eCWFip #
  • 16:37 RT @opheliacat: @history_geek The Apollo Belvedere – the “father” of 18th C. male portraiture www.nga.gov/press/exh/209/index.shtm #
  • 16:38 RT @historytavern: “@timelines: Today in Amer Rev War #history, 1776: British burned Norfolk, #Virginia tlin.es/e1t3Cmhv5#
  • 23:28 Reviews of Maier’s RATIFICATION from Rosemarie Zagarri: wapo.st/foOpI5 from Thomas Kidd: bit.ly/h70ZkL #
  • 23:29 From @JBD1, review of UNLIKELY ALLIES, about #RevWar’s French connection: bit.ly/gYwNnD Tale of transvestite spy seems tacked on. #
  • 23:31 Of course, when I say “transvestite spy,” lots of eyes prick up. Which is surely why Chevalier d’Eon is in the book. #
  • 23:35 After query from Jesse Lemisch, started Facebook discussion on NYRoB review of WHITES OF THEIR EYES: on.fb.me/ho9qrD @WilliamHogeland #
  • 00:01 RT @SecondVirginia: Author Thomas Fleming reacts to @steamthing’s take on the 18th Century Tea Party Movement fb.me/HDK7lTpM #
  • 00:10 RT @2nerdyhistgirls: those carousing 18c sea captains (bit.ly/gkczDx) are currently carousing in NYC at the Met: bit.ly/eB0lAQ #
  • 22:40 From Barbara Smith, author of FREEDOMS WE LOST, the major differences between the Tea Parties of 1773 and 2010: bit.ly/hNV5YJ #
  • 22:59 @revwar Samuel Adams didn’t attend Harvard Law School; didn’t exist in 1700s. He got an M.A. Also, Henry Knox dropped out of Boston Latin. #
  • 23:14 @WilliamHogeland It’s an experiment. Thanks for being an early guinea pig! #
  • 22:09 RT @mysticseaport: Watch a National Historic Landmark vessel be restored. Climb aboard Thurs-Sun from 10-4: tiny.cc/MORGAN #
  • 22:10 From BOSTON GLOBE, Boston Public Library’s historic Leventhal Map Collection taking over microfilm reader space: bit.ly/hIDoBg #
  • 22:32 COLUMBUS DISPATCH book reviewer: “ask a Tea Party member how much private property to destroy to get points across.” bit.ly/hNoMyl #
  • 22:34 From Benjamin Church blog, John Hancock and John Adams team up to take down a Loyalist printer: bit.ly/hCkWWD #
  • 22:43 RT @RagLinen: Should American Film Company make Midnight Riders movie? ow.ly/3ypR8 #RevWar // Error in synopsis’s 1st sentence. #
  • 23:21 RT @56Signers: Dr Benjamin Rush portrait & grave: bit.ly/9lgXea Same #Philly graveyard as B Franklin and 3 other signers. #sschat #

CFH Session at the 2011 AHA

Randall Stephens

If you’re heading up to Boston for the AHA in early January, make time for the Saturday morning Conference on Faith and History affiliate session:

Bracketing Faith and Historical Practice: A Roundtable

Saturday, January 8, 2011: 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Marriott Boston Copley Place, Maine Room

Chair: Randall J. Stephens, Eastern Nazarene College

Randall Balmer, Barnard College, Columbia University
Margaret Bendroth, Congregational Library (Boston)
Eugene B. McCarraher, Villanova University
Jon H. Roberts, Boston University
Grant Wacker, Duke University Divinity School
Lauren Winner, Duke University Divinity School

Comment: The Audience

More on the session: The question of the appropriate relationship between a historian’s belief and the craft of history has received much recent attention. It is a question that has occupied the Conference on Faith and History since its inception in the late 1960s, with much of the CFH’s conversation focusing on how to integrate faith and historical practice to avoid compartmentalization. At this year’s CFH/AHA session we continue the conversation but from a different point of entry: the value of and reasons for bracketing out religious commitments. What is gained (or lost) when believing historians bracket out matters of faith? Is it best (or even possible) for historians–of whatever faith or no faith at all–to shelve religious belief and metaphysics when writing history? What is lost (or gained) when the religious commitments of historians are reflected in their work?

Passages like the following might serve as jumping off points for the discussion:

“[Anglo-Hegelian philosopher Francis Herbert] Bradley identified the will to truth in history with anti-supernaturalism and viewed our scientific standards as naturalistic. He believed that our norms must regulate our understanding of the past. But, he also presumed, historians had permanently discarded norms that allowed for supernaturalism. ‘Critical history’ methodologically centered on the will to truth, and the will to truth would also inevitably rule out the supernatural. . . . Historians of faith abide by the professional rules, but as Christians they have their own private outlook on what was going on when the Romans brought Jesus down from the cross.” Bruce Kuklick, “Religion, Progress, and Professional Historians,” Historically Speaking (September/October 2007): 18.

“One may say, therefore, that religion appears in history both as a world-maintaining and as a world-shaking force. . . . In all its manifestations, religion constitutes an immense projection of human meanings into the empty vastness of the universe–a projection, to be sure, which comes back as an alien reality to haunt its producers. . . . Within this frame of reference, the religious projections can be dealt with only as such, as products of human activity and human consciousness, and rigorous brackets have to be placed around the question as to whether these projections may not also be something else than that (or, more accurately, refer to something else than the human world in which they empirically originate). In other words, every inquiry into religious matters that limits itself to the empirically available must necessarily be based on a ‘methodological atheism.’” Peter L. Berger, The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion (1967; reprint, New York: Anchor, 1990), 100.

“The historian is certainly interested in Sankara’s or Guadapada’s view of non-dual reality, Tillich’s ground of Being, the view of the Buddha in the Lankavatara Sutra. But, historically speaking, these are all men’s views of Ultimate Reality. While it is undoubtedly true that
all views of Ultimate Reality are human in the sense that it is men who hold them, to ask ‘What is the nature of ultimate Reality?’ is a different level question from ‘What is Sankara’s view of Ultimate Reality?’ . . . . When we state that the history of religions is the study of man rather than the study of God we are making a methodological stipulation and not a theological proposal.” Robert D. Baird, Category Formation and the History of Religions (1971; reprint, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter), 19, 20.

“We need to move away from two of the ontological assumptions entailed in secular conceptions of the political and the social. The first is that the human exists in a frame of a single and secular historical time that envelops other kinds of time . . . . The second assumption running through modern European political thought and the social sciences is that the human is ontologically singular, that gods and spirits are in the end ‘social facts,’ that the social somehow exists prior to them.” Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 16. See also, this sample chapter from Provincializing Europe.

“The problem is that we have no idea what to make of the bonds between humans and the spirits really present to them within the limits of our critical theories. . . . The question I want to pursue is how it is possible to study abundant events without translating them immediately
into the safe categories of modernist historiography and without yielding to the understandable frustration and despair that there is no way to think outside the modernist historical categories. . . . [T]here are people everywhere in the modern world who live in ways beyond the conceptual range of modernist epistemology and historiography, and at an angle askew to normative modernity (while at the same time they function quite well amid the ordinary challenges of life, let it be added).” Robert A. Orsi, “Abundant History: Marian Apparitions as Alternative Modernity,” Historically Speaking (September/October 2008): 14, 15.

Call for Papers: 2011 Missouri Valley History Conference

The 54th Annual Missouri Valley History Conference will be held March 3-5, 2011 in Omaha, Nebraska. The Society for Military History sponsors a full slate of sessions at the MVHC and also will again be sponsoring a “huddle” for Society for Military History participants. Individual proposals and session proposals are [...]