The popularity of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton: An American Musical is undeniable. It won a Grammy (Best Musical Theatre Album), will likely be nominated for (and win) multiple Tony Awards, and has been discussed by scholars and the popular press. It has been lauded and critiqued by scholars of history, theatre, and literature. But the popularity of…… Continue reading What Comes Next?
Yesterday my priest started her sermon with a version of the origin of Labor Day. She focused on the life and work of George Pullman, particular those actions which contributed to the 1894 strike. The sermon was also rooted in the readings, particularly James 1:17-27. (( She likened Pullman to someone who has turned from…… Continue reading History in Unanticipated Places
My oldest friend, by which I mean the friend I have known the longest, leaves the country today. She is off on her first posting as an employee of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and over the next twenty or thirty years she will get to live in all sorts of interesting places.…… Continue reading My Oldest Friend
I have begun to wonder if historians, or at least history students, don’t suffer from a similar problem to that experienced by medical students. Medical students often start to self-diagnose with various ailments during the course of their studies, especially when confronted with list after list of symptoms. They find themselves ticking off symptoms and…… Continue reading Historical Hypochondria
I am reading the Baron Montlezun’s Voyage fait dans les années 1816 et 1817: de New-Yorck à la Nouvelle-Orléans, et de l’Orénoque au Mississippi, although only the part about his visit to Orange County, Virginia (perhaps I might read the rest later). He had a conversation with President Madison, at the latter’s house, where they…… Continue reading Change vs. Exchange
A post for Finding Ada Day, focused on the life and influence of Maria Mitchell
This morning on NPR I heard a story about the push for immigration reform, and a rally in Washington to happen this weekend. Senator Russell Pearce of Arizona, who apparently opposes reform, said of the pro-reform marchers “They’re as treasonous and as un-American as anyone I know.” The quote came on the heels of a…… Continue reading Citizenship and National Identity
With the close of the 18th century, we run into a sort of black hole of information about how people celebrated Christmas. The next big era everyone looks at is the Victorian era, when Christmas trees come into vogue and many of the “Christmas Traditions” we take for granted are first introduced. None of this…… Continue reading Christmases Past: what happens next?
(possibly the first of a few) One of the fun aspects of working with historic documents is seeing annual events through other people’s eyes. I initially found this quote from an 1834 Christmastime letter to be entertaining in a macabre way (I first read it shortly after Halloween). On reflection, it seems to parallel a…… Continue reading A Christmas Quote
Today I went to the local U to their special collections (the joys of working for a historic site!). In one of the boxes I requested were books – three larger ones and then a series of small ones. I mean small – less than two inches wide and at best three inches tall. Most…… Continue reading Little Bitty Books