Tara Bynum, an Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Iowa, tells the compelling stories of four early American writers who expressed feeling good despite living while enslaved or only nominally free and in Reading Pleasures: Everyday Black Living in Early America (University of Illinois Press, 2023). [Read more…] about Everyday Black Living in Early America
In 1776, General Benedict Arnold was at a great point in his life, despite being recently widowed. He was a favorite of George Washington and a respected military leader. [Read more…] about Benedict Arnold’s Unrequited Love
These two portraits depict Elizabeth Oliver Lyde (1739–1820), daughter of loyalist Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Andrew Oliver and his second wife, Mary Sanford. John Singleton Copley painted the portrait on the left in 1758, when Elizabeth was 19 years old. The watercolor on the right was painted by William Dunlap in 1811 or 1812 in New York City when Elizabeth was 72 or 73. [Read more…] about Two Portraits Painted 50 Years Apart
In Tea: Consumption, Politics, and Revolution, 1773–1776 (Cornell Univ. Press, 2023), James R. Fichter reveals that despite the so-called Boston Tea Party in 1773, two large shipments of tea from the East India Company survived and were ultimately drunk in North America. [Read more…] about Tea: Consumption, Politics, and Revolution, 1773–1776
On January 22, 2024, the Englewood Police Department in Colorado received a call reporting the theft of a historical art piece from a storage facility in the 3300 block of South Santa Fe Drive in Englewood.
The theft possibly occurred the night of January 10, 2024. [Read more…] about Historic George Washington Portrait Stolen from Storage Facility
For many years, there has been great debate regarding the origins of the name of Lake Tonetta in the Town of Southeast in Putnam County, New York. Lake Tonetta, also known as Tone’s Pond or Waring’s Pond, has been associated with a great deal of folklore.
It was often suggested that the lake was named after Tone, an enslaved Black man who was promised his freedom by Southeast resident John Waring in exchange for his service in the Revolutionary War. [Read more…] about Lake Tonetta’s Black Revolutionary War Heritage
Admired by George Washington, ridiculed by Thomas Jefferson, published in London, and read far and wide, Phillis Wheatley led one of the most extraordinary American lives. Seized in West Africa and forced into slavery as a child, she was sold to a merchant family in Boston, where she became a noted poet at a young age.
Mastering the Bible, Greek and Latin translations, and the works of Pope and Milton, she composed elegies for local elites, celebrated political events, praised warriors, and used her verse to variously lampoon, question, and assert the injustice of her enslaved condition. [Read more…] about The Odyssey of Phillis Wheatley
We now have a more clear-eyed understanding of Founding Fathers such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton; even so, they are often considered American saints, revered for their wisdom and self-sacrificing service to the nation.
However, within the generation of founders of the United States there lurked many unscrupulous figures — men who violated the era’s expectation of public virtue and advanced their own interests at the expense of others.
They were turncoats and traitors, opportunists and con artists, spies, and foreign intriguers. [Read more…] about A Republic of Scoundrels: Schemers, Intriguers, and Adventurers
No one usually sheds a tear for the British Loyalists of Long Island, those inhabitants who remained loyal to the crown during the American Revolution. But genealogist Brendon Burns has spent a tremendous amount of effort tracking them down through libraries and archives across the world.
The result is his five-volume series The Loyal and Doubtful: Index to the Acts of British Loyalism in the Greater New York and Long Island Area 1775-1783 (Independently Published, 2023). It’s a meticulous record of people in the city of New York, Staten Island, and on Long Island, acting in support of King George and the efforts to defeat the revolutionaries. [Read more…] about Long Island Loyalists History & Genealogy
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) are seeking comments on plans to reinter the recently discovered remains of Revolutionary War era soldiers in Lake George Battlefield Park.
The remains were found in 2019-2020 during excavation on private land for the development of an apartment complex on Courtland Street within the Village of Lake George. You can read about the discovery, and the discovery of more remains last year, here. [Read more…] about Comments Sought On Plans To Rebury Revolutionary War Soldiers in Lake George