Author Archives: Liz Covart

Liz Covart

About Liz Covart

Liz Covart is an independent scholar living in Boston. She holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Davis. Liz is writing her first book (tentatively titled) “America’s First Gateway: Albany, New York, 1614-1830.” For more information about Liz and her podcast visit elizabethcovart.com.

The Early American History of Texas


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ben_franklins_worldLike many states in the south and west, Texas has an interesting early American past that begins with Native American settlement followed by Spanish colonization.

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore Texas’ intriguing early American history with Andrew Torget, an Assistant Professor of History at the University of North Texas and author of Seeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands, 1800-1850 (UNCPress, 2015). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/115

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The History of Genealogy


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ben_franklins_worldHistory has a history and genealogy has a history. And the histories of both affect how and why we study the past and how we understand and view it.

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore why it’s important for us to understand that the practices and processes of history and genealogy have histories by exploring what the history of genealogy reveals about the early American past.

Our guide for this exploration is Karin Wulf, a Professor of History at the College of William & Mary and the Director of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. You can listen to the podcast here: benfranklinsworld.com/114

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Building the Empire State


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ben_franklins_worldAfter seven, long years of occupation, Americans found New York City in shambles after the British evacuation on November 25, 1783.

Ten to twenty-five percent of the city had burned in 1776. The British used just about every building that remained to billet officers, soldiers, refugees, and their horses. Plus more refugees and animals crammed into vacant lots, streets, and alleyways.

New York City stood in need of a lot of repair. Which raises the question: How did New Yorkers rebuild New York City? Where did they get the money to rebuild, improve, and encourage the economic development that would transform the city into the thriving metropolis and economic hub that it would be come?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Brian Murphy, an Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University-Newark, takes us through part of this amazing story with details from his book Building the Empire State: Political Economy in the Early Republic (Penn Press, 2015).

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Ben Franklin’s World: The Tea Crisis of 1773


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ben_franklins_worldOn December 16, 1773, the colonists of Boston threw 342 chests of English East India Company tea into Boston Harbor, an act we remember as the “Boston Tea Party.”

Have you ever wondered what drove the Bostonians to destroy the tea? Or whether they considered any other less destructive options for their protest?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Mary Beth Norton, the Mary Donlon Alger Professor of American History at Cornell University, takes us through the Tea Crisis of 1773. You can listen here: benfranklinsworld.com/112

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India and the Making of Britain & America


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ben_franklins_worldNeither colonial North America nor the United States developed apart from the rest of the world. Since their founding, both the colonies and the United States have participated in the politics, economics, and cultures of the Atlantic World.

And every so often, the politics, economics, and cultures of lands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans intersected with and influenced those of the Atlantic World. That’s why in this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we’re going to explore the origins of the English trade with India and how that trade connected and intersected with the English North American colonies.

Our guide for this investigation is Jonathan Eacott, an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside and author of Selling Empire: India in the Making of Britain and America, 1700-1830 (UNCPress, 2016). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/111

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How Genealogists Conduct Research


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History tells us who we are and how we came to be who we are.

Like history, genealogy studies people. It’s a field of study that can tell us who we are in a more exact sense by showing us how our ancestral lines connect from one generation to the next.

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we investigate the world of genealogical research with Joshua Taylor, President of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society and a professional genealogist.  You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/110

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The American Enlightenment & Cadwallader Colden


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ben_franklins_worldWe’ve heard that the American Revolution took place during a period called “the Enlightenment.” But what was the Enlightenment?

Was it an intellectual movement? A social movement? A scientific movement?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, John Dixon, an Assistant Professor of History at CUNY-College of Staten Island, leads us on an exploration of the Enlightenment by taking us through the life of Cadwallader Colden, the subject of his book The Enlightenment of Cadwallader Colden: Empire, Science, and Intellectual Culture in British New York (Cornell University Press, 2016). You can listen to this episode here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/109

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The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright


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ben_franklins_worldColonial America comprised many different cultural and political worlds. Most colonial Americans inhabited in just one world, but today, we’re going to explore the life of a woman who lived in THREE colonial American worlds: Frontier New England, Northeastern Wabanaki, and Catholic New France.

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Ann Little, an Associate Professor of History at Colorado State University and the author of The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright (Yale University Press, 2016), leads us through the remarkable life of Esther Wheelwright, a woman who experienced colonial America as a Puritan New English girl, Wabanaki daughter, and Ursuline nun in Catholic New France. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/108

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Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention


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ben_franklins_worldWhen politicians, lawyers, and historians discuss the Constitutional Convention of 1787, they often rely on two sources: The promotional tracts collectively known as the Federalist Papers and James Madison’s Notes of the Constitutional Convention.

But what do we know about Madison’s Notes?

Did Madison draft them to serve as a definitive account of the Constitutional Convention?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore James Madison’s Notes on the Constitutional Convention with award-winning legal historian Mary Sarah Bilder, the Founders Professor of Law at Boston College and author of Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention (Harvard University Press, 2015). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/107

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The World of John Singleton Copley


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ben_franklins_worldWhat can the life of an artist reveal about the American Revolution and how most American men and women experienced it?

The Ben Franklin’s World podcast explores the life and times of John Singleton Copley with Jane Kamensky, a Professor of History at Harvard University and the author of A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley (W.W. Norton & Co, 2016) You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/106

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