Category Archives: Books

Uncovered Story: Indian Enslavement in America


By on

0 Comments

ben_franklins_worldIn 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. He also played a central role in the European adoption of Indian or Native American slavery.

When we think of slavery in early America, we often think of the practice of African and African-American chattel slavery. However, that system of slavery wasn’t the only system of slavery that existed in North America. Systems of Indian slavery existed too. In fact, Indians remained enslaved long after the 13th Amendment abolished African-American slavery in 1865.

In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, Andrés Reséndez, a professor of history at the University of California, Davis and author of The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in Americas (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016), leads us on an investigation of this “other” form of American slavery. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/139.

Continue reading

New Book On Role of Men in Suffrage Movement


By on

0 Comments

The SuffragentsBrooke Kroeger’s book, The Suffragents (SUNY Press, 2017) tells the story of how some of New York’s most powerful men formed the Men’s League for Woman Suffrage, which grew between 1909 and 1917 from 150 founding members into a force of thousands across thirty-five states.

Kroeger details the National American Woman Suffrage Association’s strategic decision to accept their organized help and then to deploy these influential new allies as suffrage foot soldiers, a role they accepted.

Continue reading

New Critical Edition of ‘The History of the Five Indian Nations’


By on

0 Comments

Five Indian NationsCornell University Press has released a new Critical Edition of Cadwallader Colden’s History of the Five Indian Nations Depending on the Province of New-York in America (2017). The Critical Edition includes several essays that consider Colden’s original text across social, cultural, and political contexts.

The History of the Five Indian Nations Depending on the Province of New-York in America was originally published in 1727 and revised in 1747. In the book, Colden discusses the religion, manners, customs, laws, and forms of government of the confederacy of tribes composed of the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas (and, later, Tuscaroras), and gives accounts of battles, treaties, and trade up to 1697. Continue reading

Frontier Politics in Early America


By on

1 Comment

ben_franklins_worldDid you know that Connecticut and Virginia once invaded Pennsylvania?

During the 1760s, Connecticut invaded and captured the northeastern corner of Pennsylvania just as Virginia invaded and captured parts of western Pennsylvania. And Pennsylvania stood powerless to stop them.

In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, Patrick Spero, the Librarian of the American Philosophical Society and author of Frontier Country: The Politics of War in Early Pennsylvania (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017), takes us through these invasions and reveals why Pennsylvania proved unable to defend its territory. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/138

Continue reading

New Book Explores Class Conflict in Eighteenth Century NYC


By on

0 Comments

Who Rules at HomeIn Who Should Rule at Home? (Cornell University Press, 2017) Joyce D. Goodfriend argues that the high-ranking gentlemen who figure so prominently in most accounts of New York City’s evolution from 1664, when the English captured the small Dutch outpost of New Amsterdam, to the eve of American Independence in 1776, were far from invincible and that the degree of cultural power they held has been exaggerated.

Goodfriend explains how the urban elite experienced challenges to its cultural authority at different times, from different groups, and in a variety of settings. Continue reading

A New History of the Fulton Chain


By on

0 Comments

A new history covering the Fulton Chain of Lakes region from Moose River Settlement to its boundary west of Raquette Lake is now available from North Country Books and selected regional bookstores.

Regular contributor to the Weekly Adirondack of Old Forge Charles E. Herr’s new book, The Fulton Chain: Early Settlement, Roads, Steamboats, Railroads and Hotels, documents the story of the stalwart folk whose lives shaped the Fulton Chain.

The book represents the first general history of the Fulton Chain region in almost seventy years.
Continue reading

The Washingtons’ Runaway Slave, Ona Judge


By on

0 Comments

ben_franklins_worldGeorge Washington was an accomplished man. He served as a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, first President of the United States, and on top of all that he was also a savvy businessman who ran a successful plantation.

George Washington was also a slaveholder. In 1789, he and his wife Martha took 7 slaves to New York City to serve them in their new role as First Family. A 16 year-old girl named Ona Judge was one of the enslaved women who accompanied and served the Washingtons.

In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, Erica Dunbar, a Professor of Black American Studies and History at the University of Delaware and author of Never Caught: The Washington’s Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave Ona Judge (Atria Books, 2017), leads us through the early American life of Ona Judge.  You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/137 Continue reading

Bruce Dearstyne: Dave McCullough and the Uses of History


By on

0 Comments

The American SpiritPulitzer-prize winning author David McCullough has published a new book, The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2017).

It is a bit of a disappointment in some ways — there is no overarching essay on the American spirit, and the book itself is actually a collection of commencement talks and other speeches by the author over the years rather than new work.

But like all of McCullough’s works, the book is stimulating and worth reading for its perspectives and insights, its eloquent writing, and particularly for the way it makes the case for the values of history. Continue reading

How the War of 1812 Truly Ended the American Revolution


By on

0 Comments

unshackling americaWillard Sterne Randall’s new book, Unshackling America: How the War of 1812 Truly Ended the American Revolution (St. Martin’s Press, 2017) challenges the notion that Americans fought two separate wars of independence.

Willard Sterne Randall documents a fifty-year-long struggle for economic independence from Britain overlapping two armed conflicts linked by an unacknowledged global struggle. Randall  argues that the struggle was all about free trade. Continue reading

Journal of Phebe Orvis Reveals Extraordinary Woman


By on

0 Comments

an extraordinary ordinary womanA new book by Susan M. Ouelette An Extraordinary Ordinary Woman: The Journal of Phebe Orvis, 1820-1830 (SUNY Press, 2017) takes a look at Phebe Orvis, a young woman adapting to life on the New York and Vermont frontier.

In 1820, Phebe Orvis began a journal that she faithfully kept for a decade. Her diary captures not only the everyday life of an ordinary woman in early nineteenth-century Vermont and New York, but also the unusual happenings of her family, neighborhood, and beyond. Continue reading