In the decade before the Civil War, Northern Democrats, although they represented antislavery and free-state constituencies, made possible the passage of such pro-slavery legislation as the Compromise of 1850 and Fugitive Slave Law of the same year, the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, and the Lecompton Constitution of 1858.
In Northern Men with Southern Loyalties: The Democratic Party and the Sectional Crisis (Cornell University Press, 2016) author Michael Todd Landis contends that a full understanding of the Civil War and its causes is impossible without a careful examination of Northern Democrats and their proslavery sentiments and activities. Continue reading
An Oneida Indian in Foreign Waters: The Life of Chief Chapman Scanandoah 1870–1953 (Syracuse University Press, 2016) by Laurence M. Hauptman is a biography of Chief Chapman Scanandoah, a decorated Navy veteran who served in the Spanish-American War, a skilled mechanic, and a prizewinning agronomist who helped develop the Iroquois Village at the New York State Fair.
He was also a historian, linguist, philosopher, and early leader of the Oneida land claims movement. However, his fame among the Oneida people and among many of his contemporaries today rests with his career as an inventor. Continue reading
This week on “The Historians” podcast, interviews with authors and others who attended the recent Chronicle Book Fair in Glens Falls. Topics include the Grant cottage in Wilton, the Battle of Lake George, a murder in the town of Palatine and the life of a woman who was an icon of the women’s suffrage movement. Listen to the podcast here. Continue reading
Colonial 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
When 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
What 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
When we think of Native Americans, many of us think of inland dwellers. People adept at navigating forests and rivers and the skilled hunters and horsemen who lived and hunted on the American plains.
But did you know that Native Americans were seafaring mariners too?
In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Andrew Lipman, an Assistant Professor of History at Barnard College, Columbia University and author of The Saltwater Frontier: Indians and the Contest for the American Coast (Yale University Press, 2016), leads us on an exploration of the northeastern coastline and of the Native American and European peoples who lived there during the seventeenth century. You can listen to this episode here: http: www.benfranklinsworld.com/104
Bruce Jackson’s new book American Chartres: Buffalo’s Waterfront Grain Elevators (Excelsior Editions. 2016) documents Buffalo’s surviving grain elevators, capturing these monumental buildings in all seasons and in various light; from the Buffalo River, the Ship Canal, and Lake Erie; from inside and from the top floors and roofs; in detail.
Invented in Buffalo by Robert Dunbar and Joseph Dart, the city’s first grain elevator went operational in 1843. By the mid-1850s, Buffalo was the world’s largest grain port, and would remain so well into the twentieth century. Grain elevators made Buffalo rich, and they were largely responsible for the development of the Port of New York. Continue reading
When it comes to traffic signals, most people overlook them, but many are unaware that there is a history behind them.
Steven Gembara’s new book New York City’s Red and Green Lights: a Brief Look Back in Time (FastPencil, 2015) offers a unique perspective on the two-color traffic signal’s existence in the 20th century in New York City and how it helped evolved the city’s streets to what they are in the modern day. Continue reading
In the Treaty of Paris, 1783, Great Britain offered the new United States generous terms that included lands in between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River.
Why did the biggest empire with the greatest army and navy concede so much to a new nation?
Because George Rogers Clark and his men seized the Illinois Country and held it during the American War for Independence.
In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, William Nester, a Professor of Government and Politics at St. John’s University and author of George Rogers Clark: ‘I Glory in War’ (University of Oklahoma Press, 2012), leads us on an exploration of the life and deeds of George Rogers Clark. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/102