Inns and taverns played prominent roles in early American life. They served the needs of travelers who needed food to eat and places to sleep. They offered local communities a form of poor relief. And they functioned as public spaces where men could gather to discuss news, organize movements, and to drink and play cards. [Read more…] about Taverns in Early America
Have you ever wondered where the Christmas traditions of stockings, presents, and cookies come from?
What about jolly, old Saint Nicholas? Who was he and why do we often call him Santa Claus?
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History Peter G. Rose, culinary historian of Dutch foodways in North America and author of Delicious December: How the Dutch Brought Us Santa, Presents, and Treats (SUNY Press, 2014) joins us to discuss the origins of Santa Claus and edible goodies such as cookies in the United States. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/218
What can the everyday life of an enslaved person tell us about slavery, how it was practiced, and how some enslaved people made the transition from slavery to freedom?
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History we explore the life of Charity Folks, an enslaved woman from Maryland who gained her freedom in the late-18th century.
What do George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln have in common?
They all grew-up in blended or stepfamilies.
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History Lisa Wilson, the Charles J. MacCurdy Professor of American History at Connecticut College and author of A History of Stepfamilies in Early America (University of North Carolina Press, 2014), takes us through the creation and interactions of blended and stepfamilies in early America. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/216
We tend to view gay marriage as a cultural and legal development of the 21st century.
But did you know that some early Americans lived openly as same-sex married couples? [Read more…] about Charity & Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America
Was the early United States a “Christian nation?” Did most of its citizenry accept God and the Bible as the moral authority that bound them together as one nation?
Scholars have taken a binary stance on these questions. Some argue that early America was a thoroughly religious place and that even those who didn’t attend church were on the same basic page as those who did. While others argue early America boasted an increasingly secularized society.
In 1621, the Pilgrims of Plimoth (or Plymouth) Colony and their Wampanoag neighbors came together to celebrate their first harvest. Today we remember this event as the first Thanksgiving.
But what do we really know about this holiday and the people who celebrated it?
How do historians and biographers reconstruct the lives of people from the past?
Good biographies rely on telling the lives of people using practiced historical methods of thorough archival research and the sound interrogation of historical sources. But what does this practice of historical methods look like?
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, the final episode in the Omohundro Institute’s Doing History series about biography, Erica Dunbar, the Charles and Mary Beard Professor of History at Rutgers University and author of Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave Ona Judge (Simon & Schuster, 2017), takes us into the archives to show us how she recovered the life of Ona Judge. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/212
Can a biography help us explore big historical questions?
Can knowing about the life of John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, help us better understand the Supreme Court and how it came to occupy the powerful place it has in the United State government?
The Doing History: Biography series continues in this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History and explores these questions with Richard Brookhiser, author of John Marshall: The Man Who Made The Supreme Court (Basic Books, 2018). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/211
For 34 years, John Marshall presided as the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. During his service, Marshal transformed the nation’s top court and its judicial branch into the powerful body and co-equal branch of government we know it as today.
The Doing History: Biography series continues in this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History as Joel Richard Paul, a professor of law at the University of California, Hastings Law School and author of Without Precedent: Chief Justice John Marshall and His Times (Riverhead Books, 2018), joins us to explore the life of John Marshall and how he wrote his biography. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/210