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
What were the consequences of the 1568 revolt which began in the Low Countries against the Habsburg Empire and lasted 80 years? People were displaced – some fleeing the ravages of war; others were fleeing religious persecution.
A disconnect from the Empire meant a disruption in normal commercial activity. Markets and waters once friendly turned hostile. Trading companies eventually replaced the former commercial routes and exploration for new routes and markets was undertaken. On October 5th in New York City five Dutch and Belgian speakers will give illustrated lectures about the effects of this revolt on the Low Countries and the settlement of North America. [Read more…] about 1568 Dutch Revolt Focus of 36th New Netherland Seminar
The Adirondack Museum has announced a new exhibit, A ‘Wild, Unsettled Country’: Early Reflections of the Adirondacks, that will look at the early efforts to convey the Adirondacks visually to the wider world. The exhibit will open on May 22, 2009 – meaning that year-round Adirondack Park residents should be able to catch the exhibit for free the last week of May.
The first Europeans to see the Adirondack landscape of northern New York State came to explore, to document important military operations and fortifications, or to create maps and scientifically accurate images of the terrain, flora, and fauna.
These early illustrations filled practical needs rather than aesthetic ones.
The exhibition will showcase approximately forty paintings from the museum’s exceptional art collection, including works by Thomas Cole, John Frederick Kensett, William Havell, John Henry Dolph and James David Smillie.
Also featured are fifty of the engravings and lithographs of Adirondack landscape paintings that brought these images to a wider audience and provided many Americans with their first glimpse of the “howling wilds” that were the Adirondack Mountains.
While tourists were flocking to Saratoga Springs, N.Y. in the 1830s, few ventured north into the “lofty chain of granite” visible from Lake George. One guidebook described the mysterious forms as “a wild repulsive aspect.” Little was known of these yet-unnamed mountains.
In 1836, the New York State legislature authorized a survey of the state’s natural resources. Artist Charles Cromwell Ingham was asked to join geologists Ebenezer Emmons and William C. Redfield during one of the first exploratory surveys. During the trip, he painted The Great Adirondack Pass, “on the spot.” The original painting will be shown in the exhibition.
The exhibit will also include photographs-stereo views and albumen prints-sold as tourist souvenirs and to armchair travelers. William James Stillman took the earliest photos in the exhibition in 1859. These rare images are the first photographic landscape studies taken in the Adirondacks. Photos by Seneca Ray Stoddard will also be displayed.
Significant historic maps will illustrate the growth of knowledge about the Adirondack region. In 1818, it was still a mysterious “wild, barren tract…covered with almost impenetrable Bogs, Marshes & Ponds, and the uplands with Rocks and evergreens.” By 1870, the Adirondacks had become a tourist destination with clearly defined travel routes, hotels, beaches, and camps.
“A ‘Wild, Unsettled Country'” will be on exhibit in the Lynn H. Boillot Art Galleries. The space includes the Adirondack Museum Gallery Study Center – a resource for learning more about American art. In addition to a library of reference books, a touch screen computer allows visitors to access images from the museum’s extensive fine art collection.
The Gallery Study Center will include a media space as part of the special exhibit. The documentary film “Champlain: The Lake Between” will be shown continuously. The film, part of the Lake Champlain Voyages of Discovery project, has aired on Vermont Public Television in recent months.
“A ‘Wild, Unsettled Country'” is not just for adults. Family-friendly elements include Looking at Art With Children – a guide for parents as they investigate the arts with youngsters; the Grand Tour Guide – a colorful and engaging map that encourages exploration of the Adirondack sites shown in the paintings; and ten different Wild About! guidebooks that urge kids to be “wild” about maps, prints, history, and more.
Photo caption: View of Caldwell, Lake George, by William Tolman Carlton, 1844. Collection of the Adirondack Museum.
The Program in Early American Economy and Society at the Library Company of Philadelphia invites applications for its dissertation and short-term fellowship awards to be granted for research during 2009-2010: Dissertation-level fellowship, carrying a stipend of $20,000, is tenable for nine consecutive months of residency from September 1, 2009 to May 31, 2010, or at a stipend of $10,000 for the period Sept. 1, 2009 to January 15, 2010, or January 15, 2010 to May 31, 2010. Four one-month fellowships, for scholars at any level, carrying stipends of $2,000 each, are tenable for a month of continuous research at the Library Company between June 1, 2009 and May 31, 2010.
Deadline for receipt of applications is March 2, 2009. These fellowships are designed to promote scholarship in early American economy and society, broadly defined, from its colonial beginnings to roughly the 1850s. Applicants for dissertation awards may submit proposals based not only on the collections at the Library Company, but also on the printed and manuscript materials of other institutions in the Philadelphia area. Short-term fellows should plan to spend a continuous month of research in the collections of the Library Company.
Applicants shoud first fill out a cover sheet at: www.librarycompany.org/Economics. One-month applicants should submit seven copies each of a brief résumé, a two- to four-page description of the proposed research, and one letter of recommendation. Long-term fellowship applicants should submit seven copies each of a résumé, a research proposal outlining the larger project and the work to be pursued during the fellowship term, a writing sample of about 25 pages, and two letters of recommendation. Dissertation award applicants should state clearly which of the tenable periods they seek, and whether they also wish to be considered for a short-term fellowship. All materials should be sent to:
The Library Company of Philadelphia
1314 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107