early American history
SOURCE: New York Times
Can Colonial Williamsburg Do Living History Better?
Historian Karin Wulf argues that the leadership of Colonial Williamsburg has steered an effective course through the conflicting imperatives of nostalgia, heroic storytelling, and the harsh inequalities of the colonial era.
“Of the East India Breed …”: The First South Asians in British North America
by Brinda Charry
The known records of the first south Asian people in Virginia are not voluminous, but they direct our attention to the complexities of racial identity in early America and the global networks of trade and labor that would make the British Empire.
SOURCE: Mother Jones
Ned Blackhawk Unmakes the American Origin Story
In "The Rediscovery of America" the historian presses for encounter, rather than discovery, to be the dominant theme of early American history. He explains here what can be gained by adopting this lens.
SOURCE: Age of Revolutions
Mythmaking in Manhattan: 1776 and Santa Claus
by Benjamin L. Carp
Contemporary New York elites downplayed the possibility that rebellious colonists set the Great Fire of New York in 1776; the same people were responsible for the modern myth of Santa Clause. The connections between the two are surprising.
Isaac Sears and the Roots of America in New York
by Sam Roberts
The career of merchant and patriot Isaac Sears highlights the underappreciated role of New York City in the movement for American independence.
SOURCE: The Atlantic
Does DNA Clear Up the Origin Story of Chincoteague Horses?
Investigations of the origins of the wild horses of the mid-Atlantic coast remain inconclusive with respect to the horses, but they do demonstrate the human capacity to invest in a romantic narrative.
Counterfeiting for Freedom in Colonial America
by Zachary Dorner
A lively trade in "coining," the creation of false Spanish coins, reflected both the multinational colonization of North America and the hardships created by a constricted money supply in the British colonies. Though illegal, "bad money" made commerce and taxpaying possible for many colonials.
SOURCE: PBS News Hour
Early America's Complicated Relationship with Abortion Access
The Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade relied heavily on the argument that, in Justice Samuel Alito’s words, “a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the nation’s history and traditions.” Paul Solman takes a look at that history, as part of our continuing coverage of America after Roe.
SOURCE: Philadelphia Inquirer
Richard Dunn, Eminent Historian of Early America and Caribbean, Dies at 93
Dunn, among other achievements, founded what is now the McNeil Center for Early American Studies.
SOURCE: Perspectives on History
Single Origin Stories Aren't Good History
by Emily Sclafani
Origin stories, whether of idealized liberty or racism as national original sin, tie the present to the past in ways that exclude the possibilities for change that existed then and exist now.
Who Can Claim to be the United States’ First University?
by Tom McSweeney, Katharine Ello and Elsbeth O'Brien
New documentary evidence shows that the College of William and Mary was chartered as a university in 1693, making it the first university in the colonies. The story reflects how the sectarian strife of England in the seventeenth century helped Anglican W&M and harmed Puritan Harvard.
SOURCE: Age of Revolutions
How Not to Read Bernard Bailyn
by Asheesh Kapur Siddique
Conservatives lionizing Bernard Bailyn for supporting libertarian interpretations of the nation's founding and valorizing the founders "aligns perfectly with the reactionary effort to cancel critically engaged understandings of the American past, but poorly with Bailyn’s own far more nuanced vision of historical practice."
SOURCE: New York Times
Eminent Scholar of Early U.S., Bernard Bailyn, Dies at 97
An acknowledged landmark in scholarship, Bernard Bailyn's “The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution” won the Pulitzer Prize and Bancroft Prize in 1968.
Old Saybrook Historical Society Wins Prestigious History Award, Publishes New Book
The winner of a 2020 Award of Excellence from the American Association for State and Local History's new book focuses on the Battles of Saybrook Fort during the Pequot War.
SOURCE: The Way of Improvement Leads Home
Remembering John Murrin
The early American historian passed away on May 2 after contracting coronavirus.
SOURCE: Uncommon Sense
Women Also Know Washington
by Lindsay Chervinsky
The last decade has witnessed a noticeable uptick of works on Washington authored by women, with more to come in the pipeline.
Omohundro Institute and NYT to Live Stream Discussion of 1619 Project on March 6
"Slavery and the American Revolution: A Historical Dialogue" will continue some of the vigorous discussion surrounding "The 1619 Project."
SOURCE: Smithsonian Mag
Karin Wulf Interviews Alexis Coe About Her Cheeky New George Washington Biography
by Karin Wulf
Alexis Coe’s cheeky biography of the first president pulls no punches
Reexamining the Mayflower 400 Years Later
by Stephen Tomkins
The colonists seemed to have difficulty articulating exactly what compelled them to leave the Netherlands for America.
Fake News and the Founders: Get Used to It!
by Harlow Giles Unger
Fake news did not diminish as the nation matured. Indeed, it became entwined in the nation’s literary fabric.
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