Though often unrecognized, history constantly brushes against us. It is present in all the places we visit, in houses we walk past, and the roads on which we drive. Stored in libraries and archives the world over, these histories link people to place, but they are not easily accessible. Wireless devices allow us to access an incomprehensible amount of information, if we know what to enter in a search field. How can the history buff easily connect with the history around them? How can a football fan travelling through Portsmouth, OH, quickly discover the local stadium NFL Hall of Fame members once called home? If a naval enthusiast gassed up in Portsmouth, NH, how could they casually learn of William Badger’s 1800’s shipyard? Clio connects you with historic places, people, and events with which you are not familiar. It is free and simple to use.
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An Uncommon History of 1776
Rarely, will I recommend a book with revisionist appeals. Claudio Saunt’s work, West of the Revolution, is such a book. As the title indicates, Saunt explores North American events contemporaneous to, but removed from, the American Revolution. Despite an appeal to modern revisionist belief, it is an enjoyable and informative read of 211 pages.
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“Light on the Literary Life”
It is a dose of personal choice, and a quirk of history, that ushered a highly successful American novelist of the late 18th and early 19th Centuries into near obscurity. Winston Churchill authored several best-sellers by 1904, but later chose to pursue other interests. Churchill entered politics, took up painting, and eventually left the public eye. His name provided the quirk of history. His withdraw coincided with a different Winston Churchill’s rise to prominence. Our memory of the British politician turned author is so large that our memory of the American author turned politician is now faint.
The following story features Winston Churchill, the American author. It is one story featured in the book, Capital Stories About Famous Americans.
Continue reading “Capital Stories… Winston Churchill (the author)”
With his election as Mayor of New York City in 1903, George B. McClellan, Jr. engaged the inevitable hordes of office-seekers, district leaders, and political donors that customarily assailed newly elected officials. Upon gaining an audience with the mayor, each petitioner retold all they had done to ensure McClellan’s election. Often prideful, and always with great expectation, these wheels of Democrat political machinery demanded their grease.
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After browsing around for quite some time, a particularly obstinate patron at Ben Franklin’s book store refused to accept the price offered by a store clerk. Certain that speaking to the owner would obtain him a better price, the man demanded the clerk summon the proprietor. Franklin’s newspaper operation was located in the bookstore’s backroom, and the patron’s summons dragged Franklin from working at the press. Upon Franklin’s arrival the man asked “What is the lowest price you can take for this book, sir?” In an effort to teach the man to value the time of others, Ben Franklin entered the bargaining session. Continue reading “Capital Stories… Ben Franklin”
Federalist Party Platform of 1812 (Sort of…)
Brews and Peruse: Examination of a historical document while drinking a craft beer. For a more full description, see Brews & Peruse page. Consists of three essential components:
1) The Document: The Clintonian Platform*– Why? It will be fun… trust me. (Indented)
*The Federalist Party Platform of 1812 ( Federalists did not actually nominate their own presidential candidate in 1812, they supported the candidacy of the Federalist leaning DeWitt Clinton. That is why the document is known as the Clintonian Platform.)
2) The Beer: Sam’l Smith Organic, Handcrafted, Raspberry Fruit Ale: Why? You will see. Each sip and my reaction to it are noted in [BRACKETS-].
3) My commentary: A tongue in cheek look at an American political event. My thoughts, no citations. (Italicized)
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Standing as witness to peoples and events of significant bearing
There are places where history is so evident that its presence is near dimensional. Like height, width, and depth its existence is both natural and conspicuous. These places do not invoke a sense of nostalgia, the living have no direct involvement with events there. They, instead, invoke a sense of relevance. They stand as witness to peoples and events of significant bearing, and a special few hold relevance across multiple eras. Shepherdstown, WV occupies the center of such a place.
Continue reading “Travel: Shepherdstown, WV”