New Blog: M.B. Henry

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MBHenry

Hey Folks,

Check out this new blog: MB Henry: Following the Path to The Past

History is the theme. MB Henry creates excellent histories, the articles are interesting and the writing is great. Please give her site a look and, please follow. These are links to her first two posts:

The Angel of Marye’s Heights

Etches In Stone

 

 

 

Travel: Charlottesville, VA

Part 1: James Monroe’s Highland

With only a few days available for a get-away, Mrs. Present and I made a trip to Charlottesville, VA. Forced into a late booking, we choose the Sleep Inn and Suites Monticello. Our room was well priced, clean, and provided the requisite comfort for a one-night stay. The staff was friendly, and the complimentary continental breakfast was satisfying. Not having time to research local eateries before we arrived, we welcomed the recommendations offered by the Front Desk staff. Their recommendations for lunch and dinner proved exceptional.

We planned to visit three sites. James Monroe’s Highland, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, and James Madison’s Montpelier. Because of the volume of information associated with each site, I will break the trip into three parts. [Day 1] Part 1: Monroe’s Highland and lunch. Part 2: Jefferson’s Monticello and dinner. [Day 2] Part 3: Madison’s Montpelier and lunch.

Part 1: James Monroe’s Highland
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Advocating Buncombe

Another word that entered the American lexicon by way of politics.

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History Present

Coincidence often fosters inspiration. A few days before I attended my umpteenth rally of this political season, I was given a gift. A near fifty-pound tome (a slight exaggeration) titled the Concise Dictionary of American History. Opening the book to a random page, I landed on an entry that brought several stark realities home. First, few political speeches rise above the rest. They are formulaic. Candidates acknowledge their supporters, identify the opposition, provide an anecdote designed to create a connection to the audience, and conclude with a call to civic duty. Second, the English language is changing fast. The particular entry on which I lit dealt with a word I rarely hear. Finally, I am getting older. With that comes a reluctance to abandon old things. After all, embracing today does not require erasing yesterday. If utilizing an old word contributes to the richness of a phrase, I am all for using it. This post is my attempt to dust off one such word (an effort that requires a little history).
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Capital Stories… William F. Cody

“Good Security”

buffalo_bill_cody_by_sarony_c1880William F. Cody (en.wikipedia.org)

Moral dilemmas frequently arise when investment meets conscience. Given human nature, it is likely that such crises have existed as long as humans have invested money in things unseen. A story from the book Capital Stories about Famous Americans, demonstrates that at least one person came to question such an investment after witnessing one of Buffalo Bill’s famous western exhibitions.
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A Post About Clio

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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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Book Review: West of the Revolution

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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Capital Stories… Winston Churchill (the author)

“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.
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