My presentation to WIHA last week

As Kelly and I are both new members of the Winthrop Improvement and Historical Association, I was invited to do a presentation for them, and so I decided to do my Boston in the Civil War era presentation, basically a revised version of a presentation I wrote for Historic New England years ago.

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Last American Slave Ship Has Been Found

A remarkably low tide has revealed the remnants of a ship in a river delta near Mobile Alabama.  Historians believe that this may be the wreck of the Clotilda, a schooner used to bring some 110 slaves from West Africa to Alabama in 1860.  The Clotilda is believed to be the last ship to bring slaves to the United States.

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The Trumpization of Civil War history

As a general rule, I am not a fan of the term “history buff”.  Whenever I see someone referred to as a “history buff”, I tend to become a little irritated.  In my mind, history buffs collect the Civil War Chess Set and Stonewall Jackson beer steins.  Historians do research and then usually present their findings in one way or another.  Just because you read history doesn’t mean you are a historian, just as the fact you can speak English does not mean you could be an English teacher, you know?

So when I read about Paul LePage, Governor of Maine (and living example of how the combination of poor anger management and eating too much poutine is really bad for you), making the (to me) astounding claim that 7,600 men from Maine fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War, I nearly coughed Coke Zero through my nose.   Continue reading “The Trumpization of Civil War history”

I really hate the Sons of the Harpy – here’s why

You know, I was having a conversation with Kelly the other day about everything going on in Meereen with Daenerys gone, and I came to a realization about some things.

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Dear Benioff and Weiss… WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!?!?

OK guys, I get it.  George just hasn’t been able to crank out the books fast enough, and now the TV show has caught up to the books, more or less.  So now you no longer have all that juicy source material to work from, you just have whatever tidbits GRRM has given you about where the story is going.  That’s fine.

But guys?  I’m worried.  Frankly, you are starting to scare me a little bit.  Not having Book Six or Book Seven to work from does not mean that you should suddenly become nihilists.  It’s not a race to see who can kill more characters.  Moving the story forward does not mean taking a large metaphorical dump on the hopes and dreams of the fans, ok?

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Today is the anniversary of the worst maritime disaster in American history

It was April 27th, 1865 – 151 years ago today.  And I bet that most people have never even heard of it, even though it killed more people than the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912 or the sinking of the RMS Lusitania in 1915.

It was an American steamboat named the Sultana.

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