History of Washington DC

During the Revolution, the American colonies had no one, set capital, nor did they even refer to the city as their capital – referring to it simply as the “meetingplace of Congress.”1 After being chased between Philadelphia, New York, Trenton, and a few other places, when independence came, Congress hankered for a permanent home. The […]

Little Ice Age

Some people may say that a centuries long climatological phenomenon wouldn’t make for a compelling story – but I beg to differ! While the date range is disputed, the Little Ice Age affected large swathes of the globe, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, for several centuries. While its name suggests a period of severe cold, […]

The Expulsion of the Acadians began in 1755. Sadly, the Acadians’ troubles did not end with their forced migration from their homeland. Packed into British transport ships like French-speaking sardines, they were sent as far afield as Boston, Maryland, England, and France. Ousted from their land during the French and Indian War, the British made […]

Expulsion of the Acadians

On September 5, 1755, the men and boys of Grand Pré, Nova Scotia gathered in the warmth of the town’s church. Huddled together in the pews as the chill of the Canadian winter crept in over their lands, they listened to a proclamation from the Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, Charles Lawerence. “… your Land & […]

In 1626, Peter Minuit, a Belgian working for the Dutch Empire, arrived in New Netherland, Holland’s territories along the Hudson River. After taking over as the colony’s governor, he made contact with one of the Lenape nations living on the island we call Manhattan. Later that year, Pieter Schagen, a fellow colonist in New Netherland, […]

Spanish Requirement of 1513

The Spanish conquest of many parts of the Americas is one of the darkest periods in human history. Reading accounts of conquistadors, one gets the sense that they were psychopaths; white, bearded, and odorous psychopaths. While their actions were reprehensible, and they even had contemporary nay-sayers like Bartolomé de las Casas, they did create justifications […]

Growing up in the United States, one almost gets the impression that the American Revolution, with the exception of Yorktown, began, was fought, and ended in New England; or, really, even just Massachusetts. But this colonial struggle for independence took place on a much grander scale than the original 13 colonies so lovingly memorialized on […]

While doing some basic research one day, I noticed a line in a Wikipedia entry that made my spidey-senses go off. While I can’t recall the exact wording off the top of my head, it spoke of the idea of the ‘Beaver Wars’ as an historical fact. The Beaver Wars theory claims that, in order […]

Tar and Feathering in American Revolution

Back in the eighteenth-century, posters depicting a tarring-and-feathering appear almost comical in nature. Take this picture, for example, titled, “A new method of macaroni making as practiced in Boston in North America.” It shows one man, already covered in tar and feathers, on a knee between two others; all three blushing mightily, as if out of […]