Review: Joseph Smith Papers, Council of Fifty, Minutes, March 1844-January 1846

Last year, Spencer McBride asked me to participate in a blogger event for The Joseph Smith Papers (JSP) that focused on the publication of the volume containing the Council of Fifty Minutes, March 1844-January 1846 (C50). My teaching schedule prevented me from being part of that session, but Spencer graciously sent me a copy of the volume …

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Help Choose My Next Book Cover!

You can help me choose my next book cover! In the comments, note which of the below eight images you think would make the best cover for The Coming of Democracy: Presidential Campaigning in the Age of Jackson. Use whatever criteria suits you, and add your reasoning in your comment if you want.*     …

George Washington Gordon, the Klan, and the History of Confederate Memorials

Unless you are a student of Civil War military history, you've probably never heard of Confederate general George Washington Gordon. Yet, he was a seminal figure in the early years of the Ku Klux Klan and an important voice in the construction of the Lost Cause ideology. The debate over Confederate monuments the past few …

White Supremacy, the KKK, and Charlottesville

If you've never watched the documentary, The Ku Klux Klan: A Secret History, now would be a good time to do so. There are some historical inaccuracies in it, but overall, it provides a revealing look at the KKK's history. One of the most important parts of the documentary is the first twelve minutes. Before …

Release of First Van Buren Documents

I am thrilled beyond words to announce that the first 80 documents from the Papers of Martin Van Buren project are now freely available. Read the entire press release, then visit the PMVB site to explore the documents. This project has gained tremendous momentum in the past couple of months. Our May fundraiser raised almost $1,000, …

Van Buren Papers Project Receives NHPRC Grant

Reblogged from the PMVB website: We are thrilled to share the news that the Van Buren Papers received an NHPRC grant for 2017-18. The official Cumberland University press release: Cumberland University received a grant for $60,752 from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Papers of Martin Van Buren (PMVB) project. The funds will …

WPLN Visits the Van Buren Papers

Chas Sisk of Nashville Public Radio recently visited the Papers of Martin Van Buren office Chas spent 90 minutes interviewing me and several students (David Gregory, Ally Johnson, and Zach Morgan)  who are working on the project over the summer. You can read or listen to the interview through the link at the PMVB website.

Interview with C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb

Last month, I had the privilege of sitting down with C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb and being interviewed for his show, Q&A. It was a heady and nerve-wracking experience, not the least because I had been sick for a couple of days before I flew to D.C. (Remember that when you watch the interview.) We talked …

Would Andrew Jackson Have Prevented the Civil War?

Yesterday, I addressed Donald Trump's statements about Andrew Jackson and the Civil War. A lot of other historians since then have jumped in to lament Trump's historical ignorance, a view I sympathize with. Trump wasn't satisfied to let the criticism go and took to the Twitter machine to reinforce his historical analysis: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/859209801175269376 Whether Jackson would …