Debunking the Lincoln-Kennedy Federal Reserve Meme

There is a meme circulating on Facebook that seems to be based on the conspiracy theory that Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy were assassinated by the Rothschilds because they wanted to "end the federal reserve banking system." Let's pick this meme apart to see how historically accurate it is. 1. There was no federal …

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President Andrew Johnson’s Vampire Story

It seems as if every nineteenth-century president now has a vampire connection. The National Constitution Center noted the origin of a vampire story involving President Andrew Johnson in a blog post last summer. The [1892 Brooklyn Daily Eagle] report says that a convicted murder, a Portuguese sailor named James Brown, was just sent to the national …

My Problems with the New Lincoln Movie Trailer

The new Lincoln movie trailer is out. The latter part of it definitely piqued my interest more than the original trailer. I found the beginning of the trailer a bit off-putting, though, in its claim that Lincoln united all Americans. I know I'm once again probably being too picky, but that claim ignores the southern …

Revisiting Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Remember when I said I didn't really get the Abe Lincoln/vampire mash-up novel and movie? After reading W. Scott Poole's article in the HuffPo, I'm rethinking my opinion. Poole makes the following argument: If you've read the novel, you know it's a dark rendering of America's secret history, the idea that dark powers have moved …

Andrew Jackson, Alien Slayer

I didn't get the allure of Seth Grahame-Smith's Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, but it drew enough attention that someone made a movie about it. One good thing about the movie: Benjamin Walker of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson makes his big-screen debut. Given the dearth of film portrayals of Andrew Jackson, I suppose it's inevitable that …

The Man Who Wanted to Kill Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson often elicited strong, violent emotions. During his presidency, one man tried to assault him, and another tried to shoot him. What you may not realize is that John Wilkes Booth's father, Junius Brutus Booth, threatened to kill President Andrew Jackson three decades before the younger Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln on that fateful Good …

Andrew Jackson: Patriot Slaveholder

Sometimes, there are articles that get lost in the shuffle. They don't appear in proprietary databases such as JSTOR or America: History and Life, so no one discovers them until years later. I don't want this to happen to Aaron Crawford's new article in the Journal of East Tennessee History (Vol. 82--2010) on the symbolic …

Review of Eric Foner, Our Lincoln: New Perspectives on Lincoln and His World

I just finished reading Our Lincoln: New Perspectives on Lincoln and His World, a collection of essays on Abraham Lincoln edited by Eric Foner. I assigned this book to my Civil War students this fall. Since some of the essays deal with Lincoln in the Early Republic period, I'm offering my assessment of those chapters here, setting aside the other chapters that primarily focus on …

The National Archives’ Treasure Hunters

As this L.A. Times article notes, you might be shocked at the number and types of documents that have been stolen from the National Archives over the years. When Paul Brachfeld took over as inspector general of the National Archives, guardian of the country's most beloved treasures, he discovered the American people were being stolen blind. The Wright Brothers 1903 …