Official Launch of The Papers of Martin Van Buren Project

Cumberland University is launching The Papers of Martin Van Buren project on Monday, Feb. 15. (Fittingly, that is Presidents Day.) There will be a press conference in the Vise Library at 2:00 P.M. At 3:30, we will be holding a symposium on presidential papers projects in Labry Hall 130. Speaking at the symposium will be: … Continue reading Official Launch of The Papers of Martin Van Buren Project

Teaching at Your Alma Mater

Twenty years ago, I started my freshman year at Cumberland University. Sixteen years later, I returned to take a faculty position. Teaching at your alma mater can be difficult. Former professors become your colleagues, and you have to overcome the reluctance to challenge or contradict your mentors. You also have to confront suspicions about academic … Continue reading Teaching at Your Alma Mater

Andrew Jackson’s Profane Parrot

Even though the poster to the left was never actually used in the Smithsonian's PR campaign, I like it. Whether it's true is something else entirely. I told Poll's story as a docent at The Hermitage years ago and never questioned its validity. This poster made me think twice, so I asked Marsha Mullin, the … Continue reading Andrew Jackson’s Profane Parrot

Summer 2011 Research

This summer was a crucial one for the Jackson biography. Research funding from Cumberland University and the Filson Historical Society made it possible for me to finish the first draft of the biography, as well as to make progress toward completing research for a paper that I am presenting at this fall's Southern Historical Association conference. My university grant … Continue reading Summer 2011 Research