New Book on Jacksonian Race Riot

Jefferson Morley's new book, Snow-Storm in August: Washington City, Francis Scott Key, and the Forgotten Race Riot of 1835, recounts the August 1835 race riot that took place in the nation's capital. As president, Andrew Jackson played a pivotal role in the fate of John Arthur Bowen, a slave found guilty of attacking his owner, Anna Thornton, …

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BrANCHing Out

I recently learned that my proposal, "‘The Evolution of the Enslaved Community at Andrew Jackson’s Plantations, 1790s-1840s," was accepted to be part of the 2012 BrANCH (Association of British American Nineteenth Century Historians) conference, which will be held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne this fall. This paper is part of a new project focusing on the slave community at The Hermitage. …

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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 …

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A Festschrift for John Marszalek

On Tuesday, I had the honor of helping surprise my doctoral advisor, John Marszalek, with news that several of his former graduate students had produced a festschrift. A group of approximately thirty family, friends, former students, and colleagues gathered in Starkville to unveil a new book, entitled Of Times and Race: Essays Inspired by John …

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Post-Civil War Slave Nostalgia

Update: This is a timely post, as my student, Kimberley Davis, reminded me with this letter purportedly written by an emancipated slave to his former owner.  I am currently looking at post-Civil War interviews and memoirs of African American men and women who were enslaved at The Hermitage. The interviews are rendered in the stereotypical …

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The Tennessee Tea Party and Slavery in Textbooks: An Example of Lazy Journalism

As a local Nashville paper pointed out, the HuffPo article on the Tennessee Tea party's criticism of the discussion of slavery in school textbooks is a year old. I even wrote about it last January. The idea that textbooks shouldn't discuss historical reality remains absurd, but I don't understand why HuffPo and other news outlets only …

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Slavery, Kinship, and the 1828 Presidential Campaign

As I did for this past summer's SHEAR conference, I am posting for advance reading a .pdf of my paper, entitled "Slavery, Kinship, and Andrew Jackson's Presidential Campaign of 1828," for the upcoming Southern Historical Association meeting. It is part of the session, "New Perspectives on the Jacksonian South," scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 29, from …

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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 …

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My Week at the Filson

I had the privilege of spending five days at the Filson Historical Society last week. The Filson awards several fellowships and internships; I was the recipient of a one-week Filson Fellowship. If you're interested in history, you should check out the Filson's newsmagazine or become a member. At the very least, pay it a visit--you won't be disappointed. Before I recap my week, …

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Teasing My Research

No, not the kindergarten brand of teasing. I'm excited about presenting some of my Jackson research at this summer's SHEAR and this fall's Southern. At this year's SHEAR, which meets in Philadelphia, I'll be presenting a paper entitled, "Masculinity and Familial Relations in the Early Republic South: A Study of Andrew Jackson’s Advice to His …

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