John Spencer Bassett and Jacksonian Historiography, Part 1

In the process of presenting a paper at the April 2010 OAH about Jackson and slavery and writing a longer historiographical essay on the same topic, I have spent a lot of time this year considering the influence of John Spencer Bassett on Jacksonian historiography. Bassett received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1894, having …

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2010 Tennessee Conference of Historians Recap

It doesn't seem appropriate to duplicate the conference recap here in this blog, but I wanted to add a thought or two. The panel that I was on focused on John Catron and Andrew Jackson. Surprisingly, no historian has written a biography of Catron, despite being a member of the United States Supreme Court. (Add him …

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Slavery Collections at the New-York Historical Society

The New-York Historical Society recently digitized some of its slavery-related collections. The fourteen collections on this web site are among the most important of these manuscript collections. They consist of diaries, account books, letter books, ships’ logs, indentures, bills of sale, personal papers, and records of institutions. Some of the highlights of these collections include …

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Brutal Slave History on Maryland Plantation

The archaeological dig at the L'Hermitage plantation in Frederick County, Maryland, offers the possibility of adding to our knowledge of slavery's brutality in the Early Republic period. At the very least, it will help us better understand slavery in the Upper South. It is a story of international upheaval, racial oppression, family complexity and, perhaps, …

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Summer 2010 Research

I, along with several other Cumberland faculty, had the privilege of receiving a university summer research grant. My grant proposal outlined a plan to look at Andrew Jackson's slave communities in Tennessee and Mississippi, particularly post-presidency. This research plan was intended to help me complete a biography, due next summer, that examines Jackson's southern identity. …

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Suicide in the Early Republic

I recently started catching up on my academic journal reading. Two articles in different journals addressed aspects of suicide that I found interesting. I'll try to do justice to them in summarizing the arguments made by the authors. Richard Bell's "The Double Guilt of Dueling: The Stain of Suicide in Anti-Dueling Rhetoric in the Early Republic" …

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