Andrew Jackson’s Mammoth Cheese

Americans in the Early Republic did some strange things. One of those was sending presidents blocks of cheese. Not 16-oz. blocks like you find in grocery stores today, but ones that weighed hundreds of pounds. For example, in 1801, a group of Cheshire, Massachusetts, women gave Thomas Jefferson a 1,200-lb. block of cheese "as 'a …

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Annette Gordon-Reed and the Jefferson-Hemings Relationship

Early Republic historian Annette Gordon-Reed was recently named a MacArthur Fellow, which awards $500,000 over five years for the pursuit of creative endeavors, no strings attached. Gordon-Reed, of course, is familiar to Early Republic historians and the general public for her work on the Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings relationship and the Hemings family, discussed in a Gilder …

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Review of Annette Gordon-Reed’s The Hemingses of Monticello

While chatting with my former student, Chris Tucker, at TCH last weekend, I asked him if he would be willing to let me cross-post a review of Annette Gordon-Reed's The Hemingses of Monticello that he posted on his own blog. He graciously gave me permission. Annette Gordon-Reed’s The Hemingses of Monticello examines the state of affairs in eighteenth century …

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The Early Republic’s Beautiful People

Two of them, apparently, were John Tyler's wives (HT to @kevindmccann). Tyler wasn't a bad-looking guy, but one 2007 report had two Early Republic presidents in the top five "hottest" U.S. presidents: Thomas Jefferson and Franklin Pierce. Obama might have knocked one of them out of the top five by now, but even one Early Republic …

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