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Ben Franklin's World: A Podcast About Early American History

Liz Covart

This is a show about early American history. Awarded Best History Podcast by the Academy of Podcasters in 2017, it’s for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped ...Show More
245 Celebrating the Fourth

1:12:18 | Jul 2nd

John Adams predicted Americans would celebrate the Second of July, the day Congress voted in favor of independence, "with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations." He got the date wrong, but he was right about th...Show More
218 Peter G. Rose, How the Dutch Brough Us Santa, Presents, & Treats

41:38 | Dec 25th, 2018

Have you ever wondered where the Christmas traditions of stockings, presents, and cookies come from? What about jolly, old Saint Nicholas? Who was he and why do we often call him Santa Claus? Peter G. Rose, author of Delicious December: How th...Show More
204 James Lewis Jr., The Burr Conspiracy

1:01:07 | Sep 18th, 2018

Aaron Burr: Revolutionary War hero, talented lawyer, Vice President, and Intriguer of treason? Between 1805 and 1807, Aaron Burr supposedly intended to commit treason by dividing the American union. How did Americans learn about and respond to thi...Show More
138 Patrick Spero, Frontier Politics in Early America

47:51 | Jun 13th, 2017

During the 1760s, Connecticut invaded and captured the northeastern corner of Pennsylvania just as Virginia invaded and captured parts of western Pennsylvania. And Pennsylvania stood powerless to stop them. In this episode, Patrick Spero, the Libr...Show More
137 Erica Dunbar: The Washingtons' Runaway Slave, Ona Judge

51:52 | Jun 6th, 2017

George Washington was an accomplished man. He served as a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, first President of the United States, and on top of all that he was also a savvy businessma...Show More
252 Matthew P. Dziennick, The Highland Soldier in North America

1:00:30 | Aug 20th

Much of early American history comprises stories of empire and how different Native, European, and Euro-American nations vied for control of territory, resources, and people. 
 Matthew P. Dziennik presents us with one of these imperial stories. Sp...Show More
251 Cameron Strang, Frontiers of Science

53:36 | Aug 13th

What did early Americans think about science? And how did they pursue and develop their knowledge of it? Cameron Strang, an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Reno and author of Frontiers of Science: Imperialism and Natura...Show More
250 Virginia, 1619

1:16:42 | Aug 6th

2019 marks the 400th anniversary of two important events in American History: The creation of the first representative assembly in English North America and the arrival of the first African people in English North America. Why were these Virginia-...Show More
249 BFW Road Trip: James Monroe's Highland

46:59 | Jul 30th

Between 1789 and 1825, five men would serve as President of the United States. Four of them hailed from Virginia. Many of us know details about the lives and presidencies of Washington, Jefferson, and Madison. But what do we know about the life an...Show More
248 BFW Road Trip: National Museum of African American History and Culture

33:40 | Jul 23rd

Not all historians publish their findings about history in books and articles. Some historians convey knowledge about history to the public in public spaces and in public ways. We conclude the “Doing History: How Historians Work” series with a loo...Show More
247 BFW Road Trip: Schoharie Crossing

40:07 | Jul 16th

On January 4, 1817, New York State began building a 363-mile long canal to link the Hudson River and Atlantic Ocean with the Great Lakes and the Midwest. Janice Fontanella, site manager of Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site in Fort Hunter, New...Show More
246 BFW Road Trip: Château de Ramezay

43:35 | Jul 9th

Did Canada almost join the American Revolution? Bruno Paul Stenson, a historian and musicologist with the Château de Ramezay historic site in Montréal, joins us to discuss how the American Revolution played out in Canada. This episode originall...Show More
244 Kimberly Alexander, Shoe Stories From Early America

1:00:52 | Jun 25th

There’s a saying that tells us we should walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. It’s a reminder to try and understand people before we cast judgement. As it happens, this expression is on the mark because it seems when we use shoes as historical obj...Show More
243 Joseph Adelman, Revolutionary Print Networks

1:04:46 | Jun 18th

For the American Revolution to be successful, it needed ideas people could embrace and methods for spreading those ideas. It also needed ways for revolutionaries to coordinate across colonial lines. How did revolutionaries spread their ideas? How ...Show More
242 David Young, An Early History of Delaware

51:02 | Jun 11th

Delaware may be the second smallest state in the United States, but it has a BIG, rich history that can tell us much about the history of early America. David Young, the Executive Director of the Delaware Historical Society, joins us to explore th...Show More
241 Molly Warsh, Pearls and the Nature of the Spanish Empire

57:25 | Jun 4th

Spain became the first European power to use the peoples, resources, and lands of the Americas and Caribbean as the basis for its Atlantic Empire. How did this empire function and what wealth was Spain able to extract from these peoples and lands?...Show More
240 Flora Fraser, Biography and a Biographer's Work

45:05 | May 28th

Have you ever had one of those really conversations where the person was so fascinating that you wished the conversation didn’t have to end? Flora Fraser joins us for one of those conversations. We’ll talk about biography, and in doing so, she’ll...Show More
239 Joseph Adelman, Travel and Post in Early America

37:06 | May 21st

How did the postal system work in Early America? How did people send mail across the North American colonies and the British Empire? Joseph Adelman, an Assistant Professor of History at Framingham State University and author of Revolutionary Netwo...Show More
238 Stephen Brumwell, Benedict Arnold

1:11:55 | May 14th

Benedict Arnold is an intriguing figure. He was both a military hero who greatly impacted and furthered the American War for Independence with his bravery on the battlefield and someone who did something unthinkable: he betrayed his country. Steph...Show More
237 Nora Doyle, Motherhood in Early America

54:47 | May 7th

Mother’s Day became a national holiday on May 9, 1914 to honor all of the work mothers do to raise children. But what precisely is the work that mothers do to raise children? Has the nature of mothers, motherhood, and the work mothers do changed ...Show More
236 Daniel Livesay, Mixed-Race Britons and the Atlantic Family

59:17 | Apr 30th

Who do we count as family? If a relative was born in a foreign place and one of their parents was of a different race? Would they count as family? Eighteenth-century Britons asked themselves these questions. Their answers varied by time and wh...Show More
235 Jenny Hale Pulsipher, A 17th-Century Native American Life

1:03:18 | Apr 23rd

What does early America look like if we view it through Native American eyes? Jenny Hale Pulsipher, an Associate Professor of History at Brigham Young University and author of Swindler Sachem, is a scholar who enjoys investigating the many answers...Show More
234 Richard Bushman, Farms & Farm Families in Early America

47:28 | Apr 16th

Roughly three-quarters of Americans in British North America and the early United States considered themselves to be farmers. So how did early Americans establish farms and what were the rhythms of their daily lives? Richard Bushman joins us to in...Show More
233 Gwenn Miller, A History of Russian America

48:19 | Apr 9th

When we think about colonial American history we think about the colonies of the English, the Dutch, the French, and the Spanish. Rarely do we think about the colonies of the Russians. And yet Russia had colonies in North America. Gwenn Miller, an...Show More
232 Christopher Hodson, The Acadian Diaspora

1:02:43 | Apr 2nd

Before the English settled in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607 or the Dutch settled near Albany, New York in 1615, a group of French-speaking, Catholic settlers established a settlement in Nova Scotia in 1605. By 1755, nearly 15,000 Acadians lived in A...Show More
231 Sara Georgini, The Religious Lives of the Adams Family

1:02:26 | Mar 26th

Historians use archives to create the histories we love to read, watch, and listen to. Sara Georgini, Series Editor of The Papers of John Adams, invites us to join her inside the Massachusetts Historical Society so we can take a closer look at th...Show More
230 Mitch Kachun, First Martyr of Liberty

58:53 | Mar 19th

Samuel Gray, James Caldwell, Samuel Maverick, Patrick Carr, and Crispus Attucks. These are the five men who died at the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770. Of these five victims, evidence points to Crispus Attucks falling first, and of all the victi...Show More
229 Patrick Griffin, The Townshend Moment

1:00:57 | Mar 12th

Why did the Boston Massacre happen? Why did the British government feel it had little choice but to station as many 2,000 soldiers in Boston? And what was going on within the larger British Empire that drove colonists to the point where they provoked...Show More
228 Eric Hinderaker, The Boston Massacre

1:03:36 | Mar 5th

On the evening of March 5, 1770, a crowd gathered in Boston’s King Street and confronted a sentry and his fellow soldiers in front of the custom house. The confrontation led the soldiers to fire their muskets into the crowd, five civilians died. W...Show More
227 Kyle Courtney, Copyright & Fair Use in Early America

1:15:56 | Feb 26th

We create and use a lot of content. We take photos with our phones, generate blog posts, digital videos, and podcasts. We write books and articles. And nearly everyone contributes content to social media. Given all of the information and content w...Show More
226 Ryan Quintana, Making the State of South Carolina

1:01:07 | Feb 19th

What do we mean by “the state?” How is a “state” produced? Is “the state” something everyone can participate in producing? Ryan Quintana, an Associate Professor of History at Wellesley College and the author of Making a Slave State: Politica...Show More
225 Elaine Forman Crane, The Poison Plot: Adultery and Murder in Colonial Newport

51:12 | Feb 12th

In 1738, Benedict Arnold petitioned the Rhode Island General Assembly for a divorce from his wife Mary Ward Arnold. He claimed that Mary had taken a lover and together they had attempted to murder him with poison. How did this story of love, divor...Show More
224 Kevin Dawson, Aquatic Culture in Early America

57:00 | Feb 5th

The Atlantic World has brought many disparate peoples together, which has caused a lot of ideas and cultures to mix. How did the Atlantic World bring so many different peoples and cultures together? How did this large intermixing of people and cu...Show More
223 Susan Sleeper-Smith, A Native American History of the Ohio River Valley & Great Lakes Region

1:07:10 | Jan 29th

During the 17th & 18th centuries, many different Native American peoples prospered from the Ohio River Valley both in terms of the the land’s ability to produce a wide variety of crops and its support of a wide variety of small fur-bearing animals fo...Show More
222 Adam Costanzo, The Early History of Washington, D.C.

1:10:08 | Jan 22nd

The banks of the Potomac River represent an odd place to build a national city. Still in 1790, the United States Congress mandated that it would establish a new, permanent capital along the banks of the Potomac River. Why? Adam Costanzo, author of...Show More
221 Rae Eighmey, The Culinary Adventures of Benjamin Franklin

54:35 | Jan 15th

Can food help us better understand the people and events of the past? Can we better understand a person like Benjamin Franklin and who he was by the foods he ate? Rae Katherine Eighmey, an award-winning food historian, author, and cook, joins us t...Show More
220 Margaret Newell, New England Indians, Colonists, & the Origins of American Slavery

1:14:25 | Jan 8th

Did you know that one of the earliest practices of slavery by English colonists originated in New England? In fact, Massachusetts issued the very first slave code in English America in 1641. Why did New Englanders turn to slavery and become the fi...Show More
219 Adrian Covert, Taverns in Early America

51:01 | Jan 1st

Inns and taverns played prominent roles in early American life. They served the needs of travelers who needed food to eat and places to sleep.They offered local communities a form of poor relief. And they functioned as public spaces where men could g...Show More
217 Jessica Millward, Slavery and Freedom in Early Maryland

49:17 | Dec 18th, 2018

How do you uncover the life of an enslaved person who left no paper trail? What can the everyday life of an enslaved person tell us about slavery, how it was practiced, and how some enslaved people made the transition from slavery to freedom? W...Show More
216 Lisa Wilson, A History of Stepfamilies in Early America

43:33 | Dec 11th, 2018

What do George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln have in common? They all grew-up in blended or stepfamilies. Lisa Wilson, the Charles J. MacCurdy Professor of American History at Connecticut College and author of A History of ...Show More
215 Rachel Hope Cleves, A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America

52:00 | Dec 4th, 2018

We tend to view gay marriage as a cultural and legal development of the 21st century. But did you know that some early Americans lived openly as same-sex married couples? Rachel Hope Cleves, a Professor of History at the University of Victoria...Show More
214 Christopher Grasso, Skpeticism and American Faith

55:59 | Nov 27th, 2018

Was the early United States a “Christian nation?” Some scholars argue early America was a religious place and even those who did not attend church were on the same basic page as those who did. While other scholars argue early America boasted an in...Show More
213 Rebecca Fraser, The Pilgrims of Plimoth

58:12 | Nov 20th, 2018

In 1621, the Pilgrims of Plimoth Colony and their Wampanoag neighbors celebrated their first harvest. Today we remember this event as the first Thanksgiving. But what do we really know about this holiday and the people who celebrated it? So muc...Show More
212 Researching Biography (Doing History)

1:09:02 | Nov 13th, 2018

How do historians and biographers reconstruct the lives of people from the past? Good biographies rely on telling the lives of people using practiced historical methods of thorough archival research and the sound interrogation of historical source...Show More
Bonus: Erica Dunbar, The Washingtons' Runaway Slave, Ona Judge

52:36 | Nov 9th, 2018

As part of the Omohundro Institute's Doing History series on biography, Episode 212 offers us a new conversation with Erica Dunbar, the author of Never Caught: The Washington’s Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave Ona Judge. The new episode w...Show More
211 Considering John Marshall, Part 2 (Doing History)

1:10:46 | Nov 6th, 2018

Can a biography help us explore big historical questions? Can knowing about the life of John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, help us better understand the Supreme Court and how it came to occupy the powerful ...Show More
210 Considering John Marshall, Part 1 (Doing History)

1:15:46 | Oct 30th, 2018

For 34 years, John Marshall presided as the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. During his service, Marshal transformed the nation’s top court and its judicial branch into the powerful body and co-equal branch of government we know it a...Show More
209 Considering Biography (Doing History)

1:35:59 | Oct 23rd, 2018

Biography. Since the earliest days of the United States, Americans have been interested in biography. But why? What is it about the lives of others that makes the past so interesting and fun to explore? This episode marks the start of the Omohu...Show More
208 Nathaniel Philbrick, Turning Points of the American Revolution

55:18 | Oct 16th, 2018

2018 marks the 241st anniversary of the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga and the 240th anniversary of the Franco-American Alliance. But was the victory that prompted the French to join the American war effort, truly the "turning point" of t...Show More
207 Nick Bunker, Young Benjamin Franklin

1:02:33 | Oct 9th, 2018

What in the first 40 years of his life made Benjamin Franklin the genius he became? Ben Franklin serves as a great window on to the early American past because as a man of “variety” he pursued many interests: literature, poetry, science, business,...Show More
206 Katharine Gerbner, Christian Slavery: Conversion and Race in the Protestant Atlantic World

57:19 | Oct 2nd, 2018

Between 1500 and the 1860s, Europeans and Americans forcibly removed approximately 12 million African people from the African continent, transported them to the Americas, and enslaved them. Why did Europeans and Americans enslave Africans? How did...Show More
205 Jeanne Abrams, First Ladies of the Republic

52:42 | Sep 25th, 2018

La Presidente? The Presidentess? The First Lady of the Land? The United States Constitution defines the Executive Branch of the government, the powers it has, and the role of the chief executive. But what about the position of the President’s...Show More
203 Joanne Freeman, Alexander Hamilton

1:01:53 | Sep 11th, 2018

Hamilton the Musical hit Broadway in August 2015 and since that time people all around the world have been learning about a man named Alexander Hamilton. Or, at least they’ve been learning about the musical’s character Alexander Hamilton. But who ...Show More
202 The Early History of the United States Congress

1:13:36 | Sep 4th, 2018

Matt Wasniewski, the Historian of the United States House of Representatives and Terrance Ruckner, a Historical Publications Specialist in the Office of the Historian at the United States House of Representatives, lead us on an exploration of why and...Show More
201 Catherine Kelly, Art, Politics, and Everyday Life in Early America

1:04:10 | Aug 28th, 2018

How do you unite the disparate peoples of the United States into one national people? Americans grappled with many questions about what it meant to be an American after the American Revolution. Catherine Kelly, author of Republic of Taste: Art...Show More
200 Everyday Life in Early America

1:25:04 | Aug 21st, 2018

What would you like to know about Early American History? It turns out, you wanted to know about the establishment of schools, how the colonial postal service worked, and about aspects of health and hygiene in early America. In this listener-i...Show More
199 Coll Thrush, Indigenous London: Native Travelers at the Heart of the Empire

39:53 | Aug 14th, 2018

Today, we explore early American history through a slightly different lens, a lens that allows us to see interactions that occurred between Native American peoples and English men and women who lived in London. Our guide for this exploration is Co...Show More
198 Andrew Lipman, Saltwater Frontier: Native Americans and the Contest for the Northeastern Coast

54:45 | Aug 7th, 2018

When we think of Native Americans, many of us think of inland dwellers. People adept at navigating forests and rivers and the skilled hunters and horsemen who lived and hunted on the American Plains. But did you know that Native Americans were sea...Show More
197 Brett Rushforth, Native American Slavery in New France

56:53 | Jul 31st, 2018

When we think about early American slavery, our minds evoke images of plantations where enslaved men and women were forced to labor in agricultural fields and inside the homes of wealthy Americans. These images depict the practice of chattel slave...Show More
196 Alejandra Dubcovsky, Information Exchange in the Early Southeast

41:58 | Jul 24th, 2018

We live in an age of information. The internet provides us with 24/7 access to all types of information—news, how-to articles, sports scores, entertainment news, and congressional votes. But what do we do with all of this knowledge? How do we sift...Show More
195 Morgan Bengel, Old Newgate Prison and Copper Mine

40:38 | Jul 17th, 2018

In 1705 a group of colonists in Simsbury, Connecticut founded a copper mine, which the Connecticut General Assembly purchased and turned into a prison in 1773. How did an old copper mine function as a prison? Morgan Bengel, a Museum Assistant ...Show More
194 Garrett Cloer, Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site

1:00:26 | Jul 10th, 2018

As part of its mission, the National Park Service seeks to protect and preserve places saved by the American people so that all may experience the heritage of the United States. These places include those with historical significance. Supervisory ...Show More
Bonus: Behind the Scenes of the Adams-Jefferson Letters

39:33 | Jul 6th, 2018

In 1959, the Omohundro Institute and UNC Press published Lester J. Cappon’s The Adams-Jefferson Letters: The Complete Correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and John and Abigail Adams. It was the first time that all 380 letters between Jefferson and...Show More
193 Partisans: The Friendship and Rivalry of Adams and Jefferson

1:23:08 | Jul 3rd, 2018

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Two drafters and signers of the Declaration of Independence, two diplomats who served the United States abroad, and two men who served as vice president and president of the United States. Both men left indelible mark...Show More
192 Brian Regal, The Secret History of the Jersey Devil

56:44 | Jun 26th, 2018

The Jersey Devil is a monster legend that originated in New Jersey’s early American past. How and why did this legend emerge? And, what can it tell us about New Jersey’s past? Brian Regal, an Associate Professor of History at Kean University an...Show More
191 Lisa Brooks, A New History of King Philip's War

1:04:45 | Jun 19th, 2018

King Philip’s War is an event that appears over and over again in books about colonial America. So when you have an event that has been as studied as King Philip’s War has been, is there anything new that we can learn about it by re-examining it ...Show More
190 Jennifer Goloboy, Origins of the American Middle Class

50:58 | Jun 12th, 2018

As many as 70 percent of Americans consider themselves to be members of the middle class. If you consider income, only about 50 percent of Americans qualify for membership. So what does it meant to be middle class and why do so many Americans want...Show More
189 Sam White, The Little Ice Age

51:42 | Jun 5th, 2018

We’re living in a period of climate change. Our Earth has been getting warmer since the mid-19th century. So how will humans adapt to and endure this period of global warming? Will they adapt to it and endure? Sam White, an Associate Professor ...Show More
188 Terri Halperin, The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798

56:37 | May 29th, 2018

The Alien and Sedition Acts consisted of four laws enacted by the United States government in 1798. The U.S. passed these laws during a time of great uncertainty. Why did Americans fear for the United States’ existence and why did they think four ...Show More
187 Kenneth Cohen, Sport in Early America

50:47 | May 22nd, 2018

American culture is obsessed with sports. More than 67,000 fans attend each National Football League game and more than 30,000 fans attend each Major League Baseball game. Millions of fans watch these sports on television. When did America become ...Show More
186 Max Edelson, The New Map of the British Empire

1:05:34 | May 15th, 2018

As a result of Great Britain’s victory in the Seven Years’ War, British North America expanded so that it stretched from the Atlantic seaboard to the Mississippi River and from Hudson Bay south to Florida. How exactly would Great Britain govern t...Show More
185 Joyce D. Goodfriend, Early New York City and its Culture

56:29 | May 8th, 2018

Culture is important. It impacts how we think and act as members of families, local communities, states, and nations. So who sets the unwritten social rules and ideas we adopt and live by? Joyce Goodfriend, author of Who Should Rule at Home? C...Show More
184 David Silverman, Thundersticks: Firearms and the Violent Transformation of Native America

56:09 | May 1st, 2018

Early North America was a place rife with violent conflict. Between the 17th and 19th centuries we see a lot of conflict between Native American peoples, colonists, and American settlers. David J. Silverman, author of Thundersticks: Firearms and t...Show More
183 Douglas Bradburn, George Washington's Mount Vernon

1:06:37 | Apr 24th, 2018

George Washington served as the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, the President of the Constitutional Convention, and as the first President of the United States. In addition to these important public roles, Washington also served as a farm...Show More
182 Douglas Winiarski, Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: The Great Awakening in New England

59:00 | Apr 17th, 2018

The 1740s and 1750s proved to be an extraordinary time for many ordinary New Englanders. It was a period when itinerant preachers swept through the region and asked its people to question the fundamental assumptions of their religion. Douglas Wini...Show More
181 Virginia DeJohn Anderson, The Martyr and the Traitor: Nathan Hale & Moses Dunbar

54:08 | Apr 10th, 2018

Why did early Americans choose to become patriots or loyalists during the American Revolution? How did they make the decision to either stand with or against their neighbors? In this episode, we explore answers to these questions about how and wh...Show More
180 Kate Elizabeth Brown, Alexander Hamilton and the Making of American Law

59:40 | Apr 3rd, 2018

The legacy of Alexander Hamilton tells us that he was Thomas Jefferson’s political rival, a man who fought to secure strong powers for the national government, and the first Secretary of the Treasury. What Hamilton’s legacy doesn’t tell us is that...Show More
Bonus: Listener Q&A About Religion in Early New England

09:12 | Mar 30th, 2018

Douglas Winiarski answers your questions about religion in early New England with details from his book, Darkness Falls on the Land of Light. Darkness Falls on the Land of Light is the story of how ordinary New Englanders living through extraordin...Show More
179 George Van Cleve, After the Revolution: Governance During the Critical Period

1:04:41 | Mar 27th, 2018

Between 1781 and 1789, the Confederation Congress established by the Articles of Confederation had to deal with war, economic depression, infighting between the states, trouble in the west, foreign meddling, and domestic insurrection. George Willi...Show More
178 Karoline Cook, Muslims and Moriscos in Colonial Spanish America

49:59 | Mar 20th, 2018

The jurisdiction of New Spain included areas of upper and lower California and large areas of the American southwest and southeast, including Florida. Karoline Cook, author of Forbidden Passages: Muslims and Moriscos in Colonial Spanish America, h...Show More
177 Martin Brückner, The Social Life of Maps in America

55:40 | Mar 13th, 2018

Did you know that maps have social lives? Maps facilitate a lot of different social and political relationships between people and nations. And they did a lot of this work for Americans throughout the early American past. Martin Brückner, a P...Show More
176 Daina Ramey Berry, The Value of the Enslaved From Womb to Grave

50:11 | Mar 6th, 2018

What did it mean to be a person and to also be a commodity in early America? Daina Ramey Berry, author of The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation, takes us behind the scenes of...Show More
175 Daniel Epstein, House Divided: The Revolution in Ben Franklin's House

45:47 | Feb 27th, 2018

Just how personal was the American Revolution? What could the event and war mean for individual people and families? Daniel Mark Epstein, author of The Loyal Son: The War in Ben Franklin’s House, guides as as we explore what the Revolution me...Show More
174 Thomas Apel, Yellow Fever in the Early American Republic

50:34 | Feb 20th, 2018

Doctors have declared 2018's seasonal flu epidemic to be one of the worst to hit the United States in over a decade. Yet this flu epidemic is nothing compared to the yellow fever epidemics that struck the early American republic during the 1790s and ...Show More
173 Marisa Fuentes, Colonial Port Cities and Slavery

54:22 | Feb 13th, 2018

The histories of early North America and the Caribbean are intertwined. The same European empires we encounter in our study of early America also appear in the Caribbean. The colonies of these respective empires often traded goods, people, and ideas ...Show More
172 Kenneth Daigler, Spies, Patriots, and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War

49:36 | Feb 6th, 2018

Intelligence gathering plays an important role in the foreign policies of many modern-day nation states, including the United States. Which raises the questions: How and when did the United States establish its foreign intelligence service?
 Our g...Show More
171 Jessica Stern, Native Americans, British Colonists, and Trade in North America

1:00:17 | Jan 30th, 2018

History books like to tell us that Native Americans did not fully understand British methods and ideas of trade. Is this really true? Did Native Americans only understand trade as a form of simplistic, gift exchange? Jessica Stern, author of T...Show More
170 Wendy Warren, New England Bound: Slavery in Early New England

42:50 | Jan 23rd, 2018

New England was a place with no cash crops. It was also a place that became known for its strong anti-slavery sentiment during the 19th century. So how did New England also become a place that practiced slavery? Wendy Warren, author of the Pulitze...Show More
169 Thomas Kidd, The Religious Life of Benjamin Franklin

51:12 | Jan 16th, 2018

We remember Benjamin Franklin as an accomplished printer, scientist, and statesman. Someone who came from humble beginnings and made his own way in the world. Rarely do we remember Franklin as a man of faith. And yet, Ben Franklin spent more time gra...Show More
168 Andrea Smalley, Wild By Nature: Colonists and Animals in North America

50:42 | Jan 9th, 2018

When we study the history of colonial North America, we focus on European colonists and their rivalries with each other and with Native Americans. But humans weren’t the only living beings occupying North America during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centu...Show More
167 Eberhard Faber, The Early History of New Orleans

52:33 | Jan 2nd, 2018

The French established New Orleans and the greater colony of Louisiana in 1717. By 1840, New Orleans had become the 3rd largest city in the United States. How did that happen? How did New Orleans transform from a sleepy, minor French outpost into ...Show More
166 Freedom and the American Revolution

57:09 | Dec 26th, 2017

The Declaration of Independence described “all men” as “created equal” when its authors knew they were not. Was the revolutionary idea of freedom dependent on slavery? In this last episode of the Doing History: To the Revolution series we speak w...Show More
165 The Age of Revolutions

1:19:06 | Dec 19th, 2017

Between 1763 and 1848, revolutions took place in North America, South America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe. Given that the American Revolution took place before all of these other revolutions, what was its role in influencing this larger “Age o...Show More
164 The American Revolution in the Age of Revolutions

1:01:51 | Dec 12th, 2017

What does the American Revolution look like when we place it within the larger context of the Age of Revolutions? Did it really help foment the many other failed and successful revolutions that took place during the period? Over the next two episo...Show More
163 The American Revolution in North America

1:04:21 | Dec 5th, 2017

In this episode of the Doing History: To the Revolution series, we explore what the American Revolution looked like within the larger context of North American history and how some of the continent's indigenous inhabitants viewed the Revolution with...Show More
162 Dunmore's New World: The Revolution and the British Empire

47:45 | Nov 28th, 2017

What did British imperial officials in London and their North America-based representatives make of the American Revolution? In this episode, we explore the American Revolution through the eyes of John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, a British imperi...Show More
161 Smuggling and the American Revolution

1:21:39 | Nov 21st, 2017

At the end of the French and Indian, or Seven Years’ War in 1763, Great Britain claimed that smuggling was a BIG problem in its North American colonies and cracked down on the practice. But just how BIG of a problem was smuggling in North America?...Show More
160 The Politics of Tea

1:30:57 | Nov 14th, 2017

How did early Americans go from hosting social tea parties to hosting protests like the Boston Tea Party? Tea played a central role in the economic, cultural, and political lives of early Americans. As such, tea came to serve as a powerful symbol ...Show More
159 The Revolutionary Economy

50:49 | Nov 7th, 2017

How much merit do the economic factors behind the cry “No Taxation Without Representation” have when we consider the origins of the American Revolution? We begin a 3-episode exploration of different aspects of the early American economy and what r...Show More
158 The Revolutionaries' Army

1:45:03 | Oct 31st, 2017

An estimated 230,000 men served in the Continental Army with another approximately 145,000 men who served in state militia units. Who were the men who served in these military ranks? What motivated them to take up arms and join the army? And what ...Show More
157 Judith Van Buskirk, The Revolution's African American Soldiers (Doing History Rev)

53:33 | Oct 24th, 2017

In this episode of the Doing History: To the Revolution! series we begin a 2-episode exploration of some of the military aspects of the American Revolution by exploring the experiences of the approximately 6,000-7,000 African American men who served ...Show More
156 Power of the Press in the American Revolution (Doing History Rev)

1:21:52 | Oct 17th, 2017

How did Americans find out about the Revolution? What effect did printed materials like newspapers, pamphlets, and books have on shaping the debate about independence? And just how big of a role did Thomas Paine’s Common Sense play in causing Ame...Show More
155 Pauline Maier's American Revolution (Doing History Rev)

1:24:48 | Oct 10th, 2017

How much can the work of one historian impact how we view and study the American Revolution? We investigate the answer to this question by exploring the life and work of Pauline Maier, a historian who spent her life researching and investigating t...Show More
154 The Freedoms We Lost (Doing History Rev)

1:09:25 | Oct 3rd, 2017

Declaring independence from Great Britain required the formation of new governments. But why did Americans want and need new governments? And how did their interactions and experiences with their old, colonial governments inform their decisions t...Show More
153 Committees and Congress: Governments of the American Revolution (Doing History Rev)

1:39:20 | Sep 26th, 2017

How did the American revolutionaries organize and coordinate local, provincial, and intercolonial action? How did the revolutionaries form governments? In this episode of the Doing History: To the Revolution series we explore governance and ...Show More
152 Origins of the American Revolution (Doing History Rev)

51:55 | Sep 19th, 2017

What caused the American Revolution? Was it the issue of ‘No Taxation without Representation?’ Was it conflict and change in the social order of colonial and British society? Or, was the Revolution about differences in ideas about governance and ...Show More
151 Defining the American Revolution (Doing History Rev)

52:05 | Sep 12th, 2017

Our series exploring the history and histories of the American Revolution kicks off with the difficult task of trying to define the American Revolution. We do this by going behind-the-scenes of the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia.
150 Woody Holton, Abigail Adams: Revolutionary Speculator

1:01:21 | Sep 5th, 2017

Explore a different, largely unknown aspect of Abigail Adams' life: Her financial investments and speculation during the American Revolution.
149 George Goodwin, Benjamin Franklin in London

55:25 | Aug 29th, 2017

Benjamin Franklin spent nearly 18 years living in London, the heart of the British Empire, both as a private citizen and as a colonial agent. How did Franklin's experiences in London shape his opportunities and view of the world? George Goodwi...Show More
148 Marla Miller, Betsy Ross

47:33 | Aug 22nd, 2017

Explore how everyday men and women experienced life in colonial America and how the American Revolution transformed their personal lives and work by investigating the life of Betsy Ross.
147 Don Hagist, British Soldiers, American War

46:30 | Aug 15th, 2017

When we discuss the military history of the American War for Independence, we focus on specific battles or details about the men who served in George Washington’s Continental Army. Rarely do we ask questions about the approximately 50,000 men who ser...Show More
146 Robert Middlekauff, George Washington's Revolution

51:32 | Aug 8th, 2017

Explore how George Washington overcame the ill-trained and inexperienced troops, inadequate pay, and supply problems that plagued the Continental Army to win the War for American Independence.
145 Rosemarie Zagarri, Mercy Otis Warren and the American Revolution

1:00:40 | Aug 1st, 2017

Mercy Otis Warren wasn’t your typical early American woman. She was a woman with strong political viewpoints, which she wrote about and published for the world to see and consider. In this episode, Rosemarie Zagarri, author of A Woman’s Dilemma: M...Show More
144 Robert Parkinson, The Common Cause of the American Revolution

54:50 | Jul 25th, 2017

How do you get people living in thirteen different colonies to come together and fight for independence? Patriot leaders asked this question, especially as the American Revolution turned from a series of political protests against imperial policie...Show More
143 Michael Klarman, The Making of the United States Constitution

1:07:38 | Jul 18th, 2017

How did the framers draft the Constitution of 1787? What powers does the Constitution provide the federal government? Why do we elect the President of the United States by an electoral system rather than by popular vote? These are some of the many...Show More
142 Manisha Sinha, A History of Abolition

57:41 | Jul 11th, 2017

Most histories of American abolitionism begin just before the Civil War, during the Antebellum period. But the movement to end chattel slavery in America began long before the United States was a nation. Manisha Sinha, a professor of history at th...Show More
141 A Declaration in Draft (Doing History Rev)

1:17:17 | Jul 4th, 2017

The Declaration of Independence stands first in a series of documents that founded the United States. It also stands as an early step in the long process of establishing a free, independent, and self-governing nation. In this preview episode of t...Show More
140 Tamara Thornton, Nathaniel Bowditch: 19th-Century Man of Business, Science, and the Sea

53:24 | Jun 27th, 2017

Nathaniel Bowditch worked as a navigator, mathematician, astronomer, and business innovator. Over the course of his lifetime, his fellow Americans hailed him as the “American Sir Isaac Newton.” Tamara Thornton, a professor of history at the Univer...Show More
139 Andrés Reséndez, The Other Slavery: Indian Enslavement in the Americas

47:49 | Jun 20th, 2017

When we think of slavery in early America, we often think of the practice of African and African-American chattel slavery. However, that system of slavery wasn’t the only system of slavery that existed in North America. Systems of Indian slavery exis...Show More
136 Jennifer Van Horn, Material Culture and the Making of America

54:14 | May 30th, 2017

What do the objects we purchase and use say about us? Jennifer Van Horn, author of The Power of Objects in Eighteenth-Century British America, leads us on an exploration of the 18th-century British material world and how objects from that world ca...Show More
135 Julie Holcomb, Moral Commerce: The Transatlantic Boycott of the Slave Labor Economy

41:38 | May 23rd, 2017

If early Americans desired slaves mostly to produce sugarcane, cotton, rice, indigo, and tobacco, what would happen if Europeans and early Americans stopped purchasing those products?
 Would boycotting slave-produced goods and starving slavery of ...Show More
134 Spencer McBride, Pulpit and Nation: Clergymen and the Politics of Revolutionary America

51:10 | May 16th, 2017

In Colonial America, clergymen stood as thought leaders in their local communities. So what happened to these trusted, educated men during the American Revolution? How did they choose their political allegiances? Spencer McBride, an editor at the...Show More
133 Patrick Breen, The Nat Turner Revolt

59:01 | May 9th, 2017

Many slaves plotted and conspired to start rebellions, but most of the plotted rebellions never took place. Slaveholders and whites discovered them before they could begin. Therefore, North America witnessed only a handful of slave revolts between 16...Show More
132 Coll Thrush, Indigenous London: Native Travelers at the Heart of the Empire

37:00 | May 2nd, 2017

Today, we explore early American history through a lens that allows us to see interactions that occurred between Native American peoples and English men and women who lived in London. Our guide for this exploration is Coll Thrush, an Associate Pr...Show More
131 Frank Cogliano, Thomas Jefferson's Empire of Liberty

50:44 | Apr 25th, 2017

Thomas Jefferson, the man who drafted the Declaration of Independence, which severed the 13 American colonies’ ties to the most powerful empire in the mid-to-late 18th-century world, had strong views about empire. Jefferson wanted the United States t...Show More
130 Paul Revere's Ride Through History (Doing History Rev)

1:31:41 | Apr 18th, 2017

On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere rode to spread the alarm that the Regulars were marching. Revere made several important rides, so why is it we only remember his ride on April 18? In this episode, we explore Paul Revere’s ride through history.
129 John Bell, The Road to Concord, 1775

54:38 | Apr 11th, 2017

How did the colonists of Massachusetts go from public protests meant to shame government officials and destroy offending property, to armed conflict with British Regulars in Lexington and Concord? John Bell, the prolific blogger behind Boston1775....Show More
128 Alan Taylor, American Revolutions: A Continental History

48:25 | Apr 4th, 2017

Historians often portray the American Revolution as an orderly, if violent, event that moved from British colonists’ high-minded ideas about freedom to American independence from Great Britain and the ratification of the Constitution of 1787. Was ...Show More
127 Caroline Winterer, American Enlightenments

56:27 | Mar 28th, 2017

In many ways, the Enlightenment gave birth to the United States. Enlightened ideas informed protests over imperial governance and taxation and over whether there should be an American bishop. If we want to understand early America, we need to unde...Show More
126 Rebecca Brannon, The Reintegration of American Loyalists

47:02 | Mar 21st, 2017

What happened to the loyalists who stayed in the United States after the War for Independence? After the war, 60,000 loyalists and 15,000 slaves evacuated the United States. But thousands more opted to remain in the new nation. Rebecca Brannon,...Show More
125 Terri Snyder, Death, Suicide, and Slavery in British North America

38:08 | Mar 14th, 2017

How did early Americans understand death? What did they think about suicide? Terri Snyder, a Professor of American Studies at California State University, Fullerton and author of The Power to Die: Slavery and Suicide in British North America, help...Show More
124 James Alexander Dun, Making the Haitian Revolution in Early America

54:02 | Mar 7th, 2017

What did the American Revolution mean and achieve? What sort of liberty and freedom did independence grant Americans and which Americans should receive them? James Alexander Dun, an Assistant Professor of History at Princeton University and author...Show More
123: Revolutionary Allegiances (Doing History Rev)

1:34:07 | Feb 28th, 2017

How many Americans supported the Patriot cause? In this episode, we speak with four scholars to explore the complexities of political allegiance during the American Revolution.
122 Andrew O'Shaughnessy, The Men Who Lost America

47:20 | Feb 21st, 2017

The history of the American War for Independence is complicated. And history books tell many different versions of the event, which is why we need an expert to guide us through the intricacies of whether we should look at the war as an American victo...Show More
121 Wim Klooster, The Dutch Moment in the 17th-Century Atlantic World

39:38 | Feb 14th, 2017

The Spanish, French, and English played large roles in the origins of colonial America. But so too did the Dutch. During the 17th century, they had a “moment" in which they influenced European colonization and development of the Atlantic World. Wi...Show More
120 Marcia Zug, A History of Mail Order Brides in Early America

51:54 | Feb 7th, 2017

Most of the colonial adventurers from England and France who set out for Jamestown, New France, and colonial Louisiana were men. But how do you build and sustain societies and spread European culture—in essence, fulfill the promises of a colonial pro...Show More
119 Steve Pincus, The Heart of the Declaration

54:27 | Jan 31st, 2017

The Second Continental Congress adopted Richard Henry Lee’s motion to declare the colonies free and independent states on June 7, 1776. On June 11, 1776, it appointed a committee to draft a declaration of independence. Today, Steve Pincus, author...Show More
118 Christy Clark-Pujara, The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island

55:59 | Jan 24th, 2017

How did the smallest colony and smallest state in the union became the largest American participant in the slave trade? Christy Clark-Pujara, an Assistant Professor in the Department of African-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madis...Show More
117 Annette Gordon-Reed, The Life and Ideas of Thomas Jefferson

46:18 | Jan 17th, 2017

Thomas Jefferson wrote about liberty and freedom and yet owned over six hundred slaves during his lifetime. He’s a founder who many of us have a hard time understanding. Annette Gordon-Reed, a professor of history and legal history at Harvard U...Show More
116 Erica Charters, Disease & The Seven Years' War

45:37 | Jan 10th, 2017

In this episode, we explore a very different aspect of the French and Indian or Seven Years’ War. We explore the war through the lens of disease and medicine and how disease prompted the British government to take steps to keep its soldiers healthy. ...Show More
115 Andrew Torget, The Early American History of Texas

53:48 | Jan 3rd, 2017

Like many states in the south and west, Texas has an interesting early American past that begins with Native American settlement followed by Spanish colonization. It's also a state that was an independent nation before being admitted to the United St...Show More
Bonus: Lonnie Bunch, History & Historians in the Public (Doing History)

35:25 | Dec 30th, 2016

Throughout the “Doing History: How Historians Work” series we’ve explored how historians find and research historical topics, how they identify and read historical sources for information, and how they publish their findings so others can know what t...Show More
114 Karin Wulf, The History of Genealogy (Doing History)

48:46 | Dec 27th, 2016

History has a history and genealogy has a history. And the histories of both affect how and why we study the past and how we understand and view it. Today, we explore why it’s important for us to understand that the practices and processes of hist...Show More
113 Brian Murphy, Building the Empire State

46:47 | Dec 20th, 2016

How did New Yorkers rebuild New York City after the American Revolution? Where did they get the money to rebuild, improve, and encourage the economic development that would transform the city into the thriving metropolis and economic hub that it woul...Show More
112 Mary Beth Norton, The Tea Crisis of 1773 (Doing History Revolution)

45:53 | Dec 13th, 2016

Have you ever wondered what drove the Bostonians to destroy the 342 chests of tea during the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773? Mary Beth Norton, Professor of American History at Cornell University, takes us through the Tea Crisis of 1773.
111 Jonathan Eacott, India in the Making of Britain and America, 1700-1830

51:23 | Dec 6th, 2016

Every so often, the politics, economics, and cultures of lands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans intersected with and influenced those of the Atlantic World. That’s why today, we’re going to explore the origins of the English trade with India and how ...Show More
110 Joshua Taylor, How Genealogists Research (Doing History)

45:05 | Nov 29th, 2016

History tells us who we are and how we came to be who we are. Like history, genealogy studies people. It’s a field of study that can tell us who we are in a more exact sense by showing us how our ancestral lines connect from one generation to the ...Show More
109 John Dixon, The American Enlightenment & Cadwallader Colden

54:11 | Nov 22nd, 2016

We’ve heard that the American Revolution took place during a period called “the Enlightenment.” But what was the Enlightenment? Was it an intellectual movement? A social movement? A scientific movement? Today, John Dixon leads us on an explorat...Show More
108 Ann Little, The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright

48:49 | Nov 15th, 2016

Colonial America comprised many different cultural and political worlds. Most colonial Americans inhabited just one world, but today, we’re going to explore the life of a woman who lived in THREE colonial American worlds: Frontier New England, Northe...Show More
107 Mary Sarah Bilder, Madison's Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention

51:00 | Nov 8th, 2016

When politicians, lawyers, and historians discuss the Constitutional Convention of 1787, they often rely on two sources: The Federalist Papers and James Madison’s Notes of the Constitutional Convention. But what do we really know about Madison’s N...Show More
106 Jane Kamensky, The World of John Singleton Copley

50:39 | Nov 1st, 2016

What can the life of an artist reveal about the American Revolution and how most American men and women experienced it? Today, we explore the life and times of John Singleton Copley with Jane Kamensky, a Professor of History at Harvard University ...Show More
105 Joshua Piker, How Historians Publish History (Doing History)

54:26 | Oct 25th, 2016

What do historians do with their research once they finish writing about it? How do historians publish the books and articles we love to read? This episode of our “Doing History: How Historians Work” series, takes us behind-the-scenes of how hi...Show More
104 Andrew Lipman, The Saltwater Frontier

52:11 | Oct 18th, 2016

Did you know that Native Americans were seafaring mariners? Today, Andrew Lipman, an Assistant Professor of History at Barnard College, Columbia University and author of The Saltwater Frontier: Indians and the Contest for the American Coast, leads...Show More
103 Sara Bon-Harper, James Monroe & His Estate Highland

46:51 | Oct 11th, 2016

Many of us know details about the lives and presidencies of Washington, Jefferson, and Madison. But what do we know about the life and presidency of the fourth Virginia president, James Monroe? Today, we explore the public and private life of Jame...Show More
102 William Nester, George Rogers Clark

41:04 | Oct 4th, 2016

In the Treaty of Paris, 1783, Great Britain offered the new United States generous terms that included lands in between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River. Why did the biggest empire with the greatest army and navy concede so much...Show More
101 John Demos, How Historians Write About History (Doing History)

44:49 | Sep 27th, 2016

How do historians write about the people, places, and events they’ve studied in historical sources? We continue our “Doing History: How Historians Work” series by investigating how historians write about history. Our guide for this investigation i...Show More
100 Behind-the-Scenes with Liz Covart & Ben Franklin's World

38:02 | Sep 20th, 2016

Wow! Ben Franklin’s World has made it to episode 100. How do we celebrate and mark this special occasion? By your request, host Liz Covart answers your questions about history, podcasting, and time travel.
099 Mark Hanna, Pirates & Pirate Nests in the British Atlantic World

44:24 | Sep 13th, 2016

Pirates are alive and well in our popular culture. Thanks to movies like Pirates of the Caribbean and television shows like Black Sails, we see pirates as peg-legged, eye-patch wearing, rum-drinking men. But are these representations accurate? Wha...Show More
098 Gautham Rao, Birth of the American Tax Man

48:16 | Sep 6th, 2016

Could customs collectors, the tax men of early America, be the unsung founders of the early United States? Today, we explore the creation of the United States customs service and its contributions to the establishment of the federal government wit...Show More
097 Billy Smith, How to Organize Your Research (Doing History)

46:31 | Aug 30th, 2016

What do historians do with all of the information they collect when they research? How do they access their research in a way that allows them to find the information they need to write the books and articles we enjoy reading? Billy Smith, a Pr...Show More
096 Nicholas Guyatt, The Origins of Racial Segregation in the United States

1:02:56 | Aug 23rd, 2016

Ever wonder how the United States’ problem with race developed and why early American reformers didn’t find a way to fix it during the earliest days of the republic? Today, Nicholas Guyatt, author of Bind Us Apart: How Enlightened Americans Invent...Show More
095 Rose Doherty, A Tale of Two Bostons

38:48 | Aug 16th, 2016

Why did the Puritans who sailed from England in 1630, choose to settle in Massachusetts Bay on the Shawmut Peninsula? What were their early days like? Today, we explore answers to those questions by exploring the history of the two Bostons—Bost...Show More
094 Cassandra Good, Founding Friendships

42:36 | Aug 9th, 2016

In the early American republic, men and women formed and maintained friendships for many of the same reasons we make friends today: companionship, shared interests, and, in some cases, because they helped expand thinking and social circles. Today,...Show More
093 Taylor Stoermer, Harvard University & Colonial North America

43:54 | Aug 2nd, 2016

What can the collections of the Harvard University Libraries teach us about our early American past? It turns out, quite a lot. Taylor Stoermer, a Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, takes us through the Harvard L...Show More
092 Sharon Block, How to Research History Online (Doing History)

53:37 | Jul 26th, 2016

How do historians conduct research online? This is your second-most asked question after how did everyday people live their day-to-day lives in early America. As the “Doing History” series explores how historians work, it offers the perfect opport...Show More
091 Gregory Dowd, Rumors, Legends, & Hoaxes in Early America

42:23 | Jul 19th, 2016

Did you know that George Washington’s favorite drink was whiskey? Actually, it wasn’t. Washington preferred Madeira, a fortified Portuguese wine from the island of Madeira. Why the false start to today’s exploration of history? Gregory Dowd,...Show More
090 Caitlin Fitz, Age of American Revolutions

44:34 | Jul 12th, 2016

The American Revolution inspired revolutions in France, the Caribbean, and in Latin and South America between the late 18th and mid-19th centuries. How did Americans in the United States respond to calls for assistance from revolutionaries in Lati...Show More
089 Jessica Millward, Slavery & Freedom in Early Maryland

48:51 | Jul 5th, 2016

How do you uncover the life of a slave who left no paper trail? What can her everyday life tell us about slavery, how it was practiced, and how some slaves made the transition from slavery to freedom? Today, we explore the life of Charity Folks...Show More
088 Michael McDonnell, The History of History Writing (Doing History)

48:40 | Jun 28th, 2016

Historians rely on secondary historical sources almost as much as they rely on primary historical sources. But what are secondary historical sources and how do they help historians know what they know about the past? Michael McDonnell, an Assoc...Show More
087 Sean Condon, Shays' Rebellion

44:13 | Jun 21st, 2016

After achieving independence from Great Britain, the new United States and its member states had to pay war debts. Many states tried to solve the post-war debt problem by paying state debts before national debts. Massachusetts tried to pay both. I...Show More
086 George Goodwin, Benjamin Franklin in London

51:07 | Jun 14th, 2016

Over the course of his long life, Benjamin Franklin traveled to and lived in London twice. The first time he went as a teenager. The second as a man and colonial agent. All told he spent nearly 18 years living in the heart of the British Empire. H...Show More
085 Bonnie Huskins, American Loyalists in Canada

42:46 | Jun 7th, 2016

The War for Independence was a conflict between Great Britain and her 13 North American colonies. It was also a civil war. Not only did the war pit Briton against Briton when the conflict began in 1775, but it also pitted American against American...Show More
084 Zara Anishanslin, How Historians Read Historical Sources (Doing History)

49:31 | May 31st, 2016

What do historians do with historical sources once they find them? How do they read them for information about the past? Today, Zara Anishanslin, an Assistant Professor of History at CUNY’s College of Staten Island, leads us on an exploration o...Show More
083 Jared Hardesty, Unfreedom: Slavery in Colonial Boston

40:11 | May 24th, 2016

Colonial Bostonians practiced slavery. But slavery in Boston looked very different than slavery in the American south or in the Caribbean. Today, Jared Hardesty, an Assistant Professor of History at Western Washington University and author of Unfr...Show More
082 Alejandra Dubcovsky, Information & Communication in the Early American South

40:18 | May 17th, 2016

We live in an age of information. But what do we do with all of this knowledge? How do we sift through and interpret all it all? We are not the first people to ponder these questions. Today, Alejandra Dubcovsky, an Assistant Professor at Yale U...Show More
081 Don Glickstein, After Yorktown: The Final Struggle for American Independence

37:04 | May 10th, 2016

When did the fighting of the American War for Independence end? In school we learn that the war came to an end at Yorktown. But, this lesson omits all of the fighting that took place after Charles, Earl Cornwallis’ surrender in October 1781. To...Show More
080 Jen Manion, Liberty's Prisoners: Prisons & Prison Life in Early America

35:24 | May 3rd, 2016

Nearly all politicians agree that we need to reform the American prison system, but they disagree on how to do it. Can gaining historical perspective on this present-day problem help us solve it? Today, we investigate early American prisons and...Show More
079 James Horn, What is a Historical Source? (Doing History)

49:41 | Apr 26th, 2016

Historians research the past through historical sources. But what are the materials that tell historians about past peoples, places, and events? Today, James Horn, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Jamestown Rediscovery Foundatio...Show More
078 Rachel Shelden, Washington Brotherhood: Politics, Social Life, and the Coming of the Civil War

44:22 | Apr 19th, 2016

The United States is in midst of a political and cultural divide. The last time the United States faced this deep of a division, the nation descended into Civil War. Can history help us solve our present-day political and cultural crisis? To...Show More
077 Rinker Buck, The Oregon Trail

45:14 | Apr 12th, 2016

Do you have what it takes to be a pioneer? If offered the opportunity, would you undertake a journey across the Oregon Trail in a mule-pulled covered wagon? Today, we explore the Oregon Trail past and present with Rinker Buck, author of The Ore...Show More
076 Nathan Perl-Rosenthal, Citizen Sailors: Becoming American in the Age of Revolution

46:13 | Apr 5th, 2016

What did it mean to be a citizen during the late-18th and early-19th centuries? Why and how did early American sailors seem intent on proving their citizenship to the United States? In this episode, we explore citizenship and maritime life duri...Show More
075 Peter Drummey, How Archives Work (Doing History)

54:17 | Mar 29th, 2016

Historians research history in archives. But how do you gain access to one? And how do you use an archive once you find that it likely contains the information you seek? In this third episode of our “Doing History: How Historians Work” series, ...Show More
074 Mary Wigge, Martha Washington

34:55 | Mar 22nd, 2016

George Washington stands as one of the most famous Americans in history, but what do we know of his helpmeet and partner, Martha? Who was the woman who stood beside and encouraged Washington? How did she assist him as he led the Continental Arm...Show More
073 Mark Noll, The Bible in Early America

50:56 | Mar 15th, 2016

What role did the Bible play in the development of British North America and the early United States? Today, we address this question by exploring the place of the Bible in early America. Our guide for this exploration is Mark Noll, the Francis A....Show More
072 Ari Kelman, The American Civil War

45:17 | Mar 8th, 2016

The American Civil War took place over 150 years ago. The war claimed over 600,000 American lives and its legacy affects the way present-day Americans view civil rights and race relations. The Civil War stands as an important, watershed event i...Show More
071 Bruce Venter, Saratoga and Hubbardton, 1777

56:23 | Mar 1st, 2016

Historians refer to the Battle of Saratoga as the “turning point” of the American Revolution. They argue the Patriot Army’s defeat of British General John Burgoyne’s forces convinced the French to enter the War for Independence. Together, the Fran...Show More
070 Jennifer Morgan, How Historians Research (Doing History)

43:32 | Feb 23rd, 2016

How did enslaved African and African American women experience slavery? What were their daily lives like? And how do historians know as much as they do about enslaved women? Today, we explore the answers to these questions with Jennifer L. M...Show More
069 Abby Chandler, Law, Order, and Sexual Misconduct in Colonial New England

49:06 | Feb 16th, 2016

Law and order stood as a sign of civilization for many 17th-century Europeans, which is why some of the first European settlers in North America created systems of law and order in their new homeland. Today, we explore the legal history of colonia...Show More
068 Richard Brookhiser, Founders' Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln

47:54 | Feb 9th, 2016

Abraham Lincoln grew up as the son of a poor farmer. Yet, he became the 16th President of the United States. How did the son of a poor farmer achieve election to the presidency? Today, we investigate the life of Abraham Lincoln and his journey ...Show More
067 John Ryan Fischer, An Environmental History of Early California & Hawaii

48:09 | Feb 2nd, 2016

Aside from nice weather, what do California and Hawaii have in common? Spanish longhorn cattle. Today, we explore how Spanish longhorn cattle influenced the early American and environmental histories of California and Hawaii with John Ryan Fisc...Show More
066 Simon Newman, How Historians Find Their Research Topics (Doing History)

43:34 | Jan 26th, 2016

How did average, poor, and enslaved men and women live their day-to-day lives in the early United States? Today, we explore the answers to that question with Simon P. Newman, a Professor of History at the University of Glasgow and our guide for an...Show More
Bonus: Why Historians Study History (Doing History)

26:01 | Jan 22nd, 2016

History is about people, but what do we know about the people behind history’s scenes? Who are the people who tell us what we know about our past? How do they come to know what they know? Today, we begin our year-long “Doing History” series ...Show More
065 Alexander Rose, Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Network

41:11 | Jan 19th, 2016

In this episode we explore espionage during the American Revolution and the origins and operations of the Culper Spy Ring with Alexander Rose, author of Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring and a historian, writer, and producer f...Show More
064 Brett Rushforth, Native American Slavery in New France

56:53 | Jan 12th, 2016

Most early Americans practiced chattel slavery: the practice of treating slaves as property that people could buy, sell, trade, and use as they would draught animals or real estate. But, did you know that some early Americans practiced a different...Show More
063 Megan Kate Nelson, Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War

55:46 | Jan 5th, 2016

The American Civil War claimed more than 620,000 American lives. Did you know that it also cost American forests, landscapes, cities, and institutions? Today, we explore the different types of ruination wrought by the American Civil War with Me...Show More
062 Carol Berkin, The Bill of Rights

48:09 | Dec 29th, 2015

Did you know that when James Madison originally proposed the Bill of Rights, it consisted of 36 amendments and that the House of Representatives did not want to consider or debate Madison’s proposed amendments to the Constitution? Today, we explor...Show More
061 Edward Larson, George Washington in Retirement

54:24 | Dec 22nd, 2015

If you had only six years to enjoy retirement what would you do? Would you improve your plantation? Build canals? Or work behind-the-scenes to unite your country by framing a new central government?. Today, we explore the brief retirement of Ge...Show More
060 David Preston, Braddock's Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution

56:12 | Dec 15th, 2015

Did Washington really start the French and Indian War? Why should we remember a battle that took place over 260 years ago? In this episode, we investigate the answers to those questions as we explore the Battle of the Monongahela with David Pre...Show More
059 Eric Foner, Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad

42:12 | Dec 8th, 2015

Between the 1830s and 1860s, a clandestine communications and transportation network called the “Underground Railroad” helped thousands of slaves escape to freedom. Today, we will investigate and explore this secret network with Eric Foner, a Puli...Show More
058 Andrew Schocket, Fighting over the Founders: How We Remember the American Revolution

33:14 | Dec 1st, 2015

Why do we refer to the men who founded the United States as the “founding fathers?” Why do we choose to remember the American Revolution as a glorious event that had almost universal, colonial support when in fact, the Revolution’s events were blo...Show More
057 Max Edling, War, Money, and the American State, 1783-1867

48:33 | Nov 24th, 2015

Do you know what we have in common with our early American forebears? Taxes. As Benjamin Franklin stated in 1789, “nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Given the certainty of taxes it seems important that we understand how the United States...Show More
056 Daniel J. Tortora, The Anglo-Cherokee War, 1759-1761

43:28 | Nov 17th, 2015

Between 1754 and 1763, North Americans participated in the French and Indian War; a world war Europeans call the Seven Years’ War. As this world war raged, many South Carolinians, Virginians, Britons, and Cherokee people also fought a war for land...Show More
055 Robb Haberman, John Jay: Forgotten Founder

42:30 | Nov 10th, 2015

Who was John Jay? Jay played important and prominent roles during the founding of the United States and yet, his name isn’t one that many would list if asked to name founding fathers. Today, we explore John Jay and his contributions to the foun...Show More
054 John D. Wilsey, American Exceptionalism: The History of an Idea

52:24 | Nov 3rd, 2015

The United States is a diverse nation of immigrants and their ancestors. With such diversity, and no one origination point for its people, how do we describe what the United States is and what its people stand for? We explore “American Exceptional...Show More
053 Emerson W. Baker, The Salem Witch Trials of 1692

44:36 | Oct 27th, 2015

Do you believe in the supernatural? In ghosts, zombies, or perhaps witches? Today we celebrate All Hallows Eve with an exploration of the specters and witches that haunted 17th-century Massachusetts. Our guide for this exploration is Emerson W....Show More
052 Ronald A. Johnson, Diplomacy in Black and White: Early United States-Haitian Relations

48:51 | Oct 20th, 2015

Ronald A. Johnson, a history professor at Texas State University and author of Diplomacy in Black and White: John Adams, Toussaint L’Ouverture, and Their Atlantic World Alliance, helps us explore the Haitian Revolution and the quest of both the Unite...Show More