Category Archives: Historical

Fooling The Mapmakers

“Don’t trust the maps” was good advice for much of human history. The book The Un-Discovered Islands: An Archipelago of Myths and Mysteries, Phantoms and Fakes by Malachy Tallack, illustrated by Katie Scott, makes this point vividly by revealing the stories behind lands that weren’t really there. For example, the 1783 Treaty of Paris that

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A Slavery Story With A Happier Ending

When you studied slavery and the slave trade in school, how many rebellions were you taught? On Thursday of this week, I was helping out in middle school social studies, and I learned something that just wasn’t mentioned when I was in school. In 1839, there was a successful rebellion aboard the slave ship Amistad.

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On This Day in History — Jamestown Massacre

March 22nd is the anniversary of an event that helped shaped the United States but has largely been forgotten. On March 22, 1622 Native Americans of the tribes of the Powhatan Confederacy attacked settlements of the Virginia Colony. This was actually the second of three Powhatan Wars, and was triggered by colonists taking more land from the Confederacy,

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The Emancipation Blueprint

Many slaveholders, including Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, knew slavery was wrong, they just didn’t know how to move beyond it. As Jefferson wrote in 1820, “As it is, we have the wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in

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The Fires of Philadelphia

It’s remarkable how selective our memories can be when it comes to history. In school, I never learned about the 1921 Tulsa race massacre (https://www.tulsahistory.org/exhibit/1921-tulsa-race-massacre/). Like most of the rest of the country, I heard about it only recently. So it stands to reason that I would never have been taught about the 1844 riots

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