Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture

Leading Early American Scholarship Since 1943

The Octo

Blogging Early America

Feeds from popular blogs selected by Joseph M. Adelman, Assistant Editor, Digital Initiatives

Uncommon Sense - the blog

Uncommon Sense - the blog

I have been Editor for over two years, and I’ve yet to publish my first issue. I don’t like to rush into things. April 2016’s issue has been out for over five months now, but that wasn’t my first issue. For those of you in the northern hemisphere, July 2016’s issue arrived in your mailbox just as the heady I-have-all-the-time-in-the-world days of summer gave way to the none-of-my-syllabi-are-done-and-so-that-reader’s-report-that-I-promised-Piker-is-going-to-have-wait portion of the summer b

Course of Human Events

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By Emily SneffThis month, the Declaration Resources Project is launching a new opportunity for teachers. We are asking How Do You Teach the Declaration of Independence? and incorporating teachers' responses into a new resources page on our website. One of the most popular ways to teach the Declara...

Age of Revolutions

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By Eliga H. Gould As I read the stimulating essays in this forum by Robert Churchill, Andrew Fagal, and Noah Shusterman, my thoughts kept turning to the late Antonin Scalia’s opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the landmark case in which five of the Supreme Court’s nine justices af...

The Republic (SHEAR)


Several years ago I was at work on what I thought would be a group biography of the doughfaces, Northern politicians favorable to compromise with the South over slavery.  I was prompted in large part by Leonard Richards’ book illustrating how instrumental doughfaces were in enabling Southern domi...

U.S. Intellectual History

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Benjamin E. Park is an assistant professor of history at Sam Houston State University. He studies the cultural, religious, and political history of America between the Revolution and the Civil War. This post originally appeared on his personal blog here. […]...

The Junto


Today we close our forum on "Slavery's Capitalism" with a post from Kevin Waite, Lecturer in Modern American History at Durham University in the UK. How, Waite asks, does the Civil War fit into the picture drawn in Beckert & Rockman's volume? "Ironically, the war that was, in many ways, the upshot of the processes described in this book—the global expansion of America’s slave economy—is largely absent from. And that’s perhaps because a work that so rigorously transcends sectional lines can’t adequately explain a conflict that was fundamentally sectional in nature."...

Past is Present

Past Is Present

In the mid-nineteenth century, “taking the waters,” or hydropathy, became a fashionable so-called natural therapy. It was first promoted in Europe by Austrian Vincenz Priessnitz after he claimed to have mended his broken ribs in the spring waters of Grafenberg, Silesia.  His spa attracted crowds, including royalty. Joel Shew, a physician from New York, became […]...



On my way to and from work lately, I’ve been listening to the original cast album of Hamilton, which is of course as catchy and terrific as everyone says it is.  (Trust me:  it’s worth even more than the hype, and I bow to no one in trashing the so-called Founding Fathers, although I do … Continue reading Sexual humiliation in American women’s political history: the longue durée...