Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture

Uncommon Sense—the blog

Capital, Deception, and the Heirs of Daniel Parker

· December 12th, 2018 · 1 Comment

WMQ author Tom Cutterham (October 2018) offers further thoughts on his piece, “‘A Very Promising Appearance’: Credit, Honor, and Deception in the Emerging Market for American Debt, 1784—92” (William and Mary Quarterly, volume 75, no. 4). by Tom Cutterham Where is the line between entrepreneur and con-artist? That’s the question that animates Jane Kamensky’s account of early… Read More »

A Hamilton-Inspired Playlist from Ben Franklin’s World

· December 5th, 2018 · No Comments

Since its Broadway premiere in 2015, Hamilton: An American Musical has taken the world by storm. For many who have seen Hamilton, the undeniable star of the show is not the young, scrappy, and hungry title character or his tempered frenemy Burr, but the resplendent George III. The sardonic king interjects at three different points… Read More »

Daily Life and Wartime Disruption

· November 29th, 2018 · No Comments

Today’s post is by October 2018 WMQ author Lauren Duval. by Lauren Duval The American Revolution, Mary Beth Norton asserted in her classic study, Liberty’s Daughters, had “profound consequences for the entire population” and unsettled “normal patterns of life.”[1] I found this notion particularly intriguing and I was eager to explore it further as I delved into… Read More »

Doing History: The Power of Biography

· November 26th, 2018 · 1 Comment

Today’s post accompanies the Doing History 3 series on Ben Franklin’s World. You can find supplementary materials for the series on the OI Reader app, available through iTunes or Google Play. Biographies serve as a gateway to history. They serve this role because, as all of our guest scholars in the Doing History: Biography series… Read More »

A Thanksgiving playlist from Ben Franklin’s World

· November 20th, 2018 · No Comments

by Emily Sneff In 1750, Ben Franklin wrote to Peter Collinson about an experiment with electricity. Not the famous one — rather, an experiment “to kill a Turkey by the Electrical Strokes.” The Ben Franklin’s World team does not recommend this cooking technique (even though Ben remarked that “the Birds kill’d in this Manner eat… Read More »

A “Digital Research in Early America” recap

· November 14th, 2018 · 1 Comment

by Maeve Kane In October 2018, I participated in the WMQ-UCI Digital Research in Early America workshop hosted by Sharon Block and Josh Piker at University of California-Irvine. This post aims to give those who weren’t able to attend an idea of the conversations and common themes of the new scholarship presented. Most broadly, the… Read More »