Who Voted in Early America?

After declaring independence on July 4, 1776, each former English colony wrote a state constitution. About half the states attempted to reform their voting procedures. The trend in these states was to do away with the freehold requirement (holding title to property)  in favor of granting all taxpaying, free, adult males the right to vote. Since …

Historical Tidbits

When reenacting or acting as a historical interpreter, its good to have a few historical dates and stories to share. This series will publish a few. October 27, 1787 – The first of 85 Federalist Papers would be published.  These essays, written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, presented the argument for abandoning …

Building Community Engagement and Teaching

For the last twelve years of so, I have been involved in various organizations[1] around Philadelphia whose mission is to teach various aspects of the history of the American Revolution (1765 – 1790) to the general public through interactive, living history presentations.  Our goal is to transform history from dry facts in a history book …

Historical Tidbits

When reenacting or acting as a historical interpreter, its good to have a few historical dates and stories to share. This series will publish a few. October 26, 1774 – The First Continental Congress convenes at Carpenters Hall in Philadelphia to discuss how to best respond to a series of taxes and governmental usurpations enacted …

Bonhomme Richard Spice Ale

Bonhomme Richard was originally a merchant ship built at L’Orient for the French East India Company in 1765. Her design allowed her to be quickly transformed into a man-of-war in case of necessity to support the navy. She made two voyages to China, the first in 1766 and the second in 1769, was transferred briefly …

Continuing to Do the Same Thing and Expecting Different Results is INSANITY!

I promise back will get back to the history of beer in November but EVERY time I try to watch a program on television or review an article on the internet, I seem to be bombarded by the orange orangutan’s advertisements claiming the world will be unsafe if we elect anyone who will reform policing …

Supreme Court doesn’t mean the BEST judges, just the top court.

As Congress makes all possible haste and takes every conceivable shortcut to nominate Amy Coney Barrett, it is important to remember that the Supreme Court has a long history of BAD judges being appointed.  Take James Wilson, a signatory to the Declaration of Independence, who spent some time in a debtors’ prison while still serving …

Those Who Fail to Learn the Lessons from History are DOOMED to Relive the Consequences!

In October of 1492, Columbus landed on island of Hispaniola in search of the riches of the Far East.  Aside from being one of history’s greatest navigational blunders (the actual voyage to the Far East would three times as far:  Lisbon -> Hispaniola = 3472 nm whereas Lisbon -> China (going west) is 11189 nm), …