East India Company Hibiscus Fizz

Cocktails are traditionally thought of as an American innovation, but they were actually inspired by British punches—big bowls of spirits mixed with fruit juice, spices, and other flavors, consumed in punch houses in the 18th century. The term cocktail was even first seen in a British newspaper printed March of 1798. But the term wasn’t …

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. February 7, 1795              11th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified The Eleventh Amendment was adopted to overrule the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Chisholm v. Georgia (1793). …

Can’t afford a painted portrait – Make a Silhouette

In the 1st century, Pliny the Elder told the story of Dibutade, a 5th century Corinthian girl, who traced her lover’s shadow, cast by candlelight, because she wanted to keep the image of her lover with her when he went away on a journey.  A renaissance of this art form occurred in the 18th century …

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. February 6, 1780 — The United States signed a Treaty of Alliance with France in 1778. As a symbol of this alliance, General Washington ordered his troops to wear …

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. February 6, 1778               ALLIANCE with FRANCE Treaty of Alliance The most Christian King and the United States of North America, to wit, New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhodes island, Connecticut, …

Basic Colonial Brewing #3 — What is a “Colonial Beer?”

Reenactors seem to revel in the debate over historical accuracy.  We either passionately focus on authenticity or we bristle at those who do.  Colonial brewers are reenactors and we run the gamut from casual historical entertainers to passionate academic historians.  There is a place for everyone but we need to acknowledge the range of expression …

THE BILL OF RIGHTS: A BRIEF HISTORY #3

Insurrections often are propagated upon misinformation.   So too are the most recent band of domestic terrorist who like to hide behind our most sacred American institutions.  In this series, I want to explore the Bill of Rights and why some of the hype and hyperbole thrown around by the extremist is not just wrong but …

A Colonial Orator: True Revolution is Fought with Words not Bullets

Does “Freedom of Speech” mean you can say anything you want about anyone you choose?  Our Founding Fathers would certainly not agree!  You can, of course, say anything you want but there must be consequences for malicious defamation of individuals and even in revolutionary America libel and slander laws were enforced. There is, however, one …

New Amsterdam (present-day New York) becomes a city (2/2/1653)

Between 1626 and 1664, the main town of the Dutch colony of New Netherland was New Amsterdam, now called Manhattan. Peter Minuit, Director of the Dutch West India Company, met with Indigenous peoples and purchased Manhattan for trinkets equivalent to several thousand dollars today. The land was quickly settled. The colony of New Netherland extended …