“Gulliver’s Travels” is first published on October 28th, 1726

Gulliver’s Travels, or Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships is Jonathan Swift’s best known work, and a classic of English literature but the Irish writer and clergyman didn’t write his “traveler’s tale” as a children’s book.  Swift …

Philadelphia is founded on October 27, 1682

When people think of Philadelphia, images of Independence Hall, the drafting of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, come to mind. Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania and for most of the 18th Century the third largest city in the British Empire. At the time of the American Revolution, it was clearly the …

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 7, 1763 — Royal Proclamation of 1763, issued by King George III, forbade all settlement west of a line drawn along the Appalachian Mountains, which was delineated as …

Precedent for the Stamp Act

We are all familiar with The Stamp Act of 1765 which was a tax on all paper documents levied on American colonists in order to pay off debt from the Seven Years’ War (1756-63).  Coming in the midst of economic hardship in the colonies, the Stamp Act aroused vehement resistance.  Parliament pushed forward with the …

Why I March with the Color Guard

“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman….”  Thomas Paine, The Crisis (19 December 1776) So, I just had a stupid argument …

Buff and Blue: Whigs and Tories

When George Washington choose his uniform, he could have literally chosen any color scheme, so why buff (tan) and blue. The choice was not arbitrary.  The Whig party in England (not to be confused with Andrew Jacksons divisive party in the 1830’s) had been standing against the abuses of the crown since 1688.  Their rallying …

The Evil Gerrymander

In March 1812, the Boston Gazette ran a political cartoon depicting “a new species of monster”: “The Gerry-mander.” The forked-tongue creature was shaped like a contorted Massachusetts voting district that the state’s Jeffersonian Republicans had drawn to benefit their own party. Governor (and future vice president) Elbridge Gerry signed off on his party’s redistricting plan …