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The Religious Roots of America’s Love for Camping

17 Oct

Northwest Iowa Center for Regional Studies

Summer 1868 passed as an unremarkable season at Saranac Lake in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. The weather was fine, the scenery delightful, and the usual array of 200 to 300 recreational hunters and anglers passed through the small settlement on their way into the wild lands beyond. The summers of 1869 and 1870, however, were an altogether different story. The weather was more or less the same, and the scenery continued to entrance, but instead of a handful of sportsmen came a multitude of men and women from points east and south to enjoy America’s newest recreation—camping. Almost to a person, they had been inspired by what today, at the beginning of the 21st century, we recognize as the watershed book in the history of American camping: the first comprehensive “how-to-camp” guidebook, Adventures in the Wilderness; or, Camp-Life in the Adirondacks, which had been written in April 1869 by…

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New film on Mark Twain highlights his religious doubts

17 Oct

Twain’s journey to Jerusalem started with a demand. “Send me $1,200 at once,” he telegraphed his editors at the Alta California, a San Francisco newspaper. “I want to go abroad.”

Amazingly, the editors did and Twain booked passage on The Quaker City, America’s first cruise ship. The other passengers were religious pilgrims and rich young men looking to acquire a little sophistication before settling down. Twain embedded himself in both groups and began sending back to the paper what would be more than 50 “dispatches.”

Read Kimberly Winston’s entire post on Twain’s journey and religion here: New film on Mark Twain highlights his religious doubts | Religion News Service

Papers of Ulysses S. Grant Now Online

11 Oct

The Library of Congress has put the papers of Ulysses S. Grant online for the first time in their original format at https://www.loc.gov/collections/ulysses-s-grant-papers/about-this-collection/.The Library holds a treasure trove of documents from the Civil War commander and 18th president of the United States, including personal correspondence, “headquarters records” created during the Civil War and the original handwritten manuscript of Grant’s memoir— regarded as one of the best in history—among other items. The collection totals approximately 50,000 items dating from 1819-1974, with the bulk falling in the period 1843-1885.The collection includes general and family correspondence, speeches, reports, messages, military records, financial and legal records, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, memorabilia and other papers. The collection relates to Grant’s service in the Mexican War and Civil War, his pre-Civil War career, and …

Source: Papers of Ulysses S. Grant Now Online | Library of Congress

A Walk in Willa Cather’s Prairie

26 Sep

Alex Ross provides a wonderful report-essay in the New Yorker on Willa Cather and the new National Willa Cather Center: A Walk in Willa Cather’s Prairie | The New Yorker

When a New York Baron Became President

8 Sep

A review of a new biography of an “accidental” president, Chester A. Arthur: When a New York Baron Became President | The New Yorker

What Trump’s Generation Learned About the Civil War

30 Aug

Textbooks shape common understandings, and textbooks have a history. At The Atlantic, Matt Ford reports on U.S. history textbooks that shaped Trump and Clinton’s generation: What Trump’s Generation Learned About the Civil War – The Atlantic

A Historian of Forgotten Resistance

17 Aug

For 18th-century Quaker dwarf abolitionist Benjamin Lay, resistance was a way of life. As a glove-maker, a common sailor, and a world traveler who lived in England and Barbados before finally settling in Pennsylvania, Lay was exposed to the injustices of slavery and decided to make a career of condemning its horrors, often in memorable and shocking ways.

Read the rest of Oliver Lee Bateman’s article on Benjamin Lay and Lay’s biographer, historian Markus Rediker, here at Pacific StandardA Historian of Forgotten Resistance – Pacific Standard

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