Confederate Monuments: Dealing with Tough History

In Ulysses S. Grant’s first inaugural address in March 1869, he discussed the way in which each section of the country should come together and settle their differences after the Civil War. He stated that it should be “approached calmly, without prejudice, hate, or sectional pride, remembering that the greatest good to the greatest number…

The First Completely Annotated Edition of Ulysses S. Grant’s Personal Memoirs

The Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant are widely considered to be one of the most well-written pieces of non-fiction American literature. Mark Twain, a close friend of Grant’s and whose company published the first edition of the memoirs, called them ‘a great, unique and unapproachable literary masterpiece.’ The memoirs have been in continuous print since…

Hancock County, West Virginia, in the Civil War

Virginia, the home state of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, was notably divided during the Civil War. The growing factions were evident in the state’s most northern reaches. In May 1861, pro-Unionists in Hancock County, VA(now West Virginia), decided to organize a company of men to help fulfill President Abraham Lincoln’s call for 75,000 volunteers….

Martha Ballard: American History Through a Woman’s Perspective

During the late 1700s, Martha Ballard was a midwife living in Maine. In life, she was not famous or well known but her personal diary brought her fame after death because it revealed the obscured viewpoint of early American women. Ballard’s diary entries covered topics which included textile production, dissections, courtship and marriage, money, the Scarlet…

Dueling Pianos: Muzio Clementi vs. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Can you imagine the scene? It is Christmas Eve in 1781 at the Royal Viennese Court, and everyone, including the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II, is waiting for the piano duel to commence. Sitting at one piano is a well established Italian composer, Muzio Clementi, and at the other is the most anticipated prodigy of…

February 14, 1814: The USS Constitution vs. the HMS Pictou

In March 1794, the USS Constitution became one of the first naval ships commissioned by the United States government. Also known as “Old Ironsides”, its construction was a reactionary measure to the Barbary Pirate attacks on U.S. vessels near North Africa. The ship was named by President George Washington. Construction on the ship was not…

Sister Maria Celeste Galilei

On February 13, 1833, Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome to face the Inquisition for his radical theories which appeared to contradict the Bible. Nearly every lover of history and/or science has heard of the famous astronomer and physicist, but have you heard of his daughter?