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…

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…

John Forsyth and La Amistad

  John Forsyth was born in 1780 and graduated from the College of New Jersey (later renamed Princeton University) in 1799. From 1813 to 1834, Forsyth served as a U.S. congressman, senator, and governor from Georgia. On July 1, 1834, Andrew Jackson appointed him as Secretary of State. He remained in that position during the Martin…