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….

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…

Congressman Joshua R. Giddings: The Measure of a Man

On December 3, 1838, Joshua Reed Giddings, a lawyer and an abolitionist from Ohio’s 16th congressional district, was sworn in as a member of the United States House of Representatives. That day, he met his future mentor and former president, John Quincy Adams. In his diary, Giddings went into great detail about his first encounter with…