Steamboats: Rumsey and Fulton

Steamboats: Rumsey and Fulton By Sarah Becker © 2017 The discovery of the Mariner’s Compass Gave Commerce to the World…and the Introduction of the Creative System of Canals…will Give an Agricultural Polish To every Acre of America,” artist turned inventor Robert Fulton wrote President George Washington in 1796. Fulton, born in Pennsylvania, moved to London […]

Alexander Hamilton

By Sarah Becker © 2016 “Alexander Hamilton spoke in paragraphs,” 36 year-old playwright, composer, and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda told 60-Minutes.  Miranda’s Broadway musical Hamilton is New York’s hottest new show.  Who-da thunk an 18th century politician of Hamilton’s type capable of drawing record-setting crowds?  Former Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, a Democratic-Republican, did not think […]

The American Whiskey Trail

History – The American Whiskey Trail by © 2016 Sarah Becker How do lawyers and historians pass their respective bar exams? Lawyers mostly study hard. Spirited historians sip booze. The American Whiskey Trail, championed by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, includes local sites such as George Washington’s Mount Vernon Distillery and Gadsby’s […]

History of the Flag

June begins my 20th year with the Old Town Crier and 228 columns later another begins…In celebration of Flag Day 2013 the Museum of the American Revolution replicated the American silk standard that marked Revolutionary War General George Washington’s presence on the battlefield. His Headquarters Flag, with its 13 stars, stood witness to the most […]

History: Slavery

For centuries slavery has been common among African tribes. Black slaves, usually taken captive during war, were bought and sold to enhance a leader’s wealth. Bartering for human capital is an age-old practice some African countries still practice today. Portuguese sailors, European sailors brought the first Africans to the New World. The voyage to America […]

Washington and Religion

George Washington, the great-great grandson of Anglican pastor Lawrence Washington, was “always a strict and decorous observer of the Sabbath.” Born February 22, 1732 he thought the only Being a citizen had to answer in terms of religion was God. Evangelical George Whitefield and the first Great Awakening made little impression. “You doubtless remember, that […]

Thanksgiving History

A holiday quiz: Which of the following contributed to the creation of America’s Thanksgiving holiday tradition(s)? Berkeley Company The Pilgrim George Washington Abraham Lincoln Calvin Coolidge Franklin D. Roosevelt Question 2, chose one: In which year did the chrysanthemum become the traditional Thanksgiving flower? 1845 1905 1942 Each contributed to the Thanksgiving holiday tradition in […]

Jay’s Treaty

In February 1790 Benjamin Franklin, on behalf of Pennsylvania’s anti-slavery society, petitioned Congress to abolish slavery; “to devise means for removing the Inconsistency from the Character of the American People.” The petition triggered a national debate and slave owners were displeased. President Washington’s cabinet—which included Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, a Virginia Democratic-Republican, and Secretary […]