Categotry Archives: General History

Portrait of a Mother: Eliza Clerc Makes Her Deafness Visible, 1822

Their wedding in 1819 was perhaps the first of its kind in the United States: the union of deaf man and a deaf woman. When Laurent Clerc agreed to travel to America in 1817 to help Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet learn sign language and establish a school for the deaf, he made it clear he would be returning to France in 1820. That changed when he met 23-year old Eliza Boardman, one of his first students at the Connecticut Asylum for […]

Waiting To Become A Widow: Mary Brown and the Execution of John Brown

On the morning of December 2, 1859, Mary Day Brown and her companions Hector Tyndale and James and Sarah McKim left the Wager House Hotel in Harpers Ferry, Virginia for a walk at the start of what promised to be another long and trying day. They had barely started out when a gunshot cut the air; Tyndale felt a bullet brush by his head. Whether this was a serious attack or a prank by some over-excited local was not something […]

A Line Through the Desert

Readers of the New-York Tribune learned on December 1, 1866 that “Matrimonial advices from Utah state that Mr. Brigham Young has just taken a forty-fifth wide: the actual number of his family not being increased, as No. 23 died the other day.” The story was incorrect. He had married Amelia Folsom in January 1863 and wouldn’t again until he took Mary Van Cott as a wife in January 1868. Many historians sorting through the muddle of Young’s matrimonial history count […]

The Day The First World War Came to London’s Pubs

One cold, foggy morning, the working men of London walked into their favorite pubs for their traditional early-morning nip. They were disappointed. At midnight on November 30, 1915, the public houses of London were put under new rules: Alcoholic beverages could only be sold between noon-2:30 and 6:30 to 9:30 on weekdays, 1 to 3 and 6 to 9 on Sundays. This was a major change in a city where some pubs opened at 5:30 in the morning and stayed […]

Could the Lincoln Bedroom Become the Ultimate Airbnb Rental?

Call it the ultimate Airbnb crash pad. In a recent interview on Bloomberg TV, Brian Chesky, CEO of the online room-letting empire, says he asked President Obama if he could get the Lincoln Bedroom listed for rent. President Obama told him “I need to check with Michelle,” but said it was probably a long shot. Chesky allowed that the President was probably just “humoring me.” That said, it’s a lot more guest-ready than many of Airbnb’s offerings. A big comfy […]