Blog Post Author: Stephen F. Haller Ph.D.

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Figure 1: Rev. Charles Nisbet (January 21, 1736 - January 18, 1804) moved from Scotland to become the first principal of Dickinson College in July 1785. The young college did not have the financial resources to build a suitable library, so he took it upon himself to build a text for his students.


            As Dickinson College began offering classes in fall 1785, one major concern weighed on the mind of the Rev. Charles Nisbet (January 21, 1736 - January 18, 1804), the new

Announcement: H-Law Podcast Episode 9: Holly Brewer

Charles Zelden Blog Post

H-Law Podcasts

As part of H-Law's onging efforts to expand our content offerings on all topics legal historical, H-Law podcaster Siobhan Barco has posted the ninth instalment of H-Law Podcasts.  The topic for Podcast 9 is a discussion with Professor Holly Brewer about her article published in October 2017 in the American Historical Review, entitled "Slavery, Sovereignty and 'Inheritable Blood': Reconsidering John Locke and the Origins of American Slavery."  The article is part of a larger book project that will situate the origins of American slavery in the ideas and legal practices associated

Women and Westward Movement

Jessica Moore Blog Post

Women and Westward Movement

When teaching the movement west I like to spend part of the class on how women were affected and women’s impact on westward migration.  I find John Gast’s American Progress to be a great starting point for this lecture.  I ask the students what they see in the picture and how it represents American views about westward expansion.  I also ask for their opinions on Columbia, the female presentation of America, and the fact that she is bringing education and technology.  What did it mean that a woman brought these things?  Was the idea that manifest destiny was more

Women in the British Colonies

Jessica Moore Blog Post

The first couple of classes for the early American history course always seem to have men at the center, with the focus on men as explorers, settlers, and residents of the New World.  For that reason when I make it to the early colonial days I like to bring women into the picture. Dividing the experience of women in the colonies into society's views versus real life provides a nice organization for the topic.

When discussing gender roles and expectations, I cover societal expectations of gender-defined work, women as inherently moral, limited legal rights for women, nonexistent political rights

Bourbon - And A New Oral History Project

Randolph Hollingsworth (she/her) Blog Post

Bourbon barrels in the rickFor whiskey to be called bourbon it must be made with a minimum of 51 percent corn, aged in charred new oak barrels and stored at no more than 125 proof. Strict federal guidlines maintain this standard, but the distillers all have their own private recipes and traditions about storing their product.

The making of bourbon began in the 1700s with the Kentucky frontier. Farmers shipped their processed corn as whiskey in oak barrels - stamped with its port of origin, Bourbon County (one of Kentucky's original counties while still a part of Revolutionary Era Virginia) - down the Ohio and Mississippi

Women and World War II

Jessica Moore Blog Post

Women and World War II

While many students are familiar with the great battles of WWII (usually through movies), few of them are aware of what a large part women played in the war.  When I teach WWII in the American history survey, I divide it into two classes.  During the first class we discuss the overall picture of the war: how the war began, the major battles, and the conclusion.  Once the students understand the broader picture of what happened in the war, we spend the second class discussing how the war affected the American people at home and how women contributed to the war effort.