Category Archives: American Revolution

James Madison’s Montpelier

More and more historic sites are beginning to tell the whole story. What I mean is after many decades of avoiding difficult topics, such as slavery, they are pushing past self-imposed boundaries, seeking the complex truth, and striving to find … Continue reading

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Comparing American Revolution Museums – Part 2 – Yorktown

Two new museums devoted to telling the story of the American Revolution opened within a month of each other in Spring 2017. What are the odds? Philadelphia and Yorktown, Virginia both seemed like obvious places for such a museum. The … Continue reading

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Comparing American Revolution Museums – Part 1 – Philadelphia

Two new museums devoted to telling the story of the American Revolution opened within a month of each other in Spring 2017. What are the odds? Philadelphia and Yorktown, Virginia both seemed like obvious places for such a museum. The … Continue reading

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Lexington and Concord revisited

I recently found myself in Lexington and Concord, again. I wasn’t planning this particular visit but my friends and I were traveling back to Boston from a week in Maine and hadn’t booked a hotel over a holiday weekend. For … Continue reading

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Bob Sutton: My favorite history site

Welcome to an occasional new feature of Historyplaces called Our Favorite Sites where I ask public historians to talk about their favorite history sites and share some of the challenges they face presenting history to visitors. Bob Sutton is Chief Historian … Continue reading

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America’s worst naval disaster?

Imagine a quintessential Maine seacoast town. What does it look like? Shaded streets, white buildings, a green in the middle? Many Maine coastal villages have these features, but few boast such a fascinating history as Castine. Situated on a narrow … Continue reading

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Tallest monument in Vermont

Most Americans don’t associate the state of Vermont with the American Revolution (the most likely state candidates are Massachusetts and Pennsylvania). Except Vermonters. They celebrate a legal holiday every year on August 16 – Bennington Battle Day – to commemorate … Continue reading

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Mansions in Fairmount Park

On a recent trip to Philadelphia I went on a long bike ride with a friend. We rode through Fairmount Park, arguably one of the largest urban parks in the country. The park includes a collection of historic estates, many … Continue reading

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Imagining Franklin’s house

Having just visited the only Ben Franklin house in the world still standing (in London), I decided to return to Philadelphia, the city where he lived most of his life, to see how the Americans have reinterpreted Ben in a brand … Continue reading

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Boston favorites

I just returned from Boston and once again enjoyed walking miles through the neighborhoods. It is truly one of America’s great walkable cities. I took a guided walking tour of historic Beacon Hill and no surprise, ended up on the … Continue reading

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