Category Archives: Uncategorized

Confederate Monument Dilemma

PracticallyHistorical offers the following analysis….

  • The Confederate flag should never be flown over government buildings or property
  • The Confederate flag should not be banned
  • Monuments to Confederate leaders, political or military, should not be kept on government or public property
  • Monuments dedicated to unnamed soldiers who fought for the Confederacy should be allowed on public property
  • Communities have every right to determine which people are publicly memorialized
  • The destruction seen in Durham is unacceptable
  • The actions of the KKK and ne0-Nazi groups in Charlottesville are unacceptable
  • Confederate monuments in cemeteries should be left alone
  • Confederate monuments on battlefields should be left alone 
  • Comparing Confederate leaders to our Founders is unacceptable
  • Destroying or defacing monuments to our Founders is unacceptable 
  • Studying Confederate history is necessary
  • Confederate Civil War reenactors should not be ostracized
  • Slavery caused the Civil War
  • Not all Confederate soldiers fought for slavery
  • Not all Union soldiers fought to free slaves 
  • We need to keep reading, writing, and learning…..

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False Equivalence From Our President

The Marble Model

Trump continues to show an astounding ignorance of American history… with his insinuation that the removal of Lee’s statue in Charlottesville will lead to the removal of monuments to Jefferson and Washington.


Renown Jefferson critic Annette Gordon-Reed summarized the possibility: 


“I understand why some people think his statues should be removed, but not all controversial figures of the past are created equal, I think Jefferson’s contributions to the history of the United States outweigh the problems people have with aspects of his life. He is just too much a part of the American story … to pretend that he was not there.  There is every difference in the world between being one of the founders of the United States and being a part of group of people who fought to destroy the United States.”


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Erasing History 

ISIS circa 2015- destroying monuments 

Durham, NC-  Destroying monuments. 

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On Loss

Jefferson loved two women in his life… and lost them both.  To deal with the pain of loss and rejection, he looked to his mind- his intellect- to cope.

“A single event wiped away all my plans and left me a blank which I had not the spirits to fill up.”

“The most effectual means of being secure against pain is to retire within ourselves, and to suffice for our own happiness. Those, which depend on ourselves, are the only pleasures a wise man will count on: for nothing is ours which another may deprive us of. Hence the inestimable value of intellectual pleasures. “

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Lincoln. Mary. Robert. War.

Presidential History Blog

The Lincoln family early in his administration.

Of all the decisions Abraham Lincoln was obliged to make during his administration, few were as personally difficult as his son’s participation in the Army.

Robert’s Story

Young Robert Todd Lincoln sincerely wanted to enlist.

Robert Todd Lincoln had just entered Harvard when his father was inaugurated in March, 1861. Within weeks, Fort Sumter was attacked, and the new President called for 75,000 volunteers. At the outset, everyone believed the so-called “war” would be a big brouhaha: a battle fought, some unfortunate casualties, and cooler heads would prevail to settle the problems.

The battle was fought, the casualties staggered the imagination, nobody went back to the table, and nothing was resolved other than more battles and unthinkable casualties. Robert Lincoln diligently attended to his studies, but many of his Harvard classmates were enlisting in the Union Army. The President and First Lady continually…

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Revisited Myth # 125: The word “bar” comes from the cage or bars that barred people out of the bartender’s space.

History Myths Debunked

  1. This statement is part myth, part true. Allow me to dissect.

    I went to the Oxford English Dictionary (the 13-volume 1961 edition at my local library) for this one and perused 3 dense pages of definitions for the word “bar.” It’s not as simple as it sounds. Under nouns, there are 3 main segments: 1) “a piece of any material long in proportion to its thickness or width.” 2) “That which confines, encloses, limits, or obstructs. (a material barrier.” and 3) “a rail or barrier.” The 28th definition under #3 says “in an inn or other place of refreshment”, the word can mean, “A barrier or counter over which drink or food is served out to customers in an inn, hotel, or tavern.” Earliest written usage comes in at 1592. 

    As a verb, the word “to bar” has no references that are specific to a tavern or inn. There is…

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Martha Johnson Patterson: First Daughter

Presidential History Blog

Martha Johnson Patterson served for nearly four years as de facto First Lady to an unpopular president.

Martha Johnson Patterson, elder daughter of Andrew and Eliza Johnson.

The Johnson Family of Greeneville

Andrew Johnson (1808-75) was seventeen years old when he pushed a cart across the North Carolina border into Greeneville, TN. It is said that the day he came to town, sixteen-year-old Eliza McCardle (1810-76) saw him and remarked to a friend, “that is the boy I am going to marry.” Whether or not Eliza actually said it is immaterial; within months they did get married. At 18 and 16 respectively, Andrew and Eliza Johnson were the youngest-married First Couple.

Andrew Johnson’s two-room cabin.

Eliza, a shoemaker’s daughter whose father had recently died, needed a provider. Andy, a dirt-poor uneducated tailor-apprentice needed someone to manage a household. They moved into a tiny two-room cabin. One room was their bedroom…

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