Tag Archives: American history

Dolley Madison at 250

At 250 years old, Dolley Madison has consistently “worn well.” Happy Birthday to Dolley! From the time Dolley Payne Todd Madison (May 20, 1768-1849) was in her mid-twenties, she was arguably the most famous woman in the United States. Two … Continue reading

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Franklin Pierce: Moments of Grace

Franklin Pierce came to the Presidency following great personal tragedy. Franklin Pierce: The Tragedy Only weeks before Franklin Pierce (D-NH) was inaugurated in 1853, he took his wife and their eleven-year-old son to visit family in Massachusetts. En route, their … Continue reading

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Johnson, Grant and the Big Parade

Mid-March through Mid-May, 1865 were fraught with events March 1865 With General Ulysses Grant squeezing the Rebel Army even tighter in Petersburg, VA, and General William Sherman marching his vast army up the eastern coast, everyone knew that the end … Continue reading

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George Washington and Smallpox

Smallpox was a dreaded contagious disease. If one survived, one could be scarred and disfigured for life. George Washington and his Brother Lawrence Augustine Washington died when his son George was eleven. He had four younger siblings. He also had … Continue reading

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Seward and Davis: An Unlikely Friendship

Jefferson Davis and William Seward in their old age. William H. Seward: Republican Whig The 1850s was decade seething with unrest; a volcano just waiting to erupt. The Whigs had always been a cobbled-together party of various factions and sections … Continue reading

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General Grant’s Greatest Lesson

Fear is a natural reaction in the face of danger, or stress or the unknown. Or all of it. USG: Reinstatement The surrender of Fort Sumter in April 1861 changed everything for West Point trained Ulysses S. Grant. President Lincoln … Continue reading

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Harriet Hanks, Lincoln’s Cousin-Niece

It’s a complicated family line. The Lincoln-Hanks Kinship Abraham Lincoln, as everyone knows, was the son of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks. Nancy Hanks, Abe’s mother, had an aunt, also named Nancy Hanks, who had an illegitimate son named Dennis, … Continue reading

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