Muster

Abolitionists’ Radical Empathy: A Message for Today

Abolitionists’ Radical Empathy: A Message for Today

We live in weird times. Our president delivers policy statements by midnight tweet, and the opposing political party seems poised, at least this week, to recruit their own TV star to run against him in the next election. Recreational marijuana use is now at least partly legal in twenty-nine states, ...
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A Statistical Analysis of Visitation to National Park Service Civil War Sites During the Sesquicentennial

A Statistical Analysis of Visitation to National Park Service Civil War Sites During the Sesquicentennial

In early 2017, the National Park Service released an official report on its efforts to educate visitors about the American Civil War during its sesquicentennial anniversary (2011-2015). Plans to organize educational programming for the sesquicentennial started as early as 1998, when a group of Superintendents at NPS Civil War sites ...
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Race, Citizenship, and a Search for Intellectual Honesty

Race, Citizenship, and a Search for Intellectual Honesty

Perhaps I’ve been wrong about African American citizenship. The anniversary year of the Fourteenth Amendment’s ratification is upon us. 2018 marks 150 years since birthright citizenship was constitutionalized. I’ve told this story many times, even recounting it in an article for the Journal of the Civil War Era.[1] The Fourteenth Amendment ...
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Author Interview: Marise Bachand

Author Interview: Marise Bachand

Today we share an interview with Marise Bachand, who published an article in our December 2017 special issue, titled “Disunited Daughters of the Confederations: Creoles and Canadians at the Intersection of Nations, States, and Empires.” Marise is an associate professor at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. An Americanist trained ...
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Reconstruction Scholars’ Public Engagement: Why It Matters

The recent Alabama senatorial race raised the specter of historians’ role in public debates. After suggesting antebellum slavery as a period of American’s greatness, one candidate dismissed the Reconstruction-era amendments and other amendments designed to create “a more perfect union” (except for the Bill of Rights).[1] Post-election demographic analyses revealed ...
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George and Alva Go to War: Fatherhood, Childhood, and the Civil War

George and Alva Go to War: Fatherhood, Childhood, and the Civil War

“I am with my youngest son George compelled for the love of our Beloved country to take up arms in defense of that liberty that our for Fathers fought to establish. May Heaven grant a speedy restoration of the hapy [sic] days once enjoyed & a safe return to our ...
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The Blood Is in the Details: When Scars of Slavery Are Markers of Freedom

The Blood Is in the Details: When Scars of Slavery Are Markers of Freedom

On this first day of December, we share our first Field Dispatch from Martha S. Jones, the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University. Her most recent work is Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America, forthcoming in 2018 from ...
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Standing portrait of Jefferson Davis

The Dark Underbelly of Jefferson Davis’s Camels

Aside from his truncated term as Confederate president, Jefferson Davis might best be known for his camel experiment: the importation of some seventy-five camels for military testing in Texas and the southwest in the late 1850s. He launched the offbeat operation while serving as secretary of war under President Franklin ...
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The Duty of a True Patriot

The Duty of a True Patriot

Today, Christopher Hayashida-Knight shares his first Field Dispatch on Muster. Chris completed a Ph.D. in History and Women’s Studies at Pennsylvania State University in 2017. He is currently teaching U.S. history at California State University, Chico, in addition to working at a nonprofit. His research centers on African American women ...
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Outrageous Inaccuracies: The Grand Army of the Republic Protests <em>The Birth of a Nation</em>

Outrageous Inaccuracies: The Grand Army of the Republic Protests The Birth of a Nation

When the motion picture film The Birth of a Nation was released in 1915, most veterans of the American Civil War were in their seventies and eighties. Membership in the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR)—the largest fraternal organization of Union veterans in the country—had declined by that time to ...
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Lessons in Diplomacy: Reassessing the <i>Trent</i> Affair

Lessons in Diplomacy: Reassessing the Trent Affair

As the saber rattling and awkward gestures toward friends and foes alike continue to come from Washington, and the loose finger of the president drifts between Twitter and nuclear war with potentially Iran and North Korea, escaping to the diplomacy of the American Civil War provides a reminder that brinkmanship ...
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Imagining a Hemispheric Greater America

Here we share the editor's note for our special issue in December 2017, by guest editor William Blair. The issue includes groundbreaking and insightful work by five scholars studying continental connections across the nineteenth century. In the summer of 2015, sixty-some scholars from at least four countries gathered in the ...
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The Most Perfect Anarchy: Confederates Imagine the Mexican Border

The Most Perfect Anarchy: Confederates Imagine the Mexican Border

This week, we share our first Field Dispatch by Maria Angela Diaz, an assistant professor of history at Utah State University. Her current book project is entitled Saving the Southern Empire: Territorial Expansion in the Gulf South and Latin America, 1845-1865. When we think about Confederates and the Civil War ...
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All Brave Men Are True Comrades: Union Veterans and Confederate Memorials

All Brave Men Are True Comrades: Union Veterans and Confederate Memorials

Today James Marten, professor of history at Marquette University, shares his first Field Dispatch. The author or editor of fifteen books, Marten was the 2010 winner of MU’s Lawrence G. Haggerty Award for Excellence in Research. Among his recent publications are America’s Corporal: James Tanner in War and Peace (Georgia, 2014) and Sing ...
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The Years After the Eight Years: What Lies Ahead?

Today we conclude our roundtable on Ta-Nehisi Coates's We Were Eight Years in Power with a post by Greg Downs. Downs is this roundtable's guest editor and an associate editor at the Journal of the Civil War Era. He is a professor of history at University of California--Davis. Previous installments ...
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It Was a Good Day: White Supremacy and Legal History

Today we share the final installment of our roundtable on Ta-Nehisi Coates's We Were Eight Years in Power. Scott Hancock is associate professor of History and Africana Studies at Gettysburg College, with expertise in Black northerners’ engagement with the law. Previous installments of the roundtable are available here, here, and here ...
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