If you don’t have plans for Memorial Day weekend, then head over to John Sevier’s place. May 25-26 is the annual Statehood Days Living History Weekend at Marble Springs State Historic Site in Knoxville. They’re hosting militia drills, eighteenth-century demonstrations, a display of guns from the War of 1812, and a presentation on veterans of the Battle of King’s Mountain by yours truly. (I think my talk is scheduled for 11:30 on Saturday.)
Tag Archives: War of 1812
The Tennessee State Museum’s traveling exhibit on the War of 1812 is now at the East Tennessee Historical Society, and will be in Knoxville through May 19. Looks pretty cool!
- Ph.D.’s in history are finding plenty of work outside the academy, but surprisingly few of them in public history. I don’t think graduate programs encourage candidates to consider careers in public history as much as they should.
- Possible remnants of the Rev War’s first day have turned up in Massachusetts.
- Oldest living War of 1812 widow tells all.
- Another Civil War movie is in development.
- Mort Kunstler talks about the research for his Hunley painting.
- National Parks Traveler asks readers to name their favorite Civil War park. Personally, I think Gettysburg’s pretty hard to beat.
The War of 1812 tour is now available on the Kentucky Historical Society’s Explore KY History app. If you haven’t downloaded this thing, let me once again recommend it to you. Most Americans probably associate the War of 1812 with the Chesapeake or the Gulf of Mexico, but Kentucky suffered more casualties in that conflict than all the other states combined.
One of the most notable Kentucky vets was Isaac Shelby, who became the state’s first governor in 1792 and then ran for the same post twenty years later. Shelby didn’t throw his hat into the ring until less than a month before the 1812 gubernatorial election, and he was more than sixty years old.
He won handily anyway, partly because he’d already made a name for himself during the Rev War and Kentuckians were gearing up for another confrontation with England. (Shelby had led a regiment at King’s Mountain; in fact, he was one of the primary architects of the expedition that defeated Ferguson’s Tories.) In the summer of 1813 he took the field himself at the head of 3,500 volunteers who fought at the Battle of the Thames, thus seeing action in both of America’s wars with Britain.
Check out this fascinating item from NPR on the differences between teaching the War of 1812 in U.S. schools and teaching it in Canada. A teacher in Utah spends “a couple of days” on the war, with doses of the national anthem and Johnny Horton. A teacher in Ontario, by contrast, devotes “three to four weeks” to it.
Three to four weeks! As a pre-Civil War kind of guy, I’d love to have that much time for early American subjects in my survey classes.
Canadian units on the war aren’t just longer. They’re qualitatively different, full of important victories and heroic characters like Laura Secord. You’ve never heard of Laura Secord? Don’t sweat it; neither had I, and I’m supposed to have a master’s degree in this kind of stuff.
Here are a few other items from around the Interwebs on the War of 1812 and the way we remember it—or fail to:
- One reason our memory is selective might be because America didn’t come out of the war’s first two years looking particularly good.
- Donald Hickey is editing a series of books on the war for John Hopkins University Press.
- Baltimore kicked off the bicentennial with maritime festivities…
- …and hosted a ceremony where reps from the U.S., Britain, and Canada buried the hatchet. I’m still not forgiving them for Russell Brand.
- Finally, a Pennsylvania schoolteacher and his students suggest that we should re-christen the conflict the “Second War of Independence.” Not bad, but maybe we could add a little Hollywood-style pizzazz. I’m thinking WI:2 or War of Independence 2: War Harder. Too bad The Empire Strikes Back is already taken.
…try a War of 1812 controversy on for size. A Chicago alderman’s remarks about the 1812 Battle of Ft. Dearborn are stirring up quite a ruckus.
If you’re going to be in Nashville between now and June 24, swing by the Tennessee State Museum and see the special bicentennial exhibit Becoming the Volunteer State: Tennessee in the War of 1812.
Nashville Scene has an article on the exhibit and Andrew Jackson’s role in the war.
Remember that one? Old Hickory, the White House on fire, the rockets’ red glare, and all that? The Wall Street Journal has an interesting piece on what folks are doing to commemorate it.
…to help preserve early American sites is an idea whose time has come. More info here.