I started this blog as a means of sharing some informal observations on historical figures and places that inspire me. My expertise lies in the history of the Civil War era, and so the majority of my articles focus on that time period. But I would not characterize this as a “Civil War blog” as I often delve into other centuries–also, at times, into local history and folklore. So, the subject matter of this blog is, you might say, eclectic. Some of the articles fall under the category of “musings” while others take a more academic approach.
Hopefully, others find a bit of historical inspiration in these entries too.
January 18th, 2017 at 5:20 pm
My name is Nora and my mother has owned and lived it The Hillside house ( Benjamin Marston Watson prior residence) on Summer st in Plymouth for several years now. I would love to help her preserve what is left of the hillside and plan on restarting the modest garden she has in the spring. Bamboo has become quite a challenge and money is always an issue but Id love to invite you over and hear your thoughts.
January 25th, 2017 at 7:10 am
How nice of you to get in contact. As you perhaps could tell from the article, I admire that house and feel it’s one of Plymouth’s most important historical sites. I’ll contact you by e-mail and we can discuss.
February 28th, 2017 at 8:20 pm
enjoying your blogs too.
I am looking for a lead.
My great great grandfather was a local shipmaster, lore has him working for Sprague Soule & Co between 1840-1880. I’d like to know more about what what type of mariner he was/served on. Other than the Sprague Soule lead, the only other info I have is that he was master of Barque Broosa 1849-55, and Ship Roebuck 56-59. Can you point in the right direction for more research?
March 1st, 2017 at 6:31 am
Hi Jim. Sprague & Soule was a Boston shipping firm operating out of T Wharf in the mid 19th century. I’ve always suspected they had Duxbury roots because of those two very Duxbury names, but never tracked that down. I’ll poke around and let you know if I find anything, but in the meantime you might try getting in touch with the Bostonian Society or the Boston Public Library for more information on Sprague & Soule.
March 14th, 2017 at 9:54 am
The Memorial Day Foundation (not for profit) is on a mission to record and secure a photograph of every war memorial in America. Our web site nationalwarmemorialregistry.org now has over 23,000 listings. To accomplish this we have had the help of numerous individuals and organizations such as Wisconsin Veterans Memorials, Iowa Civil War Monuments and Images of New Hampshire History. We’re hoping that you would join us by sharing the photographs and information of memorials on your blog. We would reference you and your blog on each listing. Thanking you in advance for you consideration of this request.
March 15th, 2017 at 5:11 pm
I just quickly looked over your website. What an outstanding undertaking! You might be interested in the ongoing project I’ve been working on with a couple others interested in Civil War history. “The Massachusetts Civil War Monuments Project.” It presently resides on Facebook, but I’m hoping to create a dedicated website for it soon. https://www.facebook.com/macivilwarmonuments/
I’d be happy to share the images I’ve taken personally.
September 4th, 2017 at 9:23 am
The Hyde Park, Mass Historical Society has a cannon that was presented to General John B. Bachelder. Gen. Bachelder wrote the history of the Battle of Gettysburg with an expense account from the U.S. Congress. He was a Hyde Park resident for many years. Our Corresponding Secretary is just getting up a web site for the HPHS.
October 22nd, 2017 at 11:58 am
I’m a second year local grad student in the history of architecture/landscape architecture and would be interested to talk about landscapes or objects in the Boston area that you feel might make for interesting connections to Moby Dick. I’m much taken by your blog and the clear writing, and hope to hear from you. Gideon
October 22nd, 2017 at 3:43 pm
Gideon, many thanks. I’m glad you enjoy the blog. I am intrigued by your project. I’ll e-mail you directly soon. Best, Patrick.
December 31st, 2017 at 11:16 am
I just discovered your blog and found fascinating topics for reading. Inspired enough to subscribe to your blog.
However, I do have a question: I have been trying to find whether Frederick Douglass ever gave a speech in Brockton in the 1840s which at that time was called North Bridgewater?
I was trying to reseasrch the travels he did for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. I was also perusing the minutes of churches and the society. Any suggestions Patrick would be greatly appreciated. Of course I know we have a history of underground activity.
April 14th, 2018 at 11:48 am
The Marshfield Tea Part article was just what I was looking for as I research my family tree. Going back that far I should probably say ‘our family’! It is interesting to learn about the Tories and Patriots in places like Marshfield. I visited there last year. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and I would like to sign up for your blog.
I also have a request if I might. I would like permission to use your image of the Tea Party Rock on my genealogy website at http://www.inthechickencoop.us. In The Chicken Coop is just a hobby in my retirement. Thanks again and I will be reading more of your articles. I will link my site to your blog for my visitors.
June 3rd, 2018 at 7:31 am
I was just a boy when the Civil War Centennial swept the nation, but in Baltimore the attack on the Fighting 6th was presented as a spontaneous affair-not the act of treason that the boys from Massachusetts knew it was! And so in my dotage I have researched and written a historical fiction that tells the story of the Pratt Street Riots as they really were. Go to Amazon books…type in Redbeard the Magnificent…and you can see more! The culprits of the Baltimore riots rose to high social ranks after the war and managed to rewrite history with a fine Southern drift so the brave deeds of the boys of the Fighting 6th have been all but forgotten in my home town!
June 3rd, 2018 at 8:40 am
There’s definitely more to the history of Baltimore’s political leaders during the war than most people know. Thanks for commenting and good luck with the book!
October 21st, 2021 at 8:56 am
Patrick, I live on a farm near Keedysville, Maryland. There is an old house on this farm, owned at the time by Jacob A. Thomas. Wilder Dwight died in this house on September 19, 1862. His wounding at Antietam and death in this house is covered in the book “Life and Letters of Wilder Dwight”
January 22nd, 2022 at 2:45 pm
Hi Patrick. Thank you for these informative research contributions; so intriguing. I’m researching some of the industrial and engineering history of South Boston and will share points of interest. The Harrison Loring research is fascinating. Best!