Blog: The Americanist

Articles, musings, observations and commentary


When Love Came to Town – Alexander Hamilton is Blackmailed

Maria Reynolds explained to the married 36-year-old Alexander Hamilton her unfortunate predicament. Her husband, James Reynolds, had abandoned her in Philadelphia with her children. She was desperate for aid. Would Alexander give her money so...

An American Civil War Broadside

The American Civil War dominates nineteenth century American history – North and South. You see this still today especially in the ongoing, popular interest in military tactics and campaigns, bloody battles, and heroic generals.

A collector of...

American History in Images: Rare Photographs, Engravings, Rare Prints, Original Drawings

The illustrated American history books we first encountered as children, and later as young students, appealed to us with their iconic images:

A portrait of Benjamin Franklin; an illustration of revolutionary Bostonians tarring and feathering the tax man; South...

Scrapbook Albums from American History: Printed & Manuscript Memories

There is enjoyment when encountering a big, thick American scrapbook album from the 19th or early 20th centuries, bulging with ephemera and autograph or manuscript material.

As you open it up, glued in musical concert programs flap open. You see detailed...

Laws of Etiquette by a Society Lady: Selling Patent Medicine in the Nineteenth-Century

Eight booklets promote the patent medicines “Kohler-Antidote for Headache and Neuralgia” and “Kohler One Night Corn Cure.” Both of these fine products were manufactured by Kohler Manufacturing Co. of Baltimore, Maryland.

The colorful...

A Handwritten Diary from Antebellum, Civil War and Reconstruction Era South Carolina

Privation and loss; death and separation. Julia Logan’s diary, intermittently kept, chronicles a pervading prayerful grief for the dead, wounded, or otherwise separated members of the Logan family, prominent South Carolina Confederate...

Antique Diaries and Handwritten Journals Online

The handwriting of antique diaries, at first, can seem impossible to read. Don’t despair

Are you interested in old antique diaries or handwritten journals written by Americans from the eighteenth century or the nineteenth century? Reading and deciphering 18th century antique diaries can be more of a challenge to transcribe than antique diaries from mid-19th century America. For...