Book cover of Inventing Disaster: The Culture of Calamity from the Jamestown Colony to the Johnstown Flood by Cynthia Kierner
Colonial Period

Inventing Disaster: The Culture of Calamity from the Jamestown Colony to the Johnstown Flood

When hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, and other disasters strike, we count our losses, search for causes, commiserate with victims, and initiate relief efforts. Amply illustrated and expansively researched, Inventing Disaster explains the origins and development of this predictable, even ritualized, culture of calamity over three centuries, exploring its roots in the revolutions in science, information, and emotion that were part of the Age of Enlightenment in Europe and America. […Learn More]

Book cover of John Marshall: The Final Founder by Robert Strauss
Biography & Autobiography

John Marshall: The Final Founder

Eighteenth- and 19th-century contemporaries believed Marshall to be, if not the equal of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, at least very close to that pantheon.

John Marshall: The Final Founder demonstrates that not only can Marshall be considered one of those Founding Fathers, but that what he did as the Chief Justice was not just significant, but the glue that held the union together after the original founding days. […Learn More]

Book cover of Jamestown, the Truth Revealed by William Kelso
Archaeology

Jamestown, the Truth Revealed

What was life really like for the band of adventurers who first set foot on the banks of the James River in 1607? Important as the accomplishments of these men and women were, the written records pertaining to them are scarce, ambiguous, and often conflicting. In Jamestown, the Truth Revealed, William Kelso takes us literally to the soil where the Jamestown colony began, unearthing footprints of a series of structures, beginning with the James Fort, to reveal fascinating evidence of the lives and deaths of the first settlers, of their endeavors and struggles, and new insight into their relationships with the Virginia Indians. […Learn More]

Book cover of Mutinous Women: How French Convicts Became Founding Mothers of the Gulf Coast by Joan DeJean
Colonial Period

Mutinous Women: How French Convicts Became Founding Mothers of the Gulf Coast 

The secret history of the rebellious Frenchwomen who were exiled to colonial Louisiana and found power in the Mississippi Valley

In 1719, a ship named La Mutine (the mutinous woman), sailed from the French port of Le Havre, bound for the Mississippi. It was loaded with urgently needed goods for the fledgling French colony, but its principal commodity was a new kind of export: women. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Ruin of All Witches: Life and Death in the New World by Malcolm Gaskill
Colonial Period

The Ruin of All Witches: Life and Death in the New World

In Springfield, Massachusetts in 1651, peculiar things begin to happen. Precious food spoils, livestock ails, property vanishes, and people suffer convulsions as if possessed by demons. A woman is seen wading through the swamp like a lost soul. Disturbing dreams and visions proliferate. Children sicken and die. As tensions rise, rumours spread of witches and heretics and the community becomes tangled in a web of distrust, resentment and denunciation. The finger of suspicion soon falls on a young couple with two small children: the prickly brickmaker, Hugh Parsons, and his troubled wife, Mary. […Learn More]

Book cover of Voices of the Enslaved: Love, Labor, and Longing in French Louisiana by Sophie White
History

Voices of the Enslaved: Love, Labor, and Longing in French Louisiana

In eighteenth-century New Orleans, the legal testimony of some 150 enslaved women and men–like the testimony of free colonists–was meticulously recorded and preserved. Questioned in criminal trials as defendants, victims, and witnesses about attacks, murders, robberies, and escapes, they answered with stories about themselves, stories that rebutted the premise on which slavery was founded.
[…Learn More]