FC 85 The Heathen School with John Demos

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Dr. John Demos, the author of the book The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic.

Bio – Dr. John Demos

The Heathen School with John Demos on Fieldstone Common

Photo: Michael Lionstar

John Demos is the Samuel Knight Professor Emeritus of History at Yale University. He was born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard College, and received his graduate training at Oxford, the University of California at Berkeley, and Harvard. Some of his books include A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony, Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England, for which he received the Bancroft Prize, and The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America which won the Francis Parkman Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Book Summary

The astonishing story of a unique missionary project—and the America it embodied—from award-winning historian John Demos.

Near the start of the nineteenth century, as the newly established United States looked outward toward the wider world, a group of eminent Protestant ministers formed a grand scheme for gathering the rest of mankind into the redemptive fold of Christianity and “civilization.” Its core element was a special school for “heathen youth” drawn from all parts of the earth, including the Pacific Islands, China, India, and, increasingly, the native nations of North America. If all went well, graduates would return to join similar projects in their respective homelands. For some years, the school prospered, indeed became quite famous. However, when two Cherokee students courted and married local women, public resolve—and fundamental ideals—were put to a severe test.

The Heathen School follows the progress, and the demise, of this first true melting pot through the lives of individual students: among them, Henry Obookiah, a young Hawaiian who ran away from home and worked as a seaman in the China Trade before ending up in New England; John Ridge, son of a powerful Cherokee chief and subsequently a leader in the process of Indian “removal”; and Elias Boudinot, editor of the first newspaper published by and for Native Americans. From its birth as a beacon of hope for universal “salvation,” the heathen school descends into bitter controversy, as American racial attitudes harden and intensify. Instead of encouraging reconciliation, the school exposes the limits of tolerance and sets off a chain of events that will culminate tragically in the Trail of Tears.

In The Heathen School, John Demos marshals his deep empathy and feel for the textures of history to tell a moving story of families and communities—and to probe the very roots of American identity.

Publication Info The Heathen School with John Demos on Fieldstone Common

Title: The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic

Publisher: Knopf (2014)

Hard cover; 337 pages with with end notes, an index and eight pages of photographs.

The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

John Demos and I dive into the details of this unusual tale of Christianity and Mission schools in the early 19th century. The twist to the story is that the Mission was located in the small town of Cornwall, Connecticut not half way around the world. We talk about the motivations and goals of the Christians and the fate of the students. Of course, we talk about how this local story has national prominence with the connection to Cherokee Nation and the Trail of Tears. A truly fascinating story.

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winner

One copy of The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic was given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Knopf.

The winner is:

  • Jack Vietas of Taiwan

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Knopf for their generosity in donating the book!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

The Direct Link to this post is
http://www.fieldstonecommon.com/the-heathen-school-john-demos

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Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 85)?

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FC 84 – African American Connecticut Explored with Katherine Harris

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Dr. Katherine J. Harris, one of the main contributors to the book African American Connecticut Explored.

Bio – Dr. Katherine Harris

Katherine J. Harris, Ph.D. is a lecturer at Central Connecticut State University. She serves on the State Historic Preservation Council and the site selection committee for the Connecticut Freedom Trail. She is the author of Pan-African Language Systems: Ebonics and African Oral Heritage, African and American Values: Liberia and West Africa, The American Values Projected Abroad Series, and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s African Diplomacy is due out soon.

African American Connecticut Explored on Fieldstone Common

The Book Team: (left to right) Elizabeth J. Normen, Katherine J. Harris, Wm. Frank Mitchell, Stacey K. Close, Olivia White. (Photo by John Groo.)

Book Summary

The numerous essays by many of the state’s leading historians in African American Connecticut Explored document an array of subjects beginning from the earliest years of the state’s colonization around 1630 and continuing well into the 20th century. The voice of Connecticut’s African Americans rings clear through topics such as the Black Governors of Connecticut, nationally prominent black abolitionists like the reverends Amos Beman and James Pennington, the African American community’s response to the Amistad trial, the letters of Joseph O. Cross of the 29th Regiment of Colored Volunteers in the Civil War, and the Civil Rights work of baseball great Jackie Robinson (a twenty-year resident of Stamford), to name a few. Insightful introductions to each section explore broader issues faced by the state’s African American residents as they struggled for full rights as citizens. This book represents the collaborative effort of Connecticut Explored and the Amistad Center for Art & Culture, with support from the State Historic Preservation Office and Connecticut’s Freedom Trail. It will be a valuable guide for anyone interested in this fascinating area of Connecticut’s history.

Contributors include Billie M. Anthony, Christopher Baker, Whitney Bayers, Barbara Beeching, Andra Chantim, Stacey K. Close, Jessica Colebrook, Christopher Collier, Hildegard Cummings, Barbara Donahue, Mary M. Donohue, Nancy Finlay, Jessica A. Gresko, Katherine J. Harris, Charles (Ben) Hawley, Peter Hinks, Graham Russell Gao Hodges, Eileen Hurst, Dawn Byron Hutchins, Carolyn B. Ivanoff, Joan Jacobs, Mark H. Jones, Joel Lang, Melonae’ McLean, Wm. Frank Mitchell, Hilary Moss, Cora Murray, Elizabeth J. Normen, Elisabeth Petry, Cynthia Reik, Ann Y. Smith, John Wood Sweet, Charles A. Teale Sr., Barbara M. Tucker, Tamara Verrett, Liz Warner, David O. White, and Yohuru Williams.

Publication InfoAfrican American Connecticut Explored on Fieldstone Common

Title: African American Connecticut Explored

Publisher: Wesleyan University Press (2013)

Hard cover; 422 pages with with end notes for many chapters, bibliography, an index and some photos.

African American Connecticut Explored is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

Dr. Harris and I talked about the history of slavery in Connecticut, when it started and how it ended. We also talked about the unusual practice of the African American community, starting in the 1700s, to elect Black Governors. We talked about successful New Haven resident William Lanson. And Martin Luther King Jr. even made a cameo appearance in this discussion of Connecticut history.

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winner

One copy of African American Connecticut Exploredwas given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Wesleyan University Press.

The winner is:

  • Cheryll Toney Holley of Massachusetts

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Wesleyan University Press for their generosity in donating the book!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

The Direct Link to this post is
www.fieldstonecommon.com/african-american-ct-katherine-harris

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Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 84)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 84 is the number of the episode.

 

FC 83 – Rebecca Dickinson with Marla R. Miller

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Marla R. Miller, author of the book Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Woman.

Bio – Marla R. Miller

Marla R. Miller, a historian of early American women and work, has made a career uncovering the lives of women who left little in the way of documentary record. She is a professor of Marla Miller on Fieldstone Commonhistory at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and directs the Public History program there. She has won the Organization of American Historians’ Lerner-Scott Prize for the best dissertation on women’s history and the 1997 Walter Muir Whitehill Prize in Colonial History.

This is Marla’s second visit to Fieldstone Common. She appeared on the July 4th, 2013 episode to talk about her other book, Betsy Ross and the Making of America.

Book Summary

Rebecca Dickinson’s powerful voice, captured through excerpts from the pages of her journal, allows colonial and revolutionary-era New England to come alive. Dickinson’s life illustrates the dilemmas faced by many Americans in the decades before, during, and after the American Revolution, as well as the paradoxes presented by an unmarried woman who earned her own living and made her own way in the small town where she was born. Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Woman, uses Dickinson’s world as a lens to introduce readers to the everyday experience of living in the colonial era and the social, cultural, and economic challenges faced in the transformative decades surrounding the American Revolution.

Publication InfoRebecca Dickinson with Marla Miller on Fieldstone Common

Title: Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Woman

Publisher: Westview Press (2014)

Trade Paperback; 194 pages with a list or primary sources, end notes, bibliographic essay and an index.

Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Woman is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

Marla and I talk about the diary that acted as the background for Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Woman. Rebecca lived through American Revolution to see the birth of the United States. She remained unmarried and supported herself independently as a gown maker. Though she had several proposals of marriage she rejected them. Her life was a careful balance of conscious independence and loneliness.

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winner

One copy of Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Womanwas given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Westview Press.

The winner is:

  • Debra Cravens of Wisconsin

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Westview Press for their generosity in donating the book!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

The Direct Link to this post is
www.fieldstonecommon.com/rebecca-dickinson-marla-miller

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BIG NEWS for Android users! Fieldstone Common is now available in the Android app Stitcher. Stitcher is a program like iTunes but is available on the Android platform. Download Stitcher and search for Fieldstone Common or click here.

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 83)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 83 is the number of the episode.

 

FC 82 Annie’s Ghosts with Steve Luxenberg

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Steve Luxenberg, author of the book Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret.

Bio – Steve Luxenberg

Steve Luxenberg, an associate editor at The Washington Post and author of the award-winning Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret, has worked for more than 30 years as a newspaper editor and reporter.

Annie's Ghosts with Steve Luxenberg on Fieldstone Common

photo by Josh Luxenberg

Steve’s journalistic career began at The Baltimore Sun, where he worked for 11 years. He joined The Post in 1985 as deputy editor of the investigative/special projects staff, headed by assistant managing editor Bob Woodward. In 1991, Steve succeeded Woodward as head of the investigative staff. Post reporters working with Steve have won several major reporting awards, including two Pulitzer Prizes for explanatory journalism.

Annie’s Ghosts was named to The Washington Post’s Best Books of 2009 list and was honored as a Michigan Notable Book for 2010 by the Library of Michigan. It was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and on the Diane Rehm Show. Other media coverage included articles or reviews in Parade, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, The Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, the Buffalo News, the Jerusalem Post.

Steve is a graduate of Harvard College. He grew up in Detroit. He and his wife, Mary Jo Kirschman, a former school librarian, live in Baltimore.

Book Summary

Beth Luxenberg was an only child. Or so everyone thought. Six months after Beth’s death, her secret emerged. It had a name: Annie.

Newly selected as a Great Michigan Read 2013-14 and a Michigan Notable Book for 2010.

One of the Washington Post Book World’s “Best Books of 2009,” Memoir.

 

Publication InfoAnnie's Ghosts with Steve Luxenberg on Fieldstone Common

Title: Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret

Publisher: Hyperion Books (2009)

Trade Paperback; 432 pages; with list of recurring characters, end notes, index and some BxW photos.

Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

Steve and I talk about the decision behind prying into a family member’s private life, which they’ve kept secret, after they’ve died. We talk about identity – our own identity and other people’s perception of that identity. We dig into the topic of secrets and whether they should be kept or released. And, of course, we dig into the big secret in his family, that his mother had a sister, despite claiming all her adult life that she was an only child. Steve did much more than a reasonably exhaustive search for the research behind this book. His investigative skills and tenacity are a real lesson and inspiration for any historical researcher.

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winner

One copy of Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret was given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Hyperion Books.

The winner is:

  • Roberta Hunt of Indiana

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Hyperion Books for their generosity in donating the book!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

The Direct Link to this post is
www.fieldstonecommon.com/annies-ghosts-with-steve-luxenberg

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Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 82)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 82 is the number of the episode.

 

FC 81 Through a Different Lens with Tasha Caswell

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Tasha Caswell, curator of the exhibit Through a Different Lens: Three Connecticut Women Photographers at the Connecticut Historical Society.

Bio – Tasha Caswell

Tasha Caswell on Fieldstone Common

photo by Kyle Sprague

Tasha Caswell is the Thorne-McKenna Curatorial Assistant at the Connecticut Historical Society. Since last October, she has been working to catalog and digitize the photographs by Harriet V.S. Thorne and Rosalie Thorne McKenna that were recently given to CHS by the Rosalie Thorne McKenna Foundation. Tasha has degrees from Ryerson University and George Eastman House, the University of Toronto, and Lewis & Clark College. She recently completed a ten-month student residency at George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film, where she catalogued 19th- and 20th-century and contemporary photographic and audiovisual materials.

Book Summary

This exhibition at the Connecticut Historical Society (October 11, 2013 – March 29, 2014) presents the work of three female photographers, who came from very different places in Connecticut history and society. Each of their photographs is a record of personal and local history, a picture of the people, landscapes, and buildings of Connecticut. Together they reveal how women have taken part in amateur and professional photography from the late 1800s into the mid 1900s.

Publication Info Through a Different Lens: Connecticut Women Photographers

Title: Through a Different Lens: Three Connecticut Women Photographers

Publisher: Connecticut Historical Society (2013)

Exhibition Publication, 38 pages

Through a Different Lens: Three Connecticut Women Photographers is available for purchase fromthe Connecticut Historical Society.

The Interview

Tasha and I spoke about the three pioneering women photographers featured in the exhibit: Harriet Van Schoonhoven Thorne (1843-1926), Rosalie Thorne McKenna (1916-2003) and Marie Hartig Kendall (1854-1943). Harriet Thorne was from a wealthy family and focused her photography on portraits, mostly of her family. Her great granddaughter, Rosalie McKenna became a professional photographer before discovering her own ancestor’s connection with photography. She also did mostly portraits with some photos of Stonington, Connecticut where she lived. Marie Hartig Kendall, was a photographer and business woman who sold her photographs where ever she could. She focused extensively on the town of Norfolk, Connecticut. We also talked about what a curator looks for when creating an exhibit.

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winners

One copy of Through a Different Lens: Three Connecticut Women Photographerswas given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of the Connecticut Historical Society.

The winner is:

  • Leslie Wolfgang of Connecticut

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to the Connecticut Historical Society for their generosity in donating the book!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

The Direct Link to this post is
www.fieldstonecommon.com/different-lens-tasha-caswell

News & Announcements

BIG NEWS for Android users! Fieldstone Common is now available in the Android app Stitcher. Stitcher is a program like iTunes but is available on the Android platform. Download Stitcher and search for Fieldstone Common or click here.

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 81)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 81 is the number of the episode.

**** The new Fieldstone Common Season 2 subscription is now available in iTunes. You will need to subscribe to this link to continue receiving episodes in ITunes. Click on the link to subscribe.

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Fieldstone Common is no longer broadcast on Blog Talk Radio. You can listen to the show by clicking the play button above or subscribing in iTunes or other podcatchers.

 

FC 80 Jerks in Boston History with Paul Della Valle

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Paul Della Valle, author of the book Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Boston History.

Please note:

A few parts of the interview contain mature topics about serial killers which may not be appropriate for children.

 

Bio – Paul Della Valle

Paul Della Valle, father of three and grandfather of two, lives on five acres of an old farm in Jerks in Boston History with Paul Della Valle on Fieldstone CommonSterling, Massachusetts with his wife Karen, their dog, Yaz, and Boots Vanzetti, their anarchist cat. In 2009, he wrote Massachusetts Troublemakers: Rebels, Reformers, and Radicals from the Bay State (Globe Pequot Press).

Della Valle won dozens of writing and reporting awards in a thirty-year career as a journalist that began even before he graduated from Metropolitan State College in Denver in 1979. In 1996 he founded the Lancaster Times and Clinton Courier, which he published for 9 years. During that time, the combined newspapers were twice runner-up for New England Press Association Newspaper of the Year. He has taught writing at Worcester’s Clark University and journalism at Boston’s Northeastern University.

Book Summary

Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Boston History features eighteen short profiles of notorious bad guys, perpetrators of mischief, visionary if misunderstood thinkers, and other colorful antiheroes from the history of Beantown. It reveals the dark side of some well-known and even revered characters from Boston’s past – both part-time Jerks and others who were Jerks through and through.

Book InfoJerks in Boston History with Paul Della Valle on Fieldstone Common

Title: Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Boston History

Publisher: Globe Pequot Press (2014)

Trade Paperback; 219 pages; with bibliography, index and some BxW photos & illustrations.

Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Boston History is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

Who are the truly bad guys from Boston history? That might be debatable but Paul Della Valle makes a pretty good case in his book Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Boston History. In this interview Paul and I debate the reputation of Bronson Alcott and Cotton Mather. Paul gives us the low-down on some of the worst characters from Boston history such as Boston Strangler Albert DeSalvo and serial killer Jane Toppan. We also take a look at Revolutionary War spy Dr. Benjamin Church. You will learn about a whole new group of decidedly bad folks.

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winners

One copy of Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Boston Historywas given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Globe Pequot Press.

The winner is:

  • Melanie Mueller of Texas

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Globe Pequot Press for their generosity in donating the book!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

The Direct Link to this post is
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News & Announcements

BIG NEWS for Android users! Fieldstone Common is now available in the Android app Stitcher. Stitcher is a program like iTunes but is available on the Android platform. Download Stitcher and search for Fieldstone Common or click here.

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 80)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 80 is the number of the episode.

**** The new Fieldstone Common Season 2 subscription is now available in iTunes. You will need to subscribe to this link to continue receiving episodes in ITunes. Click on the link to subscribe.

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Fieldstone Common is no longer broadcast on Blog Talk Radio. You can listen to the show by clicking the play button above or subscribing in iTunes or other podcatchers.

 

FC 79 The Underground Railroad on Long Island with Kathleen Velsor

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Kathleen G. Velsor, author of the book The Underground Railroad on Long Island: Friends in Freedom.

Bio – Kathleen G. Velsor

Dr. Kathleen Gaffney Velsor is an associate professor in the School of Education at the State University of New York Old Westbury. She earned an undergraduate degree in fine The Underground Railroad on Long Island with Kathleen G. Velsor on Fieldsotne Commonarts and education from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, and received her master’s degree in educational administration from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and her doctorate in educational research from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio. She has received numerous grants to research the Quaker involvement in the Underground Railroad on Long Island, most recent among them an education grant from the Long Island Community Foundation to establish the Underground Teaching Partnership to build community through interdisciplinary social studies workshops for schoolteachers.

Book Summary

From the arrival of the Quakers in the seventeenth century to the enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation, Long Island played an important role in the Underground Railroad’s work to guide slaves to freedom. In Old Westbury, the Post family established a major stop on the freedom trail with the help of an escaped Virginia slave. In Jericho, families helped escaping slaves to freedom from the present-day Maine Maid Inn. Elias Hicks helped free 191 slaves himself and worked to create Underground Railroad safe houses in many northeastern cities. Some former slaves even established permanent communities across the island. Visit the safe houses many of which are still standing today and explore the journey of runaway slaves on Long Island.

Book InfoThe Underground Railroad on Long Island with Kathleen G. Velsor on Fieldsotne Common

Title: The Underground Railroad on Long Island: Friends in Freedom

Publisher: The History Press (2013)

Trade Paperback; 144 pages; with end notes, bibliography, index and BxW photos & illustrations.

The Underground Railroad on Long Island: Friends in Freedom is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

During the interview Kathleen and I discussed the long involvement of Quakers on Long Island with the anti-slavery movement. Around the time of the American Revolution Quakers started to become uncomfortable with the idea of any human being held in bondage. In the Long Island area Quakers were lead with the strong Leadership of Elias Hicks who rallied other Quakers to join his anti-slavery cause.  His followers were called Hicksite Quakers. Hicksites first manumitted their own slaves. As time passed they developed the network of the Underground Railroad and worked toward helping enslaved people to freedom as well as educating them in reading and writing and providing a trade.

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winners

One copy of The Underground Railroad on Long Island: Friends in Freedom was given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of The History Press.

The winner is:

  • Vonda McCrae of Virginia

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to The History Press for their generosity in donating the book!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

The Direct Link to this post is
www.fieldstonecommon.com/underground-railroad-kathleen-velsor/

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Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 78)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 78 is the number of the episode.

**** The new Fieldstone Common Season 2 subscription is now available in iTunes. You will need to subscribe to this link to continue receiving episodes in ITunes. Click on the link to subscribe.

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Fieldstone Common is no longer broadcast on Blog Talk Radio. You can listen to the show by clicking the play button above or subscribing in iTunes or other podcatchers.

 

FC 77 The Manor with Mac Griswold

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Mac Griswold, author of the book The Manor: Three Centuries at a Slave Plantation on Long Island.

Bio – Mac Griswold

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0374266298?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=0374266298&linkCode=xm2&tag=marsrooram-20

Mac Griswold photo by Sigrid Estrada

Mac Griswold is an acclaimed cultural landscape historian and writer. Rooted in a childhood spent exploring the castles and towers of lush north central New Jersey, Mac went on to study landscape design at the Radcliffe Seminars and horticulture at the New York Botanical Gardens.

She is the author of Washington’s Gardens at Mount Vernon: Landscape of the Inner Man, Pleasure of the Garden: Images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Golden Age of American Gardens: Proud Owners, Private Estates, with Eleanor Weller.

She taught landscape history at Sarah Lawrence College, where she was a recipient of the Noble Chair in Art and Cultural History, and has lectured widely in America and Europe. A Guggenheim fellow, she has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Travel + Leisure.

You can learn more about Mac Griswold at her author website, www.macgriswold.com. Learn more about Sylvestor Manor from their website, www.sylvestermanor.org.

Book Summary

Mac Griswold’s The Manor is the biography of a uniquely American place that has endured through wars great and small, through fortunes won and lost, through histories bright and sinister—and of the family that has lived there since its founding as a New England slave plantation three and a half centuries ago.

In 1984, the landscape historian Mac Griswold was rowing along a Long Island creek when she came upon a stately yellow house and a garden guarded by looming boxwoods. She instantly knew that boxwoods that large—twelve feet tall, fifteen feet wide—had to be hundreds of years old. So, as it happened, was the house: Sylvester Manor had been held in the same family for eleven generations.

Formerly encompassing all of Shelter Island, a pearl of 8,000 acres caught between the North and South Forks of Long Island, the manor had dwindled to 243 acres. Still, its hidden vault proved to be full of revelations and treasures, including the 1666 charter for the land, and correspondence from Thomas Jefferson. Most notable was the short and steep flight of steps the family had called the “slave staircase,” which would provide clues to the extensive but little-known story of Northern slavery. Alongside a team of archaeologists, Griswold began a dig that would uncover a landscape bursting with stories.

Based on years of archival and field research, as well as voyages to Africa, the West Indies, and Europe, The Manor is at once an investigation into forgotten lives and a sweeping drama that captures our history in all its richness and suffering.

 

Book InfoThe Manor by Mac Griswold on Fieldstone Common

Title: The Manor: Three Centuries at a Slave Plantation on Long Island

Publisher: Farrar, Strouss & Giroux (2013)

Hardcover; 273 pages with end notes, a bibliography, an index as well as BxW photos.

The Manor: Three Centuries at a Slave Plantation on Long Island is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

Mac Griswold and I discuss the 17th century origins of Nathaniel Sylvester and his wife Grizell Brinley who developed the Manor on Shelter Island, Long Island, New York.  The home remains in the hands of descendants of the same family today. Slavery existed on Sylvester Manor as well as on Constant Plantation in Barbados, the estate of Nathaniel’s brother Sylvester. Mac makes interesting use of a treasure trove of original records and we discuss what was available and how it helped her research for the book.

Prize Winners

One copy of The Manor: Three Centuries at a Slave Plantation on Long Island was given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Farrar, Strouss & Giroux.

The winner is:

  • Carol Ubosi of Maryland

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Farrar, Strouss & Giroux for their generosity in donating the book!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

The Direct Link to this post is www.fieldstonecommon.com/the-manor-mac-griswold

News & Announcements

BIG NEWS for Android users! Fieldstone Common is now available in the Android app Stitcher. Stitcher is a program like iTunes but is available on the Android platform. Download Stitcher and search for Fieldstone Common or click here.

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 77)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 77 is the number of the episode.

**** The new Fieldstone Common Season 2 subscription is now available in iTunes. You will need to subscribe to this link to continue receiving episodes in ITunes. Click on the link to subscribe.

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Fieldstone Common is no longer broadcast on Blog Talk Radio. You can listen to the show by clicking the play button above or subscribing in iTunes or other podcatchers.

 

FC 76 Dark Tide with Stephen Puleo

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Stephen Puleo, author of the book Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919.

Bio – Stephen Puleo

Stephen Puleo is an author, historian, university teacher, public speaker, and communications professional. His books include

In 2008, Steve was the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award, presented by the Appian Club, an Italian-American organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Italian culture in Massachusetts. In 2007, he received the prestigious i migliori award, presented by the Pirandello Lyceum to Italian-Americans who have excelled in their fields of endeavor and made important contributions to society.

A former award-winning newspaper reporter and contributor of feature stories and book reviews to American History magazine and the Boston Globe, Puleo holds a master’s degree in history, for which he received the Dean’s Award for Academic Achievement, and was the Graduate Convocation keynote speaker. He teaches at Suffolk University in Boston.

You can learn more about Stephen Puelo at his author website, www.stephenpuleo.com. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Book Summary

Around noon on January 15, 1919, a group of firefighters was playing cards in Boston’s North End when they heard a tremendous crash. It was like roaring surf, one of them said later. Like a runaway two-horse team smashing through a fence, said another. A third firefighter jumped up from his chair to look out a window-“Oh my God!” he shouted to the other men, “Run!”

A 50-foot-tall steel tank filled with 2.3 million gallons of molasses had just collapsed on Boston’s waterfront, disgorging its contents as a 15-foot-high wave of molasses that at its outset traveled at 35 miles an hour. It demolished wooden homes, even the brick fire station. The number of dead wasn’t known for days. It would be years before a landmark court battle determined who was responsible for the disaster.

Book InfoDark Tide with Stephen Puleo on Fieldstone Common

Title: Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919

Publisher: Beacon Press (2003)

Trade Paperback; 273 pages with bibliographic essay, an index and some BxW photos.

Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

Dark Tide is so much more than just a book about a very unusual molasses flood. The book is set against the backdrop of WWI, the coming of prohibition and prejudice against immigrants. Steve and I talk about the building of the tank and how the political situation allowed it to be built in one of the most densely populated places in the United States. Steve reads a passage from one of the poignant moments at the bedside of a victim after the flood. We talk about the heros and the villains of the story and how the current events impacted their decisions. And lets not forget the anarchists! Sometimes we think that are current events are unique to us but this book proves that history repeats itself and we are none the wiser.

Prize Winners

One copy of Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 was given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Beacon Press.

The winner is:

  • Victor Jones of North Carolina

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Beacon Press for their generosity in donating the book!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

The Direct Link to this post is www.fieldstonecommon.com/dark-tide-stephen-puleo

News & Announcements

BIG NEWS for Android users! Fieldstone Common is now available in the Android app Stitcher. Stitcher is a program like iTunes but is available on the Android platform. Download Stitcher and search for Fieldstone Common or click here.

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 76)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 76 is the number of the episode.

**** The new Fieldstone Common Season 2 subscription is now available in iTunes. You will need to subscribe to this link to continue receiving episodes in ITunes. Click on the link to subscribe.

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Fieldstone Common is no longer broadcast on Blog Talk Radio. You can listen to the show by clicking the play button above or subscribing in iTunes or other podcatchers.

 

FC 75 Strong Boy with Christopher Klein

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Christopher Klein, author of the book Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan, America’s First Sports Hero.

Bio – Christopher Klein

Christopher Klein is a history and travel writer and the author of two previous books, Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands: A Guide to the City’s Hidden Shores–which covers the rich history, recreational offerings, and heritage of each of the 34 islands that compose Strong Boy with Christopher Klein on Fieldstone Commonthe Boston Harbor Islands national park area–and The Die-Hard Sports Fan’s Guide to Boston.

A frequent contributor to The Boston Globe and History.com, he has also written for The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, Harvard Magazine, Red Sox Magazine, ESPN.com, Smithsonian.com, and AmericanHeritage.com.

Christopher graduated summa cum laude and with honors from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. He is a member of the Boston Authors Club and the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

You can learn more about Christopher Klein at his author website, www.ChristopherKlein.com and at his book website, www.strongboybook.com.
You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Book Summary

“I can lick any son-of-a-b— in the world.”

So boasted John L. Sullivan, the first modern heavyweight boxing champion of the world, a John L. Sullivan (Library of Congress photo)man who was the gold standard of American sport for more than a decade, and the first athlete to earn more than a million dollars. He had a big ego, big mouth, and bigger appetites. His womanizing, drunken escapades, and chronic police-blotter presence were godsends to a burgeoning newspaper industry. The larger-than-life boxer embodied the American Dream for late nineteenth-century immigrants as he rose from Boston’s Irish working class to become the most recognizable man in the nation. In the process, the “Boston Strong Boy” transformed boxing from outlawed bare-knuckle fighting into the gloved spectacle we know today.

Strong Boy tells the story of America’s first sports superstar, a self-made man who personified the power and excesses of the Gilded Age. Everywhere John L. Sullivan went, his fists backed up his bravado. Sullivan’s epic brawls, such as his 75-round bout against Jake Kilrain, and his cross-country barnstorming tour in which he literally challenged all of America to a fight are recounted in vivid detail, as are his battles outside the ring with a troubled marriage, wild weight and fitness fluctuations, and raging alcoholism. Strong Boy gives readers ringside seats to the colorful tale of one of the country’s first Irish-American heroes and the birth of the American sports media and the country’s celebrity obsession with athletes.

Book InfoStrong Boy with Christopher Klein on Fieldstone Common

Title: Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan, America’s First Sports Hero

Publisher: Lyons Press (2013)

Hardcover; 353 pages with end notes, bibliography, an index and BxW photos.

Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan, America’s First Sports Hero is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview Chris and I talk about John L. Sullivan the son of a humble Irish immigrant family who went on to achieve sports super stardom in the realm of boxing. The Irish had a difficult time, first with the famine in Ireland and then later with prejudice in America. John L. Sullivan had a fighting aptitude for boxing at a time when the rules of boxing were changing.  Gone were the rules that allowed for barefisted fighting, hair pulling and wrestling. These were replaced with more civilized rules including the use of gloves and three-minute rounds.  With fame also came alcoholism and other vices for John L. Sullivan. Surprisingly after his retirement from boxing Sullivan continued to be a sought after star in the theatre and other areas.  In 1905 he gave up drinking and embraced the temperance movement.  Author Christoper Klein regards John L. Sullivan as America’s First Sports Hero.

Prize Winners

One copy of Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan, America’s First Sports Hero was given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Lyons Press.

The winner is: :

  • Bruce Longley of New York
  • Margaret Sullivan of Massachusetts

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Lyons Press for their generosity in donating the book!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

The Direct Link to this post is www.fieldstonecommon.com/strong-boy-christopher-klein

News & Announcements

BIG NEWS for Android users! Fieldstone Common is now available in the Android app Stitcher. Stitcher is a program like iTunes but is available on the Android platform. Download Stitcher and search for Fieldstone Common or click here.

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 75)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 75 is the number of the episode.

**** The new Fieldstone Common Season 2 subscription is now available in iTunes. You will need to subscribe to this link to continue receiving episodes in ITunes. Click on the link to subscribe.

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Fieldstone Common is no longer broadcast on Blog Talk Radio. You can listen to the show by clicking the play button above or subscribing in iTunes or other podcatchers.