FC 98 Lost Boston with Anthony Sammarco

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Anthony Sammarco, the author of the book Lost Boston.

Bio – Anthony Sammarco

Since 1997, Anthony Sammarco has taught history at the Urban College of Boston, and his course “Boston’s Immigrants” is based on his book of the same name to highlight the Lost Boston with Anthony Sammarco on Fieldstone Commoncity’s diversity. He was named educator of the year in 2003 and he serves on the UCB’s Leadership Council. Mr. Sammarco received the Bulfinch Award from the Doric Dames of the Massachusetts State House and the Washington Medal from the Freedom Foundation and was named Dorchester town historian by Raymond L. Flynn, mayor of Boston. He was elected a fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society, is a member of the Boston Author’s Club and is a proprietor of the Boston Athenaeum. In his volunteer work, he is treasurer of the Victorian Society, New England Chapter, and a trustee of the Forest Hills Cemetery Educational Trust. He is past president of the Bay State Historical League and the Dorchester Historical Society. He lives in Boston and in Osterville on Cape Cod.

Book Summary

A nostalgic journey back in time to visit some of the disappeared buildings and places in all their grandeur, before the wrecking ball and decline set in.

From the 1850s up to the present day, 68 different losses are represented here, including schools, churches, theaters, grand mansions, dockyards, racetracks, parks, stores, hotels, offices, and factories. Organized chronologically starting with the earliest losses and ending with the latest, the book features much-loved insitutions that failed to stand the test of time, along with old-fashioned hotels and sports facilities that were beyond updating or refurbishment. Losses include Franklin Place, Boston City Hall, Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Hancock House, Gleason’s Publishing Hall, Fort Hill, Franklin Street, Boston Coliseum, Boylston Market, Merchants Exchange, Haymarket Square, Boston Public Library, Horticultural Hall, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Revere House (Hotel), Huntington Avenue Grounds, Charlestown City Hall, Molasses Tank, Cyclorama, Readville Trotting Park and Race Track, East Boston Airport, Boston Latin School, East Boston Ferries, Braves Field, Massachusetts State Prison, Boston Opera House, Boston Aquarium, The Howard Athenaeum, and Dudley Street Station.

Publication InfoLost Boston with Anthony Sammarco on Fieldsotne Common

Title: Lost Boston

Publisher: Pavilion Books (2014)

Oversized Hardcover – 144 pages with lots of photos and an index.

Lost Boston is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview Anthony Sammarco and I discuss the great variety of building and public places that have been removed from the Boston, Massachusetts landscape. They range from the Old Feather Shop to prisons, ferries and baseball fields. There was even a Victory Garden in what is now a park-like Copley Square. We discuss why the demolitions occurred and the way some buildings still remain but have been transformed. We also talk about the Boston Athenaeum as a historical repository and the importance of local history in the lives of neighborhood residents.

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winner

One copy of Lost Boston is given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Pavilion Books.

The winner is:

  • To be announced next week

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Pavilion 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
http://www.fieldstonecommon.com/lost-boston-anthony-sammarco

News & Announcements

Fieldstone Common is now broadcast every other week.

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.

 

FC 95 The British Raid on Essex with Jerry Roberts

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Jerry Roberts, the author of the book The British Raid on Essex: The Forgotten Battle of the War of 1812. This book re-introduces a part of the War of 1812 that was erased from American history.

Bio – Jerry Roberts

Jerry Roberts has been in the history business for over 30 years. He has served as Vice President in charge of Exhibits at the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum in New York City, Executive Director of Connecticut River Museum in Essex CT, and Battlefield Historian for The British Raid on Essex with Jerry Roberts on Fieldstone Commonthe British Raid on Essex Project. He has designed and built over forty exhibits, has written or co-written several books and documentaries and has published dozens of newspaper and magazine articles.

Roberts is an avid sailor and merchant marine master and has navigated the eastern seaboard in small boats and historic vessels from The Gulf Coast to Nova Scotia.

He now lives overlooking the Connecticut River with his wife and two children where he continues to write about adventures large and small while designing exhibits and public programs.

Book Summary

This is the dynamic account of one of the most destructive maritime actions to take place in Connecticut history: the 1814 British attack on the privateers of Pettipaug, known today as the British Raid on Essex. During the height of the War of 1812, 136 Royal marines and sailors made their way up the Connecticut River from warships anchored in Long Island Sound. Guided by a well-paid American traitor the British navigated the Saybrook shoals and advanced up the river under cover of darkness. By the time it was over, the British had burned twenty-seven American vessels, including six newly built privateers. It was the largest single maritime loss of the war. Yet this story has been virtually left out of the history books—the forgotten battle of the forgotten war. This new account from author and historian Jerry Roberts is the definitive overview of this event and includes a wealth of new information drawn from recent research and archaeological finds. Illustrations and detailed maps bring the battle to life.

Publication Info The British Raid on Essex with Jerry Roberts on Fieldstone Common

Title: The British Raid on Essex: The Forgotten Battle of the War of 1812

Publisher: Wesleyan University Press (2014)

Hard cover; 197 pages with appendices including transcriptions of original documents, a chronology, end notes and an index.

The British Raid on Essex is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview Jerry Roberts captivates us with the riveting story of a long forgotten but dramatic raid on the town of Essex, Connecticut during the War of 1812. The casualties during the raid were minor but the devastation was great with the destruction of over 25 vessels being built in Essex. Learn about the traitor who helped the British navigate their way up the Connecticut River and how the British escaped despite being surrounded by American troops.

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winner

One copy of The British Raid on Essex: The Forgotten Battle of the War of 1812 is given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Wesleyan University Press.

The winner is:

  • To be announced next week

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
http://www.fieldstonecommon.com/british-raid-essex-jerry-roberts

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 95)?

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 95 is the number of the episode.

 

FC 91 Tracing Your Irish Ancestors with John Grenham

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is John Grenham, the author of the book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors. The Northeast has the highest concentration of Irish ancestry in the United States and with the help of John and his book we are going to get you started digging into your past.

Bio – John Grenham

John Grenham writes the ‘Irish Roots’ column in The Irish Times and runs the Irish Times Irish Ancestors website. He is a fellow of The Irish Genealogical Research Society and The Genealogical Society of Ireland. John came to professional genealogy in 1981, as one Tracing Your Irish Ancestors with John Grenham on Fieldstone Commonof the panel of researchers in the Office of the Chief Herald of Ireland. As in-house researcher for that Office in 1990-91, he was instrumental in setting up the Consultation Service, the forerunner of the current Genealogical Advisory Services in the National Library and National Archives and was a founder member of The Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland in 1986. Among his publications are Clans and Families of Ireland (1995), Generations (1996), ‘The Genealogical Office and its Records’ in The Genealogical Office (1999), Grenham’s Irish Recordfinder (CD-ROM) (1995-2006), Grenham’s Irish Surnames (CD-ROM, 2003) and numerous articles and columns in the UK magazine Your Family Tree. His website is www.johngrenham.com.

Book Summary

This new 4th edition of Tracing Your Irish Ancestors retains the familiar structure of previous editions but is now more useful than ever. Combining the key features of a textbook and a reference book, it describes the various steps in the research process while at the same time providing an indispensable body of source materials for immediate use.

The biggest change from previous editions is in its approach to the Internet. Online research is now an essential part of any Irish family history project, so the 4th edition serves as a directory to online records, discussing their uses and outlining research strategies. The sheer scale of the data available online makes a guide such as this all the more essential, and in the hands of a master it is indispensable.

Along with its step-by-step instructions in the location and use of traditional genealogical records, its discussion of civil records of birth, marriage, and death, as well as land records and wills, and list of Roman Catholic parish records and source lists, all expanded, updated, and indexed.

Publication InfoTracing Your Irish Ancestors with John Grenham on Fieldstone Common

Title: Tracing Your Irish Ancestors

Publisher: The Genealogical Publishing Company (2012)

Trade Paperback; 577 pages with  a bibliography, an index, and some maps and illustrations.

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview John Grenham and I get into a discussion of Irish immigration to America from what caused the immigration to what happened after the Irish arrived. And of course we talk about genealogy, providing tips for those just getting started researching their Irish ancestry.  John will be coming to the United States in August for the Celtic Connections conference and in September for the IFEST event (see links below). This broadcast is packed with history, genealogy and great information!

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winner

One copy of Tracing Your Irish Ancestors is given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of The Genealogical Publishing Company.

The winner is:

  • To be announced next week

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to The Genealogical Publishing Company 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/tracing-your-irish-ancestors-john-grenham

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 91)?

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 91 is the number of the episode.

 

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

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 85)?

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 85 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 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.

FC 73 Becoming Tom Thumb with Eric Lehman

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Eric D. Lehman, author of the book Becoming Tom Thumb: Charles Stratton, P. T. Barnum, and the Dawn of American Celebrity.

Bio

Eric D. Lehman directs the creative writing program at the University of Bridgeport, as well as teaching both writing and literature. Although he has taught over twenty different courses, his signature class is the Literature of Travel and Adventure. He is the editor of the school literary magazine, Groundswell, and of the faculty essay series, The Have you listened to the interview with George Morgan and Drew Smith yet? You won't want to miss this one! www.FieldstoneCommon.comCommons. In his spare time, he researches Henry Miller, writing academic essays for Nexus: The International Henry Miller Journal.

In addition to Becoming Tom Thumb, Eric has published six books including: A History of Connecticut Wine: Vineyard in Your Backyard, Bridgeport: Tales from the Park City, Hamden: Tales from the Sleeping Giant; Insiders’ Guide to Connecticut, A History of Connecticut Food, co-written with his wife, and Afoot in Connecticut.

Eric is also an editor of and contributor to the Connecticut Literary Collective, a guide to literary journals for Connecticut writers. His essays, reviews, poems, and stories have been published in dozens of journals and magazines such as The Writer, Gastronomica, Antique Trader, and the New Haven Review.

Originally from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, he moved to Connecticut fifteen years ago and fell in love with the state. He believes that history and travel help us know the place we live, and therefore know ourselves.

You can learn more about Eric Lehman at his website.

Book Summary

When P. T. Barnum met twenty-five-inch-tall Charles Stratton at a Bridgeport, Connecticut hotel in 1843, one of the most important partnerships in entertainment history was born. Gravestone of General Tom Thumb aka Charles StrattonWith Barnum’s promotional skills and the miniature Stratton’s comedic talents, they charmed a Who’s Who of the 19th century, from Queen Victoria to Charles Dickens to Abraham Lincoln. Adored worldwide as “General Tom Thumb,” Stratton played to sold-out shows for almost forty years. From his days as a precocious child star to his tragic early death, Becoming Tom Thumb tells the full story of this iconic figure for the first time. It details his triumphs on the New York stage, his epic celebrity wedding, and his around-the-world tour, drawing on newly available primary sources and interviews. From the mansions of Paris to the deserts of Australia, Stratton’s unique brand of Yankee comedy not only earned him the accolades of millions of fans, it helped move little people out of the side show and into the lime light.

Book InfoBecoming Tom Thumb by Eric D. Lehman on Fieldstone Common

Title: Becoming Tom Thumb: Charles Stratton, P. T. Barnum, and the Dawn of American Celebrity

Publisher: Wesleyan University Press (2013)

Hardcover; 246 pages with end notes, bibliography, an index and BxW photos and illustrations.

Becoming Tom Thumb is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview Eric and I talk about Charles Stratton, the successful man. It’s hard to call him Tom Thumb after reading this book and seeing him as a real person. This story will challenge all the preconceived notions you have of General Tom Thumb. He was smart, talented, entertaining and a leader in his community. We discuss, as well, the success of P.T. Barnum and the prejudices faced by little people later in the 19th century.

Prize Winners

Two copies of Becoming Tom Thumb were given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Wesleyan University Press.

The winners are:

  • Joan Conklin of Massachusetts
  • Melinda Tarbox of Texas

Congratulations to our winners and thanks to Wesleyan University Press for their generosity in donating the books!

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/becoming-tom-thumb-eric-lehman/

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 73)?

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 73 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 058 Discovering Black Vermont with Elise Guyette

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Elise Guyette, author of the book Discovering Black Vermont: African American Farmers in Hinesburgh, 1790-1890.

Discovering Black Vermont with Elise Guyette on Fieldstone CommonBio

ELISE A. GUYETTE, Ed.D., is a historian active in efforts to develop Vermont’s diversity curriculum in K–12 schools.

Book Summary

Vermont is often regarded as the “whitest” US state. Dig a little deeper and you will realize that Vermont is steeped in the history of many cultures including African Americans. Discovering Black Vermont traces three generations of free blacks who built a life farming in northern Vermont. By using historical records, Elise Guyette pieces together this forgotten piece of history.

Fieldstone Common host Marian Pierre-Louis and Elise Guyette dig into what life was like for these families starting with their arrival in Vermont in the 1790s.

Book InfoDiscovering Black Vermont with Elise Guyette on Fieldstone Common

Title: Discovering Black Vermont: African American Farmers in Hinesburgh, 1790-1890
Publisher: University Press of New England (2010)
Trade Paperback; 213 pages with end notes, bibliography, index and some BxW photos  and illustrations.

Discovering Black Vermont is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

Prize Winners

Two copies of Discovering Black Vermont were given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of the University Press of New England.

The winners were:

  • Kyle Johnson of Massachusetts
  • Elroy Davis of Vermont

Congratulations to our winners and thanks to the University Press of New England for their generosity in donating the books!

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!

News & Announcements

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 058)?

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 58 is the number of the episode.

**** The new Fieldstone Common Season 2 feed 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 link above or subscribing in iTunes or other podcatchers.

Discovering Black Vermont with Elise Guyette

Next episode: Thursday, 26 September 2013Discovering Black Vermont with Elise Guyette on Fieldstone Common

This week on Fieldstone Common, Marian Pierre-Louis interviews Elise Guyette, author of Discovering Black Vermont.

An impressive work of historical recovery, Discovering Black Vermont tells the story of three generations of free blacks trying to build a life and community in northern Vermont in the years following statehood. By piecing together fragments of the history of free blacks in Vermont–tax and estate records, journals, diaries, and the like–the author recovers what is essentially a lost world, establishing a framework for using primary sources to document a forgotten past. The book is an invaluable resource for those conducting local history research and will serve as inspiration for high school and college students and their teachers.

Discovering Black Vermont with Elise Guyette on Fieldstone CommonWhen she was in 4th grade, Elise A. Guyette discovered that her people, French-Canadian, Lebanese, and Irish, were left out of her Vermont history text. When she began teaching, she was given the same little green textbook to teach her first students. It reminded her of the sting of being overlooked and, as a result, she has spent her adult life in pursuit of stories omitted from traditional histories. Guyette is an historian, writer, and educational consultant, who is a part-time faculty member at the University of Vermont. She has taught history workshops for teachers throughout the United States, and in China and South Africa. Her publications include the textbook, Vermont: A Cultural Patchwork; a teacher’s guide for Making a Living: The Work Experiences of African Americans in New England; Gandhi in South Africa: A Perfect Miracle or Political Expediency; and Behind the White Veil: A History of Vermont’s Ethnic Groups in Many Cultures, One People: A Multicultural Handbook for Teachers. Her newest book tells the history of the United States in microcosm from 1790 to 1890, from the viewpoint of African American farmers in northern Vermont.

 

Show Notes: The Philadelphia Nativists Riots with Kenneth Milano

The Philadelphia Nativist Riots with Kenneth Milano on Fieldstone CommonHere are some items that were mentioned during the 19 September 2013 Fieldstone Common interview with Kenneth W. Milano about his book The Philadelphia Nativist Riots: Irish Kensington.

The podcast of the interview is now available.

The Philadelphia Nativist Riots, published by the History Press, is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

Kenneth W, MilanoThe Nativists were an anti-immigrant group in mid 19th-century America who particularly channeled their hostility against Irish Catholic immigrants. In Philadelphia in 1844 that hostility erupted into a 3 day riot in the Kensington section of the city.

You can learn more about Ken at his website.

Kenneth Milano has written six books including:

In addition to being an author, Ken Milano is also a professional genealogist who focuses on Philadelphia. If you have ancestors from the Philadelphia area you can contact Ken for more information from his website.

The History Press, the publisher of all of Ken’s books, donated two copies of The Philadelphia Nativist Riots which were provided as giveaways during the live show to listeners in Michigan and New Hampshire. A big thank you to the History Press for their generosity.