Hidden Histories

9/28/09

During the Colonial period and well within the 19th-century, as the early American pioneers plowed their land, cleared trees from property containing vast virgin forests, dug wells and explored the frontier, numerous ancient works of the former inhabitants of North America were continually brought to light in the form of burial mounds, fortifications, skeletons and mysterious artifacts.
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8/24/09

In an 1818 publication, by famed Philadelphia physician & Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Dr. Benjamin Rush, entitled, Medical Inquiries & Observations, Upon the Diseases of the Mind, he included the account of a patient, who "believes he has a living animal in his body. A sea captain, formerly of this city, believed for many years that he had a wolf in his liver. Many persons have fancied they were gradually dying, from animals of other kinds preying upon different parts of their bodies," (p.80).
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7/27/09

In reality, the 'stereotypical' American Civil War, never existed. Not everyone 'North of the Mason-Dixon Line' were lovers of freedom & equality for African-Americans, neither were all Southernors ardent slave-holding secessionists. Perhaps that is one reason why the Civil War continues to generate such a fascination to both scholars and the lay public, since there were so many 'exceptions to the rule.' Certainly, the state of Pennsylvania was not exempt from this phenomenon.
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6/29/09

The subject of UFO's are of course nothing new, but continue to create controversy, debate and investigation, within the scientific community and public-at-large, as to their existence or fallacy. Yet most studies of 'Unidentified Flying Objects' are predominately concerned with sightings from the modern-era, particularly that of the 20th and now 21st centuries.
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5/6/09

Twenty-first century news reports, are almost daily filled with accounts of piracy, occurring within the Gulf of Aden & Indian Ocean, off the Horn of Africa, by Somalian corsairs. Such acts of piracy or terror are nothing new within the world of Islamic jihad or 'holy war,' which has been carried on for centuries against the Western world, even to the present-day.
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4/7/09

Having taught American History for over twenty years on the academic level, it continually surprises me how so many individuals erroneously believe, that European immigration to the New World resembled to a marked degree, tourist-type ocean voyages as enjoyed on such present-day luxury liners as the 'Carnival Cruise Line,' and that only African slaves suffered hardship & deprivation during the 'Middle Passage,' or the voyage across the Atlantic. The opposite was of course the reality of immigration.
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3/12/09

When one thinks of the 'Revolutionary War,' it is natural to recall the stirring renditions of its various battles & participants, but such recollections generally invoke famous officers and soldiers, not female heroines.
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2/23/09

During the decade of the 1820's, John Fanning Watson, the intrepid antiquarian of early Philadelphia history, interviewed 'Billy' Brown, a free & aged Black man in his 93rd year, residing within the Frankford section of the city, whom he describes as being "quite intelligent," as well as being "possessed of an observing mind & good memory."
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2/3/09


The term 'hermit,' generally conjures up in one's mind, a recluse, a person whose self-induced isolation has occurred primarily as the result of mental instability or enhanced eccentricity. Yet individuals have become 'hermits' for a variety of reasons throughout the ages. Those in America's past often became such out of tragedy, in an attempt to flee from those sites and individuals which reminded them of their loss, pain, or crime.
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1/21/09

Many individuals like myself, have various souvenirs or mementos, which have been found or passed down through the family, relative to the American Civil War. These may come in the form of oral traditions, letters, diaries, journals; or they are artifactual in nature, items such as saddle-bag 'rosettes,' swords, minie-balls or other heirlooms.

However, there were many Civil War soldiers, who carried with them, for many years after the conflict, unintentional 'memorials' of the service rendered to their country or cause.
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