J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Checking Out Some Specialized Blogs

Here are some interesting blogs I’ve come across, or learned about from alert Boston 1775 readers. Barbara Sarudy, author of Gardens and Gardening in the Chesapeake, 1700-1805, has a website on American Garden History, featuring lovely photographs and sources from the eighteenth century.

Sarudy has also created a blog on American Women of the Eighteenth Century. (And one on women of the nineteenth century, but that doesn’t concern us.) But be aware: something on that site—perhaps the changing portraits of women—that has caused trouble for my browser in the past. Clearly the problem isn’t Blogger’s Scribe template.

This spring the Massachusetts Historical Society’s Beehive announced an online gallery of items in the society’s collections of art, artifacts, and documents. Up above, for example, is the copper Indian figure that served as a weather vane atop the Province House, the royal governor’s residence.

Finally, one of my favorite unclassifiable blogs is Strange Maps. The entries don’t usually pertain to early America, but this one starts there; it’s a map of the geographical center of the U.S. population in the year of each census. Washington, D.C., turns out to have been extremely close to the new nation’s center of population (though not voters) in the country’s first three decades. After that, we can watch the American population move steadily westward, with a big jump in the 1850s because of the California gold rush.

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