The Early Modern Commons

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“Calling himself William Lee”

In October 1767, George Washington bought two “Mulatto” boys named Will and Frank and two “Negro” boys named Adam and Jack from Mary Lee, widow of Col. John Lee of Westmoreland County.John Lee (1724-1767) had married the young...
From: Boston 1775 on 19 Feb 2020

Dublin Seminar to Look at “Living with Disabilities”

The Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife has announced the subject of this year’s conference: “Living with Disabilities in New England, 1630–1930.”The conference will be held in Deerfield, Massachusetts, on the weekend of 19-21...
From: Boston 1775 on 17 Jan 2020

The Hard Service and Sufferings of James Dole

In January 1775, James Dole of Troy, New York, joined a company of minutemen commanded by James Wells. It was armed and equipped in... The post The Hard Service and Sufferings of James Dole appeared first on Journal of the American Revolution.

Daen on Van Horn’s The Power of Objects

Laurel Daen recently reviewed Jennifer Van Horn’s The Power of Objects in Eighteenth-Century British America for H-Net. Here’s an interesting extract from that review:Van Horn uses portraits of young women in Charleston that feature masks...
From: Boston 1775 on 4 Oct 2017

Who Was Behind Samuel Adams’s 1776 “Oration”?

Another reason to doubt that Samuel Adams actually wrote and delivered the oration credited to him by a London pamphlet of 1776 is that he wasn’t known as an orator. For example, when the town of Boston commissioned annual orations from 1771 into...
From: Boston 1775 on 3 Aug 2017

“It was easy to discover that he was a curious Character“

Yesterday I quoted Abigail Adams’s description of visiting Carisbrooke Castle in England in 1788.That passage from her travel account continues:We returnd to Newport to dine. After dinner a Gentleman introduced himself to us by the Name of Sharp....
From: Boston 1775 on 22 May 2017

Longmore’s Invention of George Washington

In 1771 George Washington ordered a bookplate incorporating his family coat-of-arms to be engraved and asked for more than 400 printed copies. He didn’t have anywhere near 400 books at the time. But he planned to make himself into a gentleman with...
From: Boston 1775 on 21 Nov 2016

Matthias Buchinger’s Micrography at the Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is featuring a small exhibit about a small eighteenth-century celebrity, Matthias Buchinger (1674-1739). Buchinger was from the German margraviate of Brandenburg-Ansbach. He was only twenty-nine inches tall....
From: Boston 1775 on 7 Feb 2016

Daniel George, Teen-Aged Almanac Maker

Daniel George was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, on 16 Dec 1757, son of David and Anne (Cottle) George. He was the second boy named Daniel born to that couple, indicating that the first had died young. He had both older and younger siblings of both...
From: Boston 1775 on 1 Jul 2015

“Schooldays” with the Dublin Seminar in Deerfield, 19-21 June

Sunday, 15 February, is the deadline for submitting a proposal for a paper to this year’s Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife at Historic Deerfield. The theme is “Schooldays in New England: 1650-1900.” The conference will be held in Deerfield...
From: Boston 1775 on 12 Feb 2015

Capt. Ebenezer Bancroft and the Embrasures

With the anniversary of Bunker Hill coming up, I’m going to share some accounts of that battle, said to be from eyewitnesses. And in most cases I’m sure they really are from eyewitnesses. The first comes from Ebenezer Bancroft (1738-1827) of Dunstable,...
From: Boston 1775 on 14 Jun 2014

Jedediah Buxton, Autistic Savant

Mike Rendell of the Georgian Gent blog recently profiled an English farmworker named Jedediah Buxton (c. 1702-1772), who was what we’d now consider a mathematical savant on the autistic spectrum: From the age of twelve Jedediah was pre-occupied with...
From: Boston 1775 on 15 May 2014

The Travels of Pompey Fleet

After the Boston printer Thomas Fleet died, his 1759 estate inventory didn’t include his slave Peter, suggesting that that woodcut carver had already died as well. But that estate did include two boys: thirteen-year-old Pompey and ten-year-old Caesar.Isaiah...
From: Boston 1775 on 12 Apr 2014

Judge Jacobs and His Dinah

Reading about Harvey Amani Whitfield’s new book on slavery lingering in Vermont even after being banned in the new republic’s 1777 constitution led me to this Vermont Today article from 2006 about a court case in the early 1800s. All the parties agreed...
From: Boston 1775 on 13 Feb 2014

Do You Want to Play on the Dublin Seminar Team in 2014?

Next year’s Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife will have the theme “Let the Games Begin: Sports and Recreation in New England,” and organizers are now seeking proposals for papers and presentations about sports and games of all kinds. Here’s...
From: Boston 1775 on 25 Nov 2013

The Legend of “Champagne Charley” Townshend

Charles Townshend (1725-1767) was the British Chancellor of the Exchequer in the mid-1769s responsible for the Customs duties on tea, glass, lead, paper, paper, alcohol, and painter’s colors that became known as “Townshend duties.” Many modern histories...
From: Boston 1775 on 22 Sep 2013

Ceremony for Noah Wiswall of Newton, 7 Sept.

Noah Wiswall of Newton was born in 1699, but age didn’t stop him from turning out during the militia alarm on 19 Apr 1775. In his Life of the Rev. Joseph Grafton, Late Pastor of the First Baptist Church, Newton, MS. (1849), S. F. Smith recorded this...
From: Boston 1775 on 19 Aug 2013

Notes on Post Tags Search

By default, this searches for any categories containing your search term: eg, Tudor will also find Tudors, Tudor History, etc. Check the 'exact' box to restrict searching to categories exactly matching your search. All searches are case-insensitive.

This is a search for tags/categories assigned to blog posts by their authors. The terminology used for post tags varies across different blog platforms, but WordPress tags and categories, Blogspot labels, and Tumblr tags are all included.

This search feature has a number of purposes:

1. to give site users improved access to the content EMC has been aggregating since August 2012, so they can look for bloggers posting on topics they're interested in, explore what's happening in the early modern blogosphere, and so on.

2. to facilitate and encourage the proactive use of post categories/tags by groups of bloggers with shared interests. All searches can be bookmarked for reference, making it possible to create useful resources of blogging about specific news, topics, conferences, etc, in a similar fashion to Twitter hashtags. Bloggers could agree on a shared tag for posts, or an event organiser could announce one in advance, as is often done with Twitter hashtags.

Caveats and Work in Progress

This does not search post content, and it will not find any informal keywords/hashtags within the body of posts.

If EMC doesn't find any <category> tags for a post in the RSS feed it is classified as uncategorized. These and any <category> 'uncategorized' from the feed are omitted from search results. (It should always be borne in mind that some bloggers never use any kind of category or tag at all.)

This will not be a 'real time' search, although EMC updates content every few hours so it's never very far behind events.

The search is at present quite basic and limited. I plan to add a number of more sophisticated features in the future including the ability to filter by blog tags and by dates. I may also introduce RSS feeds for search queries at some point.

Constructing Search Query URLs

If you'd like to use an event tag, it's possible to work out in advance what the URL will be, without needing to visit EMC and run the search manually (though you might be advised to check it works!). But you'll need to use URL encoding as appropriate for any spaces or punctuation in the tag (so it might be a good idea to avoid them).

This is the basic structure:{search term or phrase}

For example, the URL for a simple search for categories containing London:

The URL for a search for the exact category Gunpowder Plot:

In this more complex URL, %20 is the URL encoding for a space between words and &exact=on adds the exact category requirement.

I'll do my best to ensure that the basic URL construction (searchcat?s=...) is stable and persistent as long as the site is around.