Morris "Moe" Berg played for multiple Major League Baseball teams in the late 1920s and 1930s. Then, during World War II, he worked as a spy. In this episode, Christine discusses Berg's unusual life and career trajectory.
Before the land boom and amusement parks, Florida was still seen as part of the US's frontier. In this episode, Elizabeth explores the state's history of white settlement and the term "Cracker".
What does Beowulf have to do with the linguistics of African-American history? The same man studied them both… and his scholarship on medieval literature helped frame his search for linguistic communities. This podcast examines the career of Lorenzo Dow Turner, celebrated linguist known as the Father of Gullah Studies. Turner studied the language, ideas, and culture of Black island communities in the southeastern United States, and created recognition for that culture in so doing.
Starting in the late 1800s, forward thinking progressives embraced the idea that human evolution needed a little help in order to make sure that only the best (in their view) produced. Eventually, this idea became codified in legislation and even the Supreme Court of the United States supported it. Join Elizabeth as she examines the formulation of this idea and its impact.
In the Bible, Jesus tells his disciples the following about the end of the world: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven nor the Son, but only the Father." (Matthew 24:36). Despite this, William Miller, a popular minister in New York, preached that he had calculated the precise day on which the world would come to an end. He was wrong. Twice. In this episode, Josh explores William Miller’s conversion to evangelical Christianity, his calculations about the end of the world, and the fallout from his incorrect predictions.
Jane Manning James was a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the moment she was baptized in the 1840s. Here, Christine and Elizabeth discuss her experiences as one of the earliest Black women in the majority-white religion - including her interactions with the church's founder, Joseph Smith, and her fight for full inclusion.
Podcasters: Christine and Elizabeth
Most likely, many of us have heard tales around how the colony of Georgia was founded by James Oglethorpe, a philanthropist, to be a haven for Britain's debtors but, as always, that isn't the whole story. In this episode, Elizabeth delves into how slavery of Africans was illegal early on in the colony and why that changed - including who drove the demand.
In 1995, Disney released Pocahontas, its first animated film based on a real person. Set in 1607, the film depicts the encounter between Pocahontas, an American Indian woman, and John Smith, an English settler, in what is now the state of Virginia. In this episode Christine uses the popular movie that gave us songs like "Colors of the Wind" as the starting point for separating fact from fiction and investigating the real life of Pocahontas.
In the 19th century, the Qing government of China faced major setbacks in the wake of military conflicts with European powers, spurring economic downturn and an immigration exodus out of the country. Increasing numbers of Chinese began to arrive on the West Coast of the United States, drawn by the California Gold Rush and seeking new economic opportunities to support their extended families back in China. Soon, however, American economic conditions began to take on racist overtones, as public opinion began to turn against the Chinese. In this episode, we look at the history of Chinese immigration to the United States, its increasing legal restrictions, and the long-term consequences of the Page Act of 1875 and the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.
In the 1760s, Occramer Marycoo was taken to the American colonies against his will. When he re-crossed the Atlantic in 1826, he was a free man who also went by the name Newport Gardner. In between, he was a composer, a teacher, a small-business owner, and a prominent member of Newport, Rhode Island Free African community. In this episode, Kristin follows the remarkable journey of the man, who bought his freedom and returned to Africa, known as both Occramer Marycoo – and Newport Gardner.
The Declaration of Independence has many well-known men's names on it, especially that of John Hancock. But what of the woman whose name appears on the printed version of this auspicious document? In this episode, Lesley explores the life and role of Mary Katharine Goddard. An important contributor to the fledgling American government, Goddard's name should be better known for politics, journalism, and revolution.
Diplomat and hymn-writer, Broadway lyricist, activist, and historian, James Weldon Johnson was an early figurehead of the NAACP. This week's episode explores his life and multifaceted legacy.
Wars between British colonizers and American Indians were a constant part of life in Colonial America. In this episode, Elizabeth explains the myriad ways American Indians became prisoners of war as well as how they were treated, including being sent as slaves to Barbados and other places.
Mary and Emily Edmonson were two of the youngest passengers who attempted to escape slavery on the ill-fated Pearl voyage in 1848. Join Elizabeth as she and a descendant of the Edmonson family discuss the role of these young women in not only the escape but also the abolition movement and Reconstruction.
Bass Reeves was born enslaved but escaped from his master and lived as an outlaw in the Indian Territory until the Emancipation Proclamation officially made him a free man. He went on to use the knowledge he gained during his time in hiding to become one of the most successful U.S. Deputy Marshals of his day.
This weekend Britain celebrates the wedding of Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle, and we at Footnoting History are thrilled. Join us as we mark the occasion by discussing another cross-Atlantic union: the marriage of US President John Quincy Adams and Louisa Johnson of England.
Podcasters: Christine and Elizabeth
In the 20th Century, W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the leading intellectuals of the movement to gain equality for African-Americans. His daughter, Yolande Du Bois, found much of her life shaped by her father's desire for his daughter to be the exemplar of the abilities and potential of African-Americans. In this episode, Elizabeth examines Yolande's life and to what it extent it was shaped by her father.
During the American Revolution, not everyone living in the rebellious colonies wanted to separate from Great Britain. In this episode, find out how Loyalists (those still devoted to King George III) coped with the war ending and the colonies achieving independence.
According to a plaque on the Brooklyn Bridge “back of every great work we can find the self-sacrificing devotion of a woman.” Indeed, when John Roebling died and his son, Washington, was struck ill it was Washington’s young wife Emily Warren Roebling who worked day and night to ensure that the Brooklyn Bridge was built.
In 1910, Ida Delancey lost custody of her niece because her neighbors complained to child services that Ida, a white woman living in Brooklyn, was known to move in the same circles as Chinese-Americans. Elizabeth explores why this was a cause to have the child removed and how fears had increased after a 1909 murder of a young woman in New York City.