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 a slave 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.
Join Elizabeth as she once again examines the stories of three people buried in a cemetery in the Atlanta metro area. Second-sight, sharecropping, and a street called Auburn Avenue provide context for the lives of those resting at Washington Park Cemetery many of whom were descendants of slaves.
In the quiet town of La Porte, Indiana at the beginning of the 20th century lived a widow farmer with three children. Originally from Norway, Belle Sørenson Gunness was, like many widows in the period, in search of a husband to help work her lands and provide for her family--until one night, a tragic fire revealed that all was not as it appeared. In this week's episode, we examine the grisly tale of how the outwardly unassuming Belle killed at least nine male suitors and probably two husbands, and the terrible methods that she used to evade capture.
Taphophilia is the love of cemeteries and headstones. In this episode, Elizabeth indulges her taphophilia as she uses stories from East View Cemetery on the outskirts of Atlanta to learn about life in the city in the early to mid-20th century. Golf, textile mills, and military service help us complete the picture.
In May of 2016 the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’ elephants performed for their final time before entering retirement. Over 130 years earlier, in 1882, Jumbo the elephant left London for New York and joined P.T. Barnum’s traveling menagerie. In this episode, Christine explores Jumbo’s life as one of the Victorian era’s most famous animals.
In the First Amendment to the US Constitution, tucked between the freedom of speech and right of assembly, is a protection of the freedom of the press. But why did the Framers feel the need to include it? The answer lies in the early history of the newspaper, when broadsheet publications were small-time startup operations that were sometimes suppressed by the British government. In this week's episode, Nathan looks at the early history of print media in the United States, the role of libel and censorship, and the trial of a German immigrant printer that changed it all.