James Bowdoin

James Bowdoin II (/ˈbdɪn/; August 7, 1726 – November 6, 1790) was an American political and intellectual leader from Boston, Massachusetts, during the American Revolution and the following decade. He initially gained fame and influence as a wealthy merchant. He served in both branches of the Massachusetts General Court from the 1750s to the 1770s. Although he was initially supportive of the royal governors, he opposed British colonial policy and eventually became an influential advocate of independence. He authored a highly political report on the 1770 Boston Massacre that has been described by historian Francis Walett as one of the most influential pieces of writing that shaped public opinion in the colonies.

From 1775 to 1777 he served as president of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress' executive council, the de facto head of the Massachusetts government. He was elected president of the constitutional convention that drafted the state's constitution in 1779, and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1780, losing to John Hancock. In 1785, following Hancock's resignation, he was elected governor. Due to the large debts of Massachusetts, incurred from the Revolutionary War, Bowdoin ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility. During his two years in office the combination of poor economic conditions and his harsh fiscal policy laid down by his government led to the uprising known as Shays' Rebellion. Bowdoin personally funded militia forces that were instrumental in putting down the uprising. His high-handed treatment of the rebels may have contributed to his loss of the 1787 election, in which the populist Hancock was returned to office.

In addition to his political activities, Bowdoin was active in scientific pursuits, collaborating with Benjamin Franklin in his pioneering research on electricity. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1787. He was a founder and first president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, to whom he bequeathed his library. Bowdoin College in Maine was named in his honor after a bequest by his son James III.

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Guillaume Thomas François Raynal

Guillaume Thomas Raynal (12 April 1713 – 6 March 1796) was a French writer and man of letters during the Age of Enlightenment.

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Joseph Hooker

Joseph Hooker (November 13, 1814 – October 31, 1879) was an American Civil War general for the Union, chiefly remembered for his decisive defeat by Confederate General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Chancellorsville in 1863.

Hooker had served in the Seminole Wars and the Mexican–American War, receiving three brevet promotions, before resigning from the Army. At the start of the Civil War, he joined the Union side as a brigadier general, distinguishing himself at Williamsburg, Antietam and Fredericksburg, after which he was given command of the Army of the Potomac.

His ambitious plan for Chancellorsville was thwarted by Lee's bold move in dividing his army and routing a Union corps, as well as by mistakes on the part of Hooker's subordinate generals and his own loss of nerve. The defeat handed Lee the initiative, which allowed him to travel north to Gettysburg.

Hooker was kept in command, but when General Halleck and Lincoln declined his request for reinforcements, he resigned. George G. Meade was appointed to command the Army of the Potomac three days before Gettysburg. Hooker returned to combat in November 1863, helping to relieve the besieged Union Army at Chattanooga, Tennessee, and continuing in the Western Theater under Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, but departed in protest before the end of the Atlanta Campaign when he was passed over for promotion.

Hooker became known as "Fighting Joe" following a journalist's clerical error, and the nickname stuck. His personal reputation was as a hard-drinking ladies' man, and his headquarters were known for parties and gambling.

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Confederate Railroads in the American Civil War

The American Civil War was the first in which large armies depended heavily on railroads to bring supplies. For the Confederate States Army, the system was fragile and was designed for short hauls of cotton to the nearest river or ocean port. During the war, new parts were hard to obtain, and the system deteriorated from overuse, lack of maintenance, and systematic destruction by Union raiders.

The outbreak of war had a depressing effect on the economic fortunes of the Confederate railroad industry. With the cotton crop being hoarded under the "King Cotton" theory, railroads lost their main source of income. Many were forced to lay off employees, and in particular, let go skilled technicians and engineers. Due to a general opinion that the war would not last long, initially Confederate rail operators did not seek, nor build, alternative sources of iron for rail construction and repair.

Although railroad contracts to port towns had ceased, due to the combined effects of the cotton export policy and the Union naval blockade, lucrative government contracts were doled out to rail operators with lines supplying men and arms to the front line of Tennessee and Virginia. A consortium of rail operators had decided upon a universal rate for government contracts; "a uniform rate of two cents a mile for men and half the regular local rate for munitions, provisions, and material, and also agreed to accept Confederate bonds at par in payment of government transportation."

In addition, the Confederacy suffered from two key deficiencies in its rail network. First was the route structure: it was built to serve the coastal shipping industry, and most rail lines connected ports and river terminals to points inland. This lack of inter-railway connections made many railroads useless once the Union blockade was in place. Second was break of gauge; much of the Confederate rail network was in the 5 ft (1,524 mm) broad gauge format, but much of North Carolina and Virginia had 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge lines. Sometimes, as with Montgomery, Alabama, a city was served by two railroads with different gauge and different depots, meaning that through cargo had to be unloaded from one railroad and moved by animal-powered transportation to the other company's station, where it would be re-loaded. Southern railroads west of the Mississippi were isolated, disconnected, and differed widely in gauge. Several of the Northern railroads, in contrast, were complex networks in themselves, and many cities were served by more than one. The fact that most used the same gauge made transfer even easier.

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Operation Crossroads

Operation Crossroads was a pair of nuclear weapon tests conducted by the United States at Bikini Atoll in mid-1946. They were the first nuclear weapon tests since Trinity in July 1945, and the first detonations of nuclear devices since the atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. The purpose of the tests was to investigate the effect of nuclear weapons on warships.

The Crossroads tests were the first of many nuclear tests held in the Marshall Islands, and the first to be publicly announced beforehand and observed by an invited audience, including a large press corps. They were conducted by Joint Army/Navy Task Force One, headed by Vice Admiral William H. P. Blandy rather than by the Manhattan Project, which had developed nuclear weapons during World War II. A fleet of 95 target ships was assembled in Bikini Lagoon and hit with two detonations of Fat Man plutonium implosion-type nuclear weapons of the kind dropped on Nagasaki, each with a yield of 23 kilotons of TNT (96 TJ).

The first test was Able. The bomb was named Gilda after Rita Hayworth's character in the 1946 film Gilda, and was dropped from the B-29 Superfortress Dave's Dream of the 509th Bombardment Group on July 1, 1946. It detonated 520 feet (158 m) above the target fleet and caused less than the expected amount of ship damage because it missed its aim point by 2,130 feet (649 m).

The second test was Baker. The bomb was known as Helen of Bikini and was detonated 90 feet (27 m) underwater on July 25, 1946. Radioactive sea spray caused extensive contamination. A third deep-water test named Charlie was planned for 1947 but was canceled primarily because of the United States Navy's inability to decontaminate the target ships after the Baker test. Ultimately, only nine target ships were able to be scrapped rather than scuttled. Charlie was rescheduled as Operation Wigwam, a deep-water shot conducted in 1955 off the coast of Mexico (Baja California).

Bikini's native residents agreed to evacuate the island, and were evacuated on board the LST-861, with most moving to the Rongerik Atoll. In the 1950s, a series of large thermonuclear tests rendered Bikini unfit for subsistence farming and fishing because of radioactive contamination. Bikini remains uninhabited as of 2017, though it is occasionally visited by sport divers. Planners attempted to protect participants in the Operation Crossroads tests against radiation sickness, but one study showed that the life expectancy of participants was reduced by an average of three months. The Baker test's radioactive contamination of all the target ships was the first case of immediate, concentrated radioactive fallout from a nuclear explosion. Chemist Glenn T. Seaborg, the longest-serving chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, called Baker "the world's first nuclear disaster."

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Francisco Xavier Chaves

Francisco Xavier Cháves (1762 –1832).  The first member of the Cháves family in San Antonio was born in or around Albuquerque, New Mexico about 1762.

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The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot: A New Look at Betrayer and Betrayed/Bart Ehrman

For today's post, we will be performing research on a book in my personal collection entitled "The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot: A New Look at Betrayer and Betrayed" which was printed in 2006 by Bart Ehrman.

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The Second Messiah: Templars, the Turin Shroud and the Great Secret of Freemasonry/Christopher Knight

For today's post, we will be performing research on a book in my personal collection entitled "The Second Messiah: Templars, the Turin Shroud and the Great Secret of Freemasonry" which was printed in 2000 by Christopher Knight.

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An Iliad/Alessandro Baricco

For today's post, we will be performing research on a book in my personal collection entitled "An Iliad" which was printed in 2006 by Alessandro Baricco.

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Templars in America: From the Crusades to the New World/Tim Wallace-Murphy

For today's post, we will be performing research on a book in my personal collection entitled "Templars in America: From the Crusades to the New World" which was printed in 2004 by Tim Wallace-Murphy.

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Arthurian Romances/Chrétien de Troyes

For today's post, we will be performing research on a book in my personal collection entitled "Arthurian Romances" which was reprinted in 1967 by Chrétien de Troyes.

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The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, his Royal Famly, and the Birth of Christianity /James Tabor

For today's post, we will be performing research on a book in my personal collection entitled "The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, his Royal Famly, and the Birth of Christianity" which was published in 2006 by James Tabor.

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Alexander's Tomb/ Alexander the Great

For today's post, we will be performing research on a book in my personal collection entitled "Alexander's Tomb - The Two Thousand Year Obsession to find the Lost Conqueror" which was published in 2006 by Nicholas Saunders.

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George Browne, 8th Viscount Montagu

George Samuel Browne, 8th Viscount Montagu (26 June 1769 – October 1793) was an English nobleman.

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Knowth

Knowth (/ˈnθ/; Irish: Cnóbha) is a Neolithic passage grave and an ancient monument of the World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne located 8.4 km west of Drogheda in Ireland's valley of the River Boyne. It is the largest passage grave of the Brú na Bóinne complex. It consists of a large mound (known as Site 1) and 17 smaller satellite tombs. The mound is about 12 metres (40 ft) high and 67 metres (220 ft) in diameter, covering roughly a hectare. It contains two passages placed along an east-west line and is encircled by 127 kerbstones, of which three are missing, and four badly damaged.

The large mound has been estimated to date from c. 3200 BC. The passages are independent of each other, leading to separate burial chambers. The eastern passage arrives at a cruciform chamber, not unlike that found at Newgrange, which contains three recesses and basin stones into which the cremated remains of the dead were placed. The right-hand recess is larger and more elaborately decorated with megalithic art than the others, which is typical for Irish passage graves of this type. The western passage ends in an undifferentiated chamber, which is separated from the passage by a sill stone. The chamber seems to have also contained a basin stone which was later removed and is now located about two-thirds down the passageway.

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St Peter's College, Oxford

St Peter's College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford and is located in New Inn Hall Street, Oxford, United Kingdom. It occupies the site of two of the university's medieval halls, dating back to at least the 14th century. The modern college was founded by Francis James Chavasse, former Bishop of Liverpool, opened as St Peter's Hall in 1929, and achieved full collegiate status as St Peter's College in 1961. Founded as a men's college, it has been coeducational since 1979.

As of 2019, the college had an estimated financial endowment of £49.6 million.

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Komos

The Kōmos (Ancient Greek: κῶμος; pl. kōmoi) was a ritualistic drunken procession performed by revelers in ancient Greece, whose participants were known as komasts (κωμασταί, kōmastaí). Its precise nature has been difficult to reconstruct from the diverse literary sources and evidence derived from vase painting.

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Athenaeus

Athenaeus of Naucratis (/ˌæθəˈnəs/; Ancient Greek: Ἀθήναιος ὁ Nαυκρατίτης or Nαυκράτιος, Athēnaios Naukratitēs or Naukratios; Latin: Athenaeus Naucratita) was a Greek rhetorician and grammarian, flourishing about the end of the 2nd and beginning of the 3rd century AD. The Suda says only that he lived in the times of Marcus Aurelius, but the contempt with which he speaks of Commodus, who died in 192, shows that he survived that emperor. He was a contemporary of Adrantus.

Several of his publications are lost, but the fifteen-volume Deipnosophistae mostly survives.

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San Carlos Institute

The San Carlos Institute, also known as the San Carlos, is a Cuban heritage center and museum located at 516 Duval Street in Key West, Florida. The institute was founded in 1871 by members of the Cuban exile community with the goal of preserving and promoting the language, cultural values, and patriotic ideals of the Cuban people. Today, the San Carlos Institute is a multi-purpose facility that functions as a museum, library, school, conference center, theater, and art gallery for the Key West community. The institute maintains several permanent installations related to Cuban history and hosts a number of popular cultural and artistic events.

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Diphilus

Diphilus (Greek: Δίφιλος), of Sinope, was a poet of the new Attic comedy and a contemporary of Menander (342-291 BC). He is frequently listed together with Menander and Philemon, considered the three greatest poets of New Comedy. He was victorious at least three times at the Lenaia, placing him third before Philemon and Menander. Although most of his plays were written and acted at Athens he died at Smyrna. His body was returned and buried in Athens.

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