Travel

Smallpox

Smallpox During the Revolutionary War more than 130,000 people living in North America died from Smallpox.  Of those fighting in the war, about 7000 died in the war, while more than 17,000 died from disease.  And smallpox was the biggest killer on the continent. Variola virus, or smallpox is spread through physical contact, airborne through…

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Pass the Flowing Bowl

When Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys helped Benedict Arnold seize Fort Ticonderoga, they apparently wanted to celebrate the occasion.  In 1775 these two men, who couldn’t be more different, led the attack on the lightly defended fort, winning it without a fight.  British soldiers stations there hadn’t heard about Lexington and Concord yet,…

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Joshua Slocum

Joshua Slocum On April 24, 1895, Joshua Slocum sailed out of Fairhaven, Massachusetts on his gaff-rigged sloop Spray.  He returned to Newport, Rhode Island on June 27, 1898, and documented that incredible solo sail around the globe in his book Sailing Alone Around the World.  His trip and the book were worldwide phenomenons, and Slocum…

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Foraging in New England

Foraging in New England When Roger’s Rangers were hiking through the hostile woods of Vermont trying to evade the French and Native Americans, more than 40 died of starvation.  When Benedict Arnold and his troops hiked through the woods of Maine on their way to invade Quebec, starvation was a very real possibility.  And yet…

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New Hampshire Grant

New Hampshire Grant The land that is today Vermont was once claimed by Massachusetts, New York and New Hampshire.  The Massachusetts claim originated from a fort established in the Connecticut River Valley in present-day Brattleboro.  New York based their claim on original Dutch territorial claims that all the lands west of the Connecticut River to…

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Resistance, Habits and Progress

Resistance, Habits and Progress “We’re wounded by fearInjured in doubtI can lose myselfYou I can’t live without” – U2, Red Hill Mining Town Bono is singing about his relationship with God with those lyrics.  I’m not inclined to embrace religion in the same way.  I’m more pragmatic I guess.  A higher power?  A creator?  I…

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Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester

The history of the American Revolution is weighted towards the dignity and heroism of the colonists who rose up and demanded their independence.  The winners always write the history.  But there were characters on the other side of this fight who were heroes as well.  Guy Carleton is one of those heroes. I’ve visited Carleton…

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The Great Carrying Place

There’s an almost unbroken stretch of navigable water from New York City up the Hudson to Lake George to Lake Champlain to the St. Lawrence Seaway, which in turn leads back to the Atlantic Ocean or deep into the interior of North America to the Great Lakes.  The “almost” part is a couple of stretches…

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Gray Gables

Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States of America (the only President to be re-elected in non-consecutive elections), was the Governor of New York before that, and the Mayor of Buffalo before that.  Grover Cleveland was a Bourbon Democrat, which today would be aligned with a Libertarian or conservative Democrat….

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Jeffrey Amherst

The winners get to write the history.  That maxim has dictated what we’ve learned in history books, at church or in the stories told time and again through generations.  Whether its historical perspective, political correctness gone awry or a long overdue reset, there’s no doubt that some of the historical figures of the past are…