Mr. Wadsworth’s Museum

For 150 years a crenelated Gothic Revival castle in Connecticut has housed an art collection that was astonishing for its time—and ours

We tend to identify the first American public display of art with the post-Civil War surge of wealth called the Gilded Age. Conventional wisdom also assumes that our first art museums were born in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia—all of which were eager to assert their cultural hegemony. Read more »

Of Pearl Ash, Emptins, And Tree Sweetnin’

America’s First Native Cookbook

Cranberry sauce. Johnnycake. Pumpkin pie. Indian pudding. Though all these uniquely American concoctions had been bubbling and browning in American kitchens for 150 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, not a single recipe for any of them had ever appeared in print.Read more »

When Presidents Collide

In October, 1975, a carful of teenagers came cruising down a Hartford, Connecticut, street and rammed into a limousine carrying President Gerald R. Ford. Though the Chief Executive was momentarily shocked, nobody was hurt, and the incident passed away in smiles when President Ford later telephoned the hapless young driver to say that everything was all right. At that time a spokesman for the Secret Service said that the freak accident was the first of its kind. Read more »

Mark Twain In Hartford: The Happy Years

This is the story of twenty happy and productive years in the life of Mark Twain, told by the author himself and by those who knew him. Portions of it were published earlier as a guide to the Mark Twain Memorial, the house now being restored in Hartford, Connecticut, which Twain planned, loved so much, and lost under such tragic circumstances.Read more »