Voices Of A Vanished Amoskeag

The life and death of the world’s largest textile mill, in the words of the men and women who worked there

Labor history is too often told in one of two equally unsatisfactory ways—in the icy language of economics, or in the fiery rhetoric of ideologues. Either way, the real people get overlooked. The story of the mighty Amoskeag textile mills at Manchester, New Hampshire, for example, is most often seen simply as a textbook case of industrial paternalism trying to outlive its time. The bare facts are simple enough, certainly.Read more »

Gunboat War At Vicksburg

A Union seaman’s nightmarish memories of shot, shell, and shoal waters in Grant’s Mississippi River campaign, 1862–63

When in April of 1861 he first learned that the Confederate States of America had forced Federal troops to evacuate Fort Sumter, seventeen-year-old Daniel F. Kemp of Buffalo, New York, immediately wanted to enlist; but not until late summer of the next year, sometime after his eighteenth birthday, did Kemp’s parents consent to his signing up for a one-year hitch in the United States Navy. That service at once sent him west to join the freshwater flotilla which in cooperation with the Army was working its way down the Mississippi River. Read more »

Chickens To Moscow

Marjorie Daw Johnson, for many years a vocational teacher in Madison, Wisconsin, died in 1975 at the age of ninety-three. Among other mementos, she left this account of her entirely unforeseen experience as a courier to the Soviet Union in the days before the United States recognized that country. It is published here for the first time by permission of Dr. David B. Johnson, her nephew and executor of her estate.

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The Cowboy And The Critter

It was the time we were working out of the Diamond Hook, Davy Stevens’ starve-out operation at Cloverdale in northern Nevada. Cloverdale was the cluster of sod and tarpaper shanties the RO Ranch was using as a line camp late that particular fall, and Davy Stevens was the eighty-year-old cowman who held title to the spread. The RO and the Diamond Hook outfits shared a corridor of range through the San Antone sand hills, and we used to help Davy with his riding.Read more »

The Adventures Of A Haunted Whaling Man

The exacting, colorful, and often perilous career of a whaleman of the last century is known to most readers only through such fiction a Moby Dick . But many a real American went “down to the sea in ships” from East Coast whaling ports, experiencing the loneliness, exhilaration, and dangers that Herman Melville described. One of them was Robert Weir, a tormented nineteen-year-old, who in the summer of 1855 left his home in Cold Spring, New York, where he had worked in the local iron foundry.Read more »

Historian And Publisher

One of America's most distinguished publishers writes of his personal and professional friendship with the famed historian, Samuel Eliot Morison.


A new annual prize in history has been established by the American Heritage Publishing Company in honor of the distinguished American historian Samuel Eliot Morison, who died last spring. The prize will be $5,000; to be given for the best book on American history by an American author that sustains the tradition that good history is literature as well as high scholarship—a tradition admirably exemplified by the many works of Samuel Eliot Monson. Read more »

‘A Continuity Of Place And Blood”

The Seasons of Man in the Ozarks

Sometime in the sleep of every year, between the browning of the oaks and the first greening of the spring wild grasses, that country flamed.

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Eleventh in a series of paintings for AMERICAN HERITAGE

When in June of 1778 Sir Henry Clinton evacuated Philadelphia and moved his army of ten thousand British and German troops toward New York, Washington called his officers together to discuss strategy. Their decision—which, said Alexander Hamilton, “would have done honor to the most honorable society of midwives, and to them only”—was to keep watch on Clinton’s flank but to avoid a major action. Read more »

Is History Dead?


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