Elizabeth Van Lew: Confederate Abolitionist Turned Union Spy

Elizabeth Van Lew was a Richmond, Virginia abolitionist and philanthropist who built and operated an extensive spy ring for the Union Army during the American Civil War. Early Life Elizabeth Van Lew was born on October 12, 1818, in Richmond, Virginia to John Van Lew and Eliza Baker,[1] whose grandfather was Hilary Baker, mayor of Philadelphia from 1796 to[…]

Intelligence and Information Gathering in the American War for Independence

Congress formed secret committees to oversee intelligence operations in the fight against the British. Introduction American Intelligence in the American Revolutionary War was essentially monitored and sanctioned by the Continental Congress to provide military intelligence to the Continental Army to aid them in fighting the British during the American Revolutionary War. Congress created a Secret[…]

Astronomy in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica

The observation of the sky was of considerable importance to the Maya, Aztecs and other prehisanic peoles of Mesoamerica. Overview The observation of the sky was of considerable importance to the Maya, Aztecs and other prehispanic peoles of Mesoamerica. Their familiarity with the regularities of the apparent motion of the Sun, the Moon and bright[…]

Ancient Cosmologies: Understanding Ancient Skywatchers, Mayas, and their Worldviews

Since the beginning of humankind, the fascination with the celestial vault has been regarded as an important element in human life, their future, and history. Overview Ancient and pre-modern worldviews of the cosmos originated in practical lifeworld structures and experiences and therefore cannot be analyzed in the same manner as modern cosmologies are. Being embedded[…]

Robespierre, the Duke of York, and Peisistratus during the French Revolutionary Terror

Pisistratus’s story as a tyrant of Athens offered a powerful script for interpreting Robespierre’s actions, and a cue for resistance. Dr. Simon MacdonaldFellowInstitut d’études avancées de Paris Abstract Maximilien Robespierre was deposed on 27 July 1794/9 Thermidor Year II when the charge that he was a tyrant burst spectacularly into open political discussion in France.[…]

Tyrant of Languedoc? Nicolas de Lamoignon de Basville in Public and in Private

Basville’s private correspondence reveals aspects of his character that deepen our understanding of the intendancy in the old regime. On 11 November 1703, the intendant of Languedoc, Nicolas de Lamoignon de Basville, wrote in private to his brother in Paris on the subject of the maréchal then commanding royal forces in the Cévennes, Nicolas de[…]