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Civil War Letters

Private Voices, also known as the Corpus of American Civil War Letters, is an online archive of thousands of letters written by soldiers during the U.S. Civil War. Because the soldiers lacked formal education and wrote “by ear,” the...

Old Dan Tucker

The song Old Dan Tucker has a long history in the United States, going back to the minstrel shows of the 1840s. Martha highly recommends the documentary Ethnic Notions about our country’s complicated history with racially-charged imagery in...

Sockdologizing

They were the last words Abraham Lincoln heard before John Wilkes Booth assassinated him: “Well, I guess I know enough to turn you inside-out, old gal—you sockdologizing old man-trap!” Booth knew that this line from the play Our American...