Forgotten Figures

Charles Deslondes

Charles Deslondes: American Slave Revolt Leader

Charles Deslondes was the most important figure in an oft-forgotten key revolt that would serve as a micro-event, but nonetheless a catalytic one for future uprisings. It was on the night of January 8, 1811, along Louisiana's German Coast, he led the largest slave uprising in American history. 500 slaves…

charles deslondes

1811 Louisiana Slave Revolt

The Louisiana Slave revolt of 1811 in the German Coast stands as a perfect example of history as simply the contest of, and reaction to, competing social forces. It was in the aftermath of the Haitian revolution that ended around 1803 and would undergird much of the many of America's…

rexford tugwell

Rexford Tugwell: Architect of The New Deal

If Rexford Tugwell was good enough to belong to Franklin D. Roosevelt's group of advisors that were known as (and thus the provenance of the term) the "brain trust", then he's probably good enough to be remarked upon in the annals of history. A key figure in the "New Deal",…

lysander spooner

Lysander Spooner: Lawyer, Abolitionist, And Postal Terror

Lysander Spooner was an extremely important, though often-neglected figure of history. An idiosyncratic and dialectic figure whose deistic and anarchic views pervaded all of his work and bucked against his contemporaries. Spooner was born on January 19th, 1808 to Asa and Dolly Spooner on a farm in Athol, Massachusetts. A…

william wilberforce

William Wilberforce: The English Abolitionist

William Wilberforce was a massive presence in the noble fight against slavery. Wilberforce was born in Hull, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England in 1759 as the only son of Robert Wilberforce and Elizabeth Bird. William was a small, sickly child with poor eyesight, but this did not stop…

John Brown

John Brown: The Radical Abolitionist

John Brown was unquestionably one of the most fervent opponents of slavery. The abolition movement is a rich tapestry of events and figures, culminating in the repudiation and abolition of what Thomas Paine called in his essay on slavery, the "savage practice". John Brown was born in May of 1800…

toussaint louverture

Toussaint Louverture: Tyrant or Liberator?

Toussaint Louverture was unquestionably one of the great unsung figures of American history, if only by proxy. Whether his impact was noble or despotic would certainly be up for debate, but his impact and influence were indisputable.  Following the French invoking the recently constructed “Declaration Of The Rights Of Man”,…

Haitian revolution

The Haitian Revolution: America’s Forgotten Debt

The Haitian Revolution could well be the event to which the American Revolution and its success owe a great deal of its existence. Though incredibly significant to the final form that America took, both geographically and politically, it is an event that seems to be rather understudied in American education.…


Stephen Decatur And The Barbary Conflict

Stephen Decatur Jr., is a name that may only be known to some people, some of the time. That is unfortunate. Commodore Stephen Decatur was a central figure in the first foreign war waged by the new country of the United States. What has come to be known historically, as…

Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Rush: Controversial Patriot and Reformer

The following post is by guest contributor Jacob M. Appel. He is an author, playwright, and physician. Find out more about him here! Although Benjamin Franklin is often considered the Renaissance man of the American Enlightenment, his fellow Philadelphian, Benjamin Rush (1746-1813), stands out as a formidable rival for this…

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