PreserveCast
[RE-RELEASE] Elevating Authentic Stories from the Underground Railroad

[RE-RELEASE] Elevating Authentic Stories from the Underground Railroad

August 30, 2021

On this week’s re-release of PreserveCast, we’re heading back to the brackish marshes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore to talk Tubman, slavery, and freedom.

Few names have become as synonymous with grit, determination, and liberty as Harriet Tubman. A Moses for her people, Tubman has become an almost mythical character who represents the best of the American spirit in the face of incredible suffering and inhumanity. Yet, for many years, she lacked a rigorous and scholarly biography. Today’s guest, Dr. Kate Clifford Larson, addressed that historical inequity and helped bring Harriet’s real story to a new generation.

Enslaved.org Brings Vivid Detail to the Lives of the Peoples of the Historic Slave Trade: A Conversation with Daryle Williams

Enslaved.org Brings Vivid Detail to the Lives of the Peoples of the Historic Slave Trade: A Conversation with Daryle Williams

January 18, 2021

As nearly anyone who has seriously studied American history can attest – there is no American story without the story of slavery. It is central to our origin and must be included in order to get a full and complete picture of our history.

Unfortunately, the records of slavery are spread far and wide and are often siloed and incomplete.

In this two-part series, we’re talking to two of the minds behind Enslaved: Peoples of the Historic Slave Trade – a digital preservation effort aimed at connected the dots and knocking down the silos of slave history.

Learn more at www.enslaved.org.

Daryle Williams (PhD, History, Stanford University, 1995), Associate Professor of History and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland, is Co-Principal Investigator on AADHum and Enslaved, two collaborative projects in black studies and digital humanities sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Williams was lead editor on The Rio de Janeiro Reader: Politics, History, Culture (Duke University Press, 2015) and serves as Area Editor (Brazil pre-1888) on the Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography(Oxford University Press). Single-author publications include Culture Wars in Brazil: The First Vargas Regime, 1930-1945 (Duke, 2001), winner of the American Historical Association's John Edwin Fagg prize, and several articles and book chapters on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Brazilian cultural and social history. His current book project is "The Broken Paths of Freedom:  Liberated Africans in Nineteenth-Century Brazilian Slave Society."

Williams has held grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Scholar Program, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Humanities Fellowship Program, and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities.

Prior to serving as an associate dean, Williams was graduate studies director in the UMD history department and associate director of the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the African Diaspora.

The Civil War Photo Sleuth: A Conversation with Kurt Luther

The Civil War Photo Sleuth: A Conversation with Kurt Luther

January 4, 2021
The American Civil War was the first war to be truly photo-documented. The haunting images stare back at us and make the brutal conflict real and humanize the tragedy. Yet, for all of the photos, many of the identities of the individuals captured are now unknown. Today, Civil War Photo Sleuth is using modern-day technology to rediscover the lost identities in American Civil War-era photographs. This new endeavor holds tremendous potential not only to uncover the lost history of the Civil War–but of countless other anonymous photographs. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking artificial intelligence, Civil War history and the future of historical investigations.
John Brown’s Legacy Lives On in Upstate New York with Martha Swan

John Brown’s Legacy Lives On in Upstate New York with Martha Swan

December 14, 2020

John Brown.

Few names in American history inspire as much controversy, admiration, and consternation. He was a controversial figure in his own time and remains so today. No matter your opinion, Brown’s legacy is critically important and must be explored and remembered.

Today’s guest, Martha Swan, is the founder and Executive Director of John Brown Lives!, an organization dedicated to preserving Brown’s farm in upstate New York and using his legacy to inspire future generations.

On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking about John Brown, memory and how to use the past to engage the present.

Olivia Williams of McLeod Plantation: Fighting Racism & Building Empathy through Honest Educational Interpretation

Olivia Williams of McLeod Plantation: Fighting Racism & Building Empathy through Honest Educational Interpretation

November 16, 2020

Today’s guest is a part of a powerful movement to share the authentic, painful and real history of slavery at some of America’s most visited plantation sites.

Olivia Williams is a cultural history interpreter at McLeod Plantation Historic Site in Charleston, South Carolina. She’s been featured in the BBC, CBS News and the New York Times for her work and for shining a light on the awkward and uncomfortable questions posed by many visitors which underscore the lack of understanding of America’s slaveholding past.

This week on PreserveCast, we’ll discuss this critical work with a master of the trade.

Cultivating Common Ground at Sotterley Plantation with Nancy Easterling

Cultivating Common Ground at Sotterley Plantation with Nancy Easterling

November 2, 2020

Our nation is confronting challenges on almost every front – so why invest money in historic sites when the challenges are so great?

Places like Historic Sotterley, located in Southern Maryland, can make the case for why we should invest. Sotterley has worked to become an exceptional cultural and educational resource for its region and state, and through ongoing work strives to help build a better community with local and regional partners.

On today’s episode of PreserveCast, we’re talking with Nancy Easterling, the Executive Director of Historic Sotterley about tackling the complex history of a plantation and how that conversation can improve communities.

Healing & Justice: The Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission with Dr. David Fakunle

Healing & Justice: The Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission with Dr. David Fakunle

October 19, 2020

There are some topics that are easy to introduce to our PreserveCast listeners. Today’s episode is not one of those – but it is a topic we feel compelled to cover and explore.

Among his many responsibilities and positions, today’s guest, Dr. David Fakunle, is also currently serving as the as Chair of the Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the first state body in the United States dedicated to chronicling and bringing justice to racial terror lynchings.

It is a dark and painful chapter in our history – but a history which we’ll confront and discuss on this week’s PreserveCast with a leader dealing with the legacy of lynchings and the effort to bring justice to those who were denied it.

RERELEASE [Antietam Anniversary] What We Think We Know About History With Dennis Frye

RERELEASE [Antietam Anniversary] What We Think We Know About History With Dennis Frye

September 14, 2020

Do you ever wonder how authors and historians can keep writing new books about the same 'ole history?

Shouldn’t it never change because it’s all in the past?

The truth is anything but.

No one can explain that better than our guest, Dennis Frye – having been involved in everything from giving tours to leading nationally important preservation and battlefield protection organizations, few people know the complexities of Civil War history like Dennis.

In his recent book, Antietam Shadows: Mystery, Myth & Machination, Dennis makes the case that history should never lie dormant, it always needs to be re-examined, stating, “Historians should always be challenging themselves. They should always be a detective. They should always be mining for new information, and if it completely reverses something that’s conventional, good, good. Throw it out there and let people see it in a different way, in a different manner, in a different light.

Listen in to this episode of PreserveCast to hear from Dennis about his investigative and inclusive approach to historical research on this special re-broadcast in commemoration of the Anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.

Ep. 140: Gettysburg: A Touchstone of American History with Christopher Gwinn

Ep. 140: Gettysburg: A Touchstone of American History with Christopher Gwinn

August 24, 2020

Gettysburg is a special place and has been since the ground was made hallowed by soldiers nearly 160 years ago. Today, as America grapples with its history – especially its Civil War history – places like Gettysburg are critical to the understanding of who we are and where we are headed.

Today’s guest is responsible for leading the effort to interpret that history. Christopher Gwinn is the Supervisory Park Ranger for the division of Interpretation and Education and is working hard to reach all Americans with the story of Gettysburg.

Grab your knapsack and toss on your forage cap, we’re headed to the crossroads town of Gettysburg on this week’s PreserveCast.

Elevating Authentic Stories from the Underground Railroad with Dr. Kate Clifford Larson

Elevating Authentic Stories from the Underground Railroad with Dr. Kate Clifford Larson

August 10, 2020

Few names have become as synonymous with grit, determination, and liberty as Harriet Tubman. A Moses for her people, Tubman has become an almost mythical character who represents the best of the American spirit in the face of incredible suffering and inhumanity. Yet, for many years, she lacked a rigorous and scholarly biography.

Today’s guest, Dr. Kate Clifford Larson, addressed that historical inequity and helped bring Harriet’s real story to a new generation. On this week’s PreserveCast, we're heading back to the brackish marshes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore to talk Tubman, slavery, and freedom.

PreserveCast is powered by Preservation Maryland, a non-profit organization.

 

 

PreserveCast Ep132: Harrowing History of the Reverse Underground Railroad with Dr. Richard Bell

PreserveCast Ep132: Harrowing History of the Reverse Underground Railroad with Dr. Richard Bell

June 29, 2020

Americans have long admired the resistance, tenacity and spirit of those brave souls who were travelers and conductors on the Underground Railroad. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re heading back to those days to dredge up another chapter – and one far less proud – that of the reverse Underground Railroad which brought captured formerly free blacks back to slavery. It’s a difficult history – but one we must confront and we’ll explore it with Dr. Richard Bell, a distinguished scholar who recently authored a book on this overlooked story from American history.

Dr. Richard Bell is Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland. He holds a PhD from Harvard University and is author of the new book Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home. He has won more than a dozen teaching awards, including the University System of Maryland Board of Regents Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest honor for teaching faculty in the Maryland state system. He has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, and the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar award. He serves as a Trustee of the Maryland Historical Society, as an elected member of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and as a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. 

PreserveCast Ep131: Clara Barton to Coronavirus: American Public Health History with Dr. Marian Moser Jones

PreserveCast Ep131: Clara Barton to Coronavirus: American Public Health History with Dr. Marian Moser Jones

June 22, 2020

As the nation confronts a crippling pandemic – we find ourselves drawn to history for parallels. History provides context for the confusion.

Today’s guest has dedicated her career to exploring those connections. Dr. Marian Moser Jones is a social historian and ethicist of public health who studies the way in which Americans care for other Americans – and how that shapes our response in emergencies like the current pandemic.

Stay calm – we’ll get through this – and we’ll learn how on this week’s PreserveCast.

PreserveCast Ep130: Marylanders Fight to Save the Union: The Old Line State in the Civil War with Dr. Timothy Orr

PreserveCast Ep130: Marylanders Fight to Save the Union: The Old Line State in the Civil War with Dr. Timothy Orr

June 15, 2020

For Civil War readers and historians, Maryland has always been confounding. Its location along the Mason-Dixon Line meant it was the seat of war for many pitched battles – and divided the loyalties of its citizens. But, for all the impact, bloodshed and division – its contribution to the Union Army is often overlooked. Confederate memory clouds the history – but today, the clouds are lifting thanks to the work of professor and historian Timothy Orr. Dr. Orr has begun to chronicle Marylanders who served in the ranks of the Union Army of the Potomac – a story long overdue that we’ll begin to explore on this episode of PreserveCast. 

MORE ABOUT OUR GUEST

Timothy J. Orr is Associate Professor of History at Old Dominion University. He earned his Ph.D. at the Richards Civil War Era Center at Penn State University and he worked for eight years as a seasonal Park Ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park. His publications include Last to Leave the Field: The Life and Letters of First Sergeant Ambrose Henry Hayward (University of Tennessee Press, 2011), Never Call Me a Hero: A Legendary American Dive-Bomber Pilot Remembers the Battle of Midway, a volume co-authored with N. Jack “Dusty” Kleiss and Laura Lawfer Orr (William Morrow, 2017), as well as several scholarly essays about the Army of the Potomac.

PreserveCast Ep126: Descending into the Bloody Cornfield with Civil War Historian, David A. Welker

PreserveCast Ep126: Descending into the Bloody Cornfield with Civil War Historian, David A. Welker

May 18, 2020

Few names are as synonymous with Civil War battlefields as “The Bloody Cornfield.” It conjures up visions of harrowing bloodshed and the tragedy of fratricidal combat.

Yet, for over 150 years, the story of this struggle has been difficult to track – the sway of battle back and forth over David R. Miller’s cornfield was a confusing melee of destruction. To help interpret this pivotal story, historian and author David A. Welker has produced a detailed study of this pivotal moment in American history which captures the reader and makes the compelling case for the national significance of these 20+ acres of Maryland soil.

On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re taking a trip back to Sharpsburg, Maryland, on the morning of September 17, 1862, and descending into the Bloody Cornfield.

PreserveCast Ep122: What Civil War-Era Medicine Can Teach Us About Today’s Pandemic with Jake Wynn of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine

PreserveCast Ep122: What Civil War-Era Medicine Can Teach Us About Today’s Pandemic with Jake Wynn of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine

April 27, 2020

Walt Whitman once wrote that, “Future years will never know the seething hell and the black infernal background of countless minor scenes and interiors . . . of the Secession war; and it is best they should not—the real war will never get in the books.”

Although the painful, real stories of the Civil War and its grisly impacts may not have been accurately captured by authors –  today’s guest, Jake Wynn, the Director of Interpretation at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, is dedicated to telling those stories – and highlighting the grave sacrifices and incredible compassion displayed during that era.

As we confront a medical crisis in our own time, we sat down with Jake to learn about epidemics, disease, and health during the Civil War – and what lessons there might be for our own time. 

ABOUT TODAY'S GUEST

Jake Wynn is the Director of Interpretation at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine and the Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum. He is a 2015 graduate of Hood College in Frederick, MD. He writes independently about Pennsylvania history at Wynning History and the Pennsylvania in the Civil War blog.

 

PreserveCast Ep111: Introducing Youth to Difficult History at Gettysburg with Barbara Sanders

PreserveCast Ep111: Introducing Youth to Difficult History at Gettysburg with Barbara Sanders

November 4, 2019

Few names are as synonymous with the Civil War as Gettysburg. For many Americans, Gettysburg is the Civil War – a touchstone of American history that has captured the imagination and interest of the nation since the battle was fought over 150 years ago. Today’s guest, Barbara Sanders, has worked for the National Park Service at the iconic battlefield for nearly twenty years where she’s helped thousands of young visitors learn about the meaning, value, and importance of this now peaceful field. On this week’s PreserveCast we’re taking a trip back to 1863 to talk about youth education and Civil War history.

Barbara Sanders has been Gettysburg National Military Park's Education Specialist since 1999, where she oversees thousands of students visiting the park each year – whether in-person or on virtual field trips. In addition, the park annually offers professional development opportunities for teachers, classroom loan materials and more. Barbara was the educator on the project team for the planning and construction of the visitor center and museum, which included the concept and design for exhibits, films, and computer interactive elements. Barbara began her career within the museums of Philadelphia, and she then moved to Washington, D.C. to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from The George Washington University’s Museum Education program. She was recently awarded the National Park Service Northeast Region’s Freeman Tilden award which recognizes creativity, advancement, and ingenuity in the field.

PreserveCast Ep. 83: Exploring Harriet Tubman’s Dorchester County with Amanda Fenstermaker

PreserveCast Ep. 83: Exploring Harriet Tubman’s Dorchester County with Amanda Fenstermaker

August 20, 2018

In Maryland the land across the Chesapeake Bay, the Eastern Shore, is a place rich in history. The landscape itself oozes history and speaks in many voices for those willing to listen. Dorchester County, founded in 1669, is one of the Shores’ most historic places most famous for its connection to Harriet Tubman.

This week’s guest Amanda Fenstermaker works tirelessly to market, advocate and protect her native county’s history – and the results are showing as the county is quickly becoming a major tourist destination for those interested in learning about our nation’s African-American history.

Join us this week for a journey to the Eastern Shore, a teaser for a real road trip you’ll certainly want to make on your own very soon.

PreserveCast Ep. 74: Antietam Shadows: Dennis Frye and the History We Think We Know

PreserveCast Ep. 74: Antietam Shadows: Dennis Frye and the History We Think We Know

June 4, 2018

Do you ever wonder how people can write new books about history? Shouldn’t it never change because it’s all in the past? The truth is anything but, and no one can explain that better than today’s guest, Dennis Frye. Having been involved in everything from giving tours to leading nationally important preservation and battlefield protection organizations, few people know Civil War History like Dennis. And in his new book, Antietam Shadows, he makes the case that history should never lie dormant, it always needs to be re-examined. Join as Nick and Dennis talk about Dennis’ new book, highlights from his career in preservation, and more on this week’s PreserveCast.

Listen here: https://www.preservecast.org/2018/06/04/antietam-shadows-dennis-frye-history-we-think-we-know/

PreserveCast Ep. 60: The Rosenwald Schools with Aviva Kempner

PreserveCast Ep. 60: The Rosenwald Schools with Aviva Kempner

February 26, 2018

You’ve probably heard of Andrew Carnegie or the Rockefeller family, but have you heard of Julius Rosenwald? Today’s guest may be able to help with that. Aviva Kempner is a Peabody award winning documentary filmmaker, whose work focuses on unsung heroes from Jewish history. I spoke with Aviva about her most recent work which details the life of Julius Rosenwald, who during the turn of the century both revolutionized the business of Sears and Roebuck, and vastly influenced black education in the Jim Crow South with his philanthropy.

Listen here: https://www.preservecast.org/2018/02/26/the-rosenwald-schools-with-aviva-kempner/

 

 

PreserveCast Ep. 48: Jim Lighthizer and the Civil War Trust

PreserveCast Ep. 48: Jim Lighthizer and the Civil War Trust

December 4, 2017

How are battlefields preserved? Why are battlefields preserved? What should we do with a battlefield site once it is protected? These are all important questions, and we are fortunate to be joined by someone who can possibly provide the answers. Jim Lighthizer is the President of the Civil War Trust and an expert in battlefield preservation. Join Nick as Jim shares insight into how he maintains momentum at the head of the nations leading Civil War Battlefield Preservation Organization on this week's PreserveCast.

 

Listen here: https://www.preservecast.org/2017/12/04/jim-lighthizer-and-the-civil-war-trust/

This episode is part of focus series on the history of the Antietam Battlefield.

PreserveCast Ep. 46: True Treats Candy and the Age-Old Sweet Tooth

PreserveCast Ep. 46: True Treats Candy and the Age-Old Sweet Tooth

November 20, 2017

It doesn't matter if it's your molar, your canine, or what, everybody has some kind of sweet tooth. Something that you may not be thinking about is how that sweet tooth has played a role in history. Susan Benjamin is the founder of True Treats Candy in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and author of the book Sweet as Sin: The Unwrapped Story of How Candy Became America’s Favorite Pleasure. Susan has appeared on platforms from NPR to NBC, and she joined us on PreserveCast to share the rich history of candy in American culture, from pre-Colombian Native Americans to the working poor of the Industrial Revolution. Go ahead and spoil your dinner with this week’s PreserveCast.

Listen here: https://www.preservecast.org/2017/11/20/susan-benjamin-true-treats-candy-and-the-age-old-sweet-tooth/

 

Editor's note: Many thanks to the Storm Boyz Lenne Lenape Drum, whose music was used in the today's segment of "Preservation Explanation."

PreserveCast Ep. 39: Joe McGill and the Slave Dwelling Project

PreserveCast Ep. 39: Joe McGill and the Slave Dwelling Project

October 2, 2017

Few historic moments continue to reverberate through our nation quite like the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. But despite the way the history lives on, there are some parts that will always be challenging for us to face as a nation. Joe McGill, the founder of the Slave Dwelling Project, joined me to discuss the work he does to shed light on some of the most painful, yet powerful, places in America. Join us for a discussion on the value of remember all aspects of our past, from slave dwellings to Confederate monuments, on this week’s PreserveCast.

Listen here: https://www.preservecast.org/2017/10/02/joe-mcgill-and-the-slave-dwelling-project/

 

Producer's note: This episode is part of our focus series on the history of the Antietam Battlefield. 

PreserveCast Ep. 37: Save Historic Antietam Foundation: How to Preserve a Battlefield

PreserveCast Ep. 37: Save Historic Antietam Foundation: How to Preserve a Battlefield

September 18, 2017

It's hard to talk about the history of the Civil War without touching on the Maryland Campaign, which came to an end with the Battle of Antietam. This battle was not only the single bloodiest day of the War, but also preicpated Abraham Lincoln's issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation. And as important as the battle was, it would be extremely challenging to pass the history of that day on to future generations without the preserved Antietam Battlefield in its proper context, which is the way it is today thanks to Dr. Tom Clemens and the other members of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation. Learn more on this week's PreserveCast.

Listen here: https://www.preservecast.org/2017/09/18/dr-tom-clemens-save-historic-antietam-foundation-how-to-preserve-a-battlefield/

Producer's note: This episode is part of our focus series on the history of the Antietam Battlefield. 

PreserveCast Ep. 25: Too Afraid to Cry: Maryland Civilians in the Antietam Campaign

PreserveCast Ep. 25: Too Afraid to Cry: Maryland Civilians in the Antietam Campaign

June 26, 2017

The battle at Antietam Creek has gone down in history as the bloodiest day of the American Civil War. But as too often happens in significant military moments, people tend to overlook what this battle meant for the local civilian population. That's why this week's guest, the award-winning author Kathleen Ernst, decided to do exactly that. Join us as Kathleen discusses her non-fiction history of the Civil War and the Antietam campaign, as well as her fictional mystery series and books for American Girl, which have sold over 1.7 million copies combined. This is PreserveCast.

Listen here: https://www.preservecast.org/2017/06/26/kathleen-ernst-too-afraid-to-cry-maryland-civilians-in-the-antietam-campaign/

 

Producer's note: This episode is part of our focus series on the history of the Antietam Battlefield.

PreserveCast Ep. 14 Tolson’s Chapel and the History of Reconstruction

PreserveCast Ep. 14 Tolson’s Chapel and the History of Reconstruction

April 10, 2017

Tolson's Chapel was once a school, a church, and the center of a community. Now, thanks to the work of folks like our guest Edie Wallace (as well as Preservation Maryland) it may hopefully serves as a way to glimpse into the often overlooked second act of the story of the Civil War and the emancipation of slavery. Nick sat down this week with the President of the non-profit Friends of Tolson's Chapel, to discuss the challenges associated with preserving this unique building, and why it and similar preservation projects are a key part of the full story of the Civil War. This is PreserveCast.

Listen here: https://www.preservecast.org/2017/04/10/edie-wallace-tolsons-chapel-and-the-history-of-reconstruction/

 

Producer's note: This episode is part of our focus series on the history of the Antietam Battlefield.

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App