Tag Archives: Isaiah Thomas

How to Sing the Isaiah Thomas Ballads?

David Hildebrand, Ph.D., specializes in researching, recording, and performing early American music. He presents concerts and educational programs throughout the country for museums, universities, and historical organizations, and has consulted for and provided soundtrack materials for numerous documentaries, such as the PBS series Liberty!—the American Revolution, Rediscovering George Washington, and Anthem. He also teaches at ...

Isaiah Thomas’s Library Catalog Is Now Digital

Jeremy Dibbell is the director of communications and outreach at Rare Book School and the volunteer head of the Legacy Libraries and Libraries of Early America projects for LibraryThing. He is always happy to receive information on American book lists/inventories/catalogs of any size, particularly for the colonial period. In July 1812, Isaiah Thomas presented a large ...

An American at an 1820 German Christmas

The trappings of an American Christmas have become as familiar as one’s own family—lights and trees, Santa Claus and reindeer, food and good cheer. That hasn’t always been the case, of course. The Puritans, for one, simply banned Christmas in the New World. Stemming from pagan celebrations of the harvest and the winter solstice, the ...

Isaiah Is Going Digital: The Prototype

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A few weeks ago, a post shared the final cut of a short film depicting a young Isaiah Thomas learning about the legal indenture that bound him to his apprenticeship. As explained in the post, that film is part of a larger project that aims to create an interactive educational website inspired by AAS’s one-man ...

Isaiah Thomas Is Going Digital

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On a beautiful sunny day in June, AAS Director of Outreach Jim Moran and I headed out to Historic Deerfield in western Massachusetts to meet up with a film crew from Northern Light Productions. Surrounded by the dark wood and heavy equipment of the Wilson Printing Office, it wasn’t difficult to set the stage for ...

From the Mixed Up Files of Avis Clarke

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Dylan McDonough, an AAS summer staffer working on the Printers’ File, attends Harvard College, where he is a rising junior with a concentration in history. A native of Worcester, he graduated from Bancroft School in 2014 and has returned to the area each of the last two summers. Here, he shares a glimpse of his ...

Transcribing the War of 1812: AAS Collections in the Classroom

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Associate Professor of History at Assumption College Carl Robert Keyes and our digital humanities curator, Molly O’Hagan Hardy, recently collaborated to combine early American history and digital humanities in the classroom. About a year ago, AAS launched the Isaiah Thomas Broadside Ballads Project: Verses in Vogue with the Vulgar. Featuring 338 broadsides, 800 images, and many contextualizing essays, ...

Isaiah Thomas Comes to AAS—In Miniature

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With support from the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati we were able to bring our popular Isaiah Thomas-Patriot Printer program to communities in northern Worcester County. After one such performance at the Leominster Public Library, Donald Hicks came up to me and we chatted about Isaiah Thomas’s involvement with the Masonic order. Mr. Hicks, a ...

New Acquisitions: Early Bookplates

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The American Antiquarian Society has an extensive collection of pre-1800 American bookplates, with representative examples engraved by famous patriots like Paul Revere, or commissioned by founding fathers such as George Washington (left). AAS founder, Isaiah Thomas, had two different bookplates made by Revere and AAS, of course, has several examples of each ( below).  These ...

Isaiah Celebrates the Fourth of July

Portrait of Isaiah Thomas by Ethan Allen Greenwood, 1818

Here at AAS, nary a holiday goes by without some reflection on how the same was celebrated in days past. On this Fourth of July we’re going to take a trip back 200 years and check in on how our founder, Isaiah Thomas, celebrated the holiday. In July 1814 the United States was in the midst ...

AAS joins the Worcester Revolution of 1774

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On September 6, 1774, 4,622 militiamen from 37 towns marched into Worcester, shiretown for  the county, closed the Royal courts, and forced each court official to resign. Forming two lines, they forced each court official, hat in hand, to disavow the recent Massachusetts Government Act, which revoked the Province’s charter and disenfranchised its citizens. With ...