Image of U.S. commemorative stamp fir the Gadsden Purchase

Taking Slavery West in the 1850s

Before the Civil War, pro-slavery forces in the South—particularly the future president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis—tried to extend their power westward.
"Noah Webster, The Schoolmaster of the Republic," print by Root & Tinker, 1886

Webster’s Dictionary 1828: Annotated

Noah Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language declared Americans free from the tyranny of British institutions and their vocabularies.
The rugged coast of the Isles of Scilly, England, U.K.

Life in the Islands of the Dead

Though part of the mainland county of Cornwall, the Scilly Islands offer visitors an encounter with history and the environment like no other.
Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin and His Correspondents: A Lifetime of Letters

An epistolary network was critical for Darwin’s work, allowing him to obtain new information while sparking fresh ideas in his correspondents’ minds.
Editorial cartoon by William C. Morris, c. 1906

A People’s Bank at the Post Office

The Postal Savings System offered depositors a US government-backed guarantee of security, but it was undone by for-profit private banks.
Tabula Indiae Orientalis et Regnorum adjacentium.

Culinary Fusion in the Ancient World

People from eastern Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, South Asia, and Southeast Asia have been sharing food plants across the Indian Ocean for millennia.
A photo postcard of a French woman by Lucien Waléry

Postcards Revolutionized Pornography 

In the late nineteenth century, the postcard became the ideal medium for expanding the audience for pornography, much to the concern of social elites.
A Spectro-Chrome, c. 1925

Colorful Lights to Cure What Ails You

Between 1920 and the 1960s, tens of thousands of people received treatment with a Spectro-Chrome to address various ailments.
Children with their Indian nanny at St Ann's Well in the spa town of Buxton, Derbyshire, August 1922.

Ayahs Abroad: Colonial Nannies Cross The Empire

South Asian maids and nannies journeyed to Britain by the thousands in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century with returning colonials.
Taj Mahal, 2007

The Taj Mahal Today

In parallel with the recent shift in political attitudes toward Islamic heritage, India’s most famous monument may need to find a new place in history.