19TH Century Episodes

October 11, 2021

Zitkála-Šá

Writer, musician, and political activist Zitkála-Šá, also known as Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, was born on February 22, 1876, on the Yankton Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where she lived until she was eight. When Zitkála-Š...

19TH Century 20TH Century Biographical History Native American History Women's History

September 27, 2021

Freedom Suits in Maryland & DC, 1790-1864

Slavery was legal in Maryland until November 1, 1864, when a new state constitution prohibited the practice of slavery. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation the year before had declared slaves in the Confederate states to be f...

18TH Century 19TH Century Black History

August 30, 2021

Phrenology & Crime in 19th Century America

In Nineteenth Century America there was a strong reformist push to know and improve the self. One key tactic Americans used to learn more about themselves was phrenological readings. They would pay practical phrenologists, li...

19TH Century History Of Science & Medicine

August 23, 2021

Chesapeake Bay Pirates & the 19th Century Oyster Wars

In Chesapeake Bay in the late 19th century, oyster harvesting was a big business. There were so many oyster harvesters harvesting so many oysters that the legislatures of Maryland and Virginia had to start regulating who coul...

19TH Century

August 16, 2021

Prohibition in the 1850s

Popular depictions of prohibition in the United States usually show the speakeasies, bootleggers, flappers, and bathtub gin of the Roaring Twenties, but earlier attempts at prohibition stretch back far into the 19th century. ...

19TH Century Food & Drink History

August 09, 2021

The Nativist Riots of Philadelphia in 1844

In May of 1844, growing tensions between nativists and Irish Catholic immigrants in Philadelphia erupted into violence in the streets of the Irish Catholic Kensington district, prompted in part by a disagreement over whether ...

19TH Century Riots

August 02, 2021

Elizabeth Packard

Elizabeth Packard was born in Massachusetts in 1816 into a comfortable home where her parents were able to provide for her education. She taught briefly at a girls’ school before at age 23 agreeing at her parents’ urging to m...

19TH Century Biographical History Women's History

June 28, 2021

Sophonisba Breckinridge

Sophonisba “Nisba” Preston Breckinridge, born April 1, 1866, was a woman of firsts. Breckinridge was the first woman admitted to the Kentucky bar to practice law in 1895; the first woman to earn a PhD in Political Science at ...

19TH Century 20TH Century Biographical History LGBTQIA+ History Women's History

June 21, 2021

Susie King Taylor

Susie King Taylor was born into slavery in Georgia in 1848. With the help of family members, she was educated and escaped, joining the Union army at the age of 14, to serve ostensibly as a laundress, but in reality as a nurse...

19TH Century 20TH Century Biographical History Black History Civil War Women's History