Saturday, December 15, 2007
Estimable History Blogs #2: Boston 1775
When I got the idea for series of posts pointing to excellent history blogs it was plan to save Boston 1775 for last, sort of a crowning post. But J.L. Bell's piece today, Fact-Checking the Huckabee Campaign, is too wonderful not to share. Alert readers may recall that only last month Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee claimed in a speech that "most of" the signers of Declaration of Independence were clergymen. You probably also read or heard that in fact only one of the signers was a clergymen. Bell goes much further than a simple debunking, examining the signers of the Constitution in search of clergymen. Bell's post is sort of a follow-up to an even better post on Mitt Romney's use of somewhat spurious story about the Continental Congress. This is historical fact-checking of a very high degree.
I am highly skeptical of history bloggers who drag politics into the mix, it usually results in predictably pompous and unreadable pieces (see the History News Network or Crooked Timber). But when a politician lobs one right into our court with a spurious historical argument we have a professional duty to set the facts straight.
I should hasten to add the Boston 1775 is rarely political in the modern sense. More typical is this delightful series of posts about comic books that portray revolutionary history, or this series about the eccentric Dr. John Jeffries: physician, Loyalist, aeronaut. What sets Bell's blog above the rest is the deep research that goes into every post. Enjoy.