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Books: Zeitgeist

On this page we offer works on the historical and social context that go to make up the zeitgeist (spirit of the age). These publications focus on art, archeology, historical and social research.

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'They Were Good Soldiers'
by John U Rees

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The role of African-Americans, most free but some enslaved, in the regiments of the Continental Army is not well-known, neither is the fact that relatively large numbers served in southern regiments and that the greatest number served alongside their white comrades in integrated units.

The book begins by discussing for comparison inclusion and treatment of black Americans by the various Crown forces (particularly British and Loyalist commanders and military units). The next section discusses broadly black soldiers in the Continental Army, before delving into each state. Each state's section first looks at the Continental regiments in that state's contingent throughout the war, and then adds interesting black soldiers pension narratives or portions thereof. The premise is to leave the reader with some insights into the common soldiers' wartime experiences. The book ends with a look into what African-American veterans experienced post-war in their communities and home states.

There have been no other book-length works that deal with the wartime experiences of black Continental soldiers in detail; additionally, the use of pension narratives of black soldiers to gain personal data and `hear' them tell their own stories is relatively new, and compelling.

210 pp.

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Journal of the Early Americas

35-55 pages, full color.

This award winning magazine ran from 2010-2014 covering America from 1521 to 1848. In 2011 The Journal of Early Americas was given the prestigous, Library Journal Best Magazines aword. Each issue is filled with well layed out, full color illustrations in an easy to read format with well researched articles written by many noteworth authors. The Journal of the Early Americas was a family owned and operated magazine of the Criswell and Tesdahl families of Colorado. Originally from Indiana, the Criswell side of the family have been involved with historic re-enactment since 1974. The Tesdahls are from Iowa and have been near the heart of historic re-enactment since 1990. The family is a well educated bunch, including a university history professor, a graphics design professional but know the comunity and how to write in an easy way with articles and book reviews of interest to re-enactors and historians alike.

Journal of the Early America's complete set is now quite difficult to obtain. These issues are the last of the back issues all sold for $5 each regardless of availability. Some of these issues we have a relatively small amount in stock-so don't wait.

$5.00-$8.00 $5.00 each

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Journal of the Early Americas Volume IV Issue I book cover

The Battle for the Fourteenth Colony

America's War of Liberation in Canada 1774-1776
by Mark R. Anderson

This is the first full treatment of the attempted Canadian liberation in nearly a century. This book is thoroughly researched and action packed examining the American colonies' campaign to bring Quebec into the Continental confederation and free the Canadians from British tyranny.

Hardcover, 437 pp, 6 1/2" x 9 1/2",
$35.00 On sale now for only $17.50

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The Battle for the Fourteenth Colony: America's War of Liberation in Canada 1774-1776 by Mark R. Andersonbook cover
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A Modest Collection of Traditional Songs of the Colonial Period
by M. Richard Tully

This book contains 70 songs with a historical note about each. Made with both beginners and experts in mind anyone may pick up the book and begin at their own level. The songs were arranged to be easy to play on flute, whistle, or guitar. An appendices discusses guitar, flute, pipe, tabor, violin and other appropriate instruments of the period.

165 pp.

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Chapbooks or Small Books

Small books were the first cheep paperbacks sold on the streets. They were sold as a single piece of paper and cut and stitched by the customer. Usually these pamphlets were printed without date or author. Because of this dating originals are based on sales records or the years publishers were in business. These are museum quality reproductions printed on white water marked paper and hand stitched with linen thread. Very careful editing is done to ensure strict retention of all original spelling including the long s.

Small books may be a very useful interpretive tool. Often they were read aloud in taverns and coffee shops. Sometimes several were brought to a professional book binder and made into one volume. Thousands were published throughout Europe and imported to the colonies.


The Poor Unhappy Transported Felon's
Sorrowful Account of His Fourteen Years Transportation at Virginia, in-America.

Anonymous c. 1760s

This story describes the life of a young apprentice born in London who falls into bad company and finds himself being sold along with slaves to work on a plantation in Virginia. The entire story is written in rhyme that could be set to music and sung as a ballad. As an interpretive tool much may be learned about the slave trade, clothing, and the life of the laboring poor. Several original copies of this book are held in collections both public and private.

Dimensions: 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
8 pp.

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