• The New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811

    New Madrid, Missouri was at the back end of nowhere.  It was technically a respectably sized town on the Mississippi River between St. Louis and Natchez, but this was not a great achievement.  In 1811, the population was about 1,000 people made up of farmers, fur traders and pioneers supplemented by French Creoles and Native Americans traveling on the great river.  However, the events there beginning in 1811 shook the world.  Literally. Related posts: The Tornado that created the Mayo Clinic The State of Franklin Daniel Boone The Great Fire of 1910

  • Three Flags Day

    The Louisiana Purchase was a big deal.  (Read more about the ins and outs of it in this post:  http://www.historynaked.com/the-louisiana-purchase/)  It was a great deal for the United States, but it was somewhat of an administrative nightmare.  The territory being turned over was huge.  Also, it technically belonged to the French as part of a secret treaty with the Spanish in 1769.  However, since the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso was secret, Spain still administered the territory to keep up appearances.  Confused yet?  So were a lot of other people.  Many of the Spanish officials didn’t know they were working for the French until it came time to turn things…

  • The Legend of the Bell Witch

    This might be the most famous supernatural story in the history the United States.  It is definitely the most famous haunting in the state of Tennessee.  The story was so famous, it caught the attention of Andrew Jackson when he lived in the state.  The legend of the Bell Witch is over a hundred years old and has taken on a life of it’s own, with a Bell Witch Fest and Tours of the cabin and cave.  So what is the story? Like many other people in the early 1800s, John Bell and his family moved west to the lush land of Tennessee.  They settled in the bottom land around…

  • The Spanish Conspiracy

    The beginnings of the United States of America were not as cut and dried as our high school history textbooks would like us to believe.  We did not declare independence from Great Britain then happily stand shoulder to shoulder to enforce manifest destiny and grow the country from sea to shining sea.  There were a lot of tipping points where the fate of the country could have been changed from the actions of greedy men.  The Spanish conspiracy was one of those tipping points. In the 1780’s the revolution was over, but the country was still in a state of flux.  People pushed west into Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee from…

  • The Election of 1800

    So my son asked me last night what happens if the presidential election ends up in a tie.  Putting on my historian’s hat, I began to tell him about the Election of 1800.  That led into a discussion of the Electoral College, and if you ever have to try to describe that to a ten year old, good luck.  His sole comment was, “Mom, that’s stupid.”  I had nothing.  Anyway, back to the election of 1800. The level of bitter partisan fighting and dirty tricks in the election of 1800 made modern politics look like a Sunday School picnic.  It was only the fourth presidential election in the new country’s…