Let's try the experiment

Why this blog? Thanks to the generosity of the Library Company of Philadelphia and the American Antiquarian Society I have completed a great deal of research on a social history I am writing of the U.S. transportation revolution. Now I am sifting through everything and trying to make sense of it all. I am proud to be employed as a historian in the federal government, but doing so has left me somewhat disconnected from the larger community of scholars studying the early nineteenth century, since that is not our office's area of focus. Therefore, I'm hoping that this blog will help me audition some ideas for my scholarly writing and (hopefully) get some feedback as well, as well as be a home for some more general commentary about the state of the history of antebellum America. I'm not exactly sure how this is going to happen, thus the Annales-inspired title to this post. If it works, great! If not, well, at least I tried.

Posting will probably be slow initially as I get my bearings and determine the direction I want things to go. But the purpose of this venue is feedback, so please leave comments on the research I'm presenting or whatever else strikes your fancy.

The title of the blog comes from the title of a mixtape given to me in college by a friend; I hope he doesn't mind that I'm reusing it here, because I have always loved the play on words.