“The Political Quadrille, Music by Dred Scott", 1860

The Man Who Came in Second

In 1860, John C. Breckinridge ran for president against Lincoln, and broke the Democrats in two.

black and white photograph of Fort Shaw Indian School girls basketball team,1904

World Beaters

In the early days of basketball, the girls from Fort Shaw Indian School took on all comers.

The awakened Buddha surrounded by lotus scrolls, Xiangtangshan

Worshipped, Plundered, and Digitized

It’s easy enough to wander through the Asian art wing of a large museum and skim over the fine print.

Barry Faulkner’s 1936 rendition of the Constitutional Convention

The First Dissenters

George Mason swore he would rather "chop off his right hand" than sign the Constitution.

David Livingstone, circa 1865.

Livingstone in a New Light

Long indecipherable letters, written in ink made from crushed seeds, are now readable through spectral imaging.

East African slaves aboard the Daphne, a British Royal Navy vessel

Gross Injustice

The slave trade by the numbers.

One of Odysseus’ sailors victimized by Scylla

“My Sejanus”

Rome's ruthless upstart was really a savvy insider, until fortune turned her back on him.


The Ubiquitous Book

The rise of America's culture of print.

La Virgen de Guadalupe

The United States of Mestizo

A term of conquest and miscegenation now describes a cosmopolitan identity and worldview.

Elise Lemire, author of Black Walden:Slavery and Its Aftermath in Concord, Mass

Black Walden

The neighborhood where Henry David Thoreau took shelter was home to Concord's "abandoned" slaves.