D. E. Vitale


Our Fall issue leads off with another of Professor James Henretta's analytic biographies. In "The Enigma of Benedict Arnold" Professor Henretta describes Arnold as an ardent American Patriot--a military hero for both sides in the same war. Arnold's capture of Fort Ticonderoga, his assault against Quebec and his daring exploits in the battle of Saratoga are well documented.

So, what led Benedict Arnold down the traitor's path? Bottom line, says Professor Henretta: Arnold abused his position of authority and trust. No stranger to these pages, Henretta serves as Priscilla Alden Burke Professor of History at the University of Maryland (jh53@umail.umd.edu), and has written several books and articles on early American history.

Earlier this year Daniel Philippon sat down with Alan Taylor, winner of the 1996 Pulitzer Prize in history for his book "William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic." In this wide-ranging interview Philippon (djp2n@faraday.clas.virginia.edu), currently serving as the 1997-98 Sarah Shallenberger Brown Fellow at the University of Virginia, explores the genesis of Professor Taylor's book. The interview is a fascinating account of Professor Taylor's methods of researching and writing history, and provides aficionados of early America's history with invaluable insights. A rare look at one of America's important historians.

Linda Ruggles

Singing in early America's churches caused quite a stir, we learn in Linda Ruggles' detailed and informative paper. The problem was not singing per se but rather how a congregation sang: with music or without music. The controversy which reached a climax in the early part of the 18th century came to a successful resolution, though not until opposing sides had their say...and then some. It's all spelled out for us in glorious fashion in "The Regular Singing Controversy: The Case Against Lining Out. Author Ruggles offers us copious references, accompanied by pertinent documents.

Ruggles (motesm@mwr.kic.or.jp) is presently a Lecturer of History at the University of Maryland, Asian Division on Okinawa, Japan. A member of this program for four years, she teaches the U.S. history survey courses and upper level courses from the Colonial era through the Civil War. In addition, she teaches special topics course on the Puritans and the Salem witch trials. Her degrees are in music and history.

James Pierce
A translation of a German neoclassical poem-most likely the first of its kind to appear in North America--graces our pages, courtesy of author-educator James Pierce. As he points out in the notes accompanying his paper, Pierce came across a copy of the poem and was intrigued at the idea of unlocking its contents. Written in America in 1778 as part of a birthday celebration in honor of General Riedesel von Eisenbach, the poem utilizes the classical form pioneered by Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock. It describes the voyage of a regiment of German mercenaries across the Atlantic, their travels up the St. Lawrence and down Lake Champlain.

Pierce, (jpierce@sos.net) who teaches German at Skagit Valley College in Mt. Vernon, Washington, paints a colorful backdrop leading up to the poem itself, presented here side-by-side, both in its original German and the English translation.

Could an ordinary pair of eyeglasses alter history? Could such a commonplace appliance sooth and assuage a near-mutinous band of Continental Army officers into full compliance?

George L. Marshall, Jr.
That's the claim set forth in George L. Marshall, Jr.'s engrossing tale of the events surrounding what has come down to us as the Newburgh Address. Actually, there were two addresses, the first written as an anonymous letter calling for a meeting of the officers in the camp at Newburgh, New York. (To avoid confusion I have chosen to ignore a second unsigned letter, issued after the first) History documents the second address as the statement delivered by Washington to his officers in which his "spectacles" presumably played a pivotal role.

By now I suspect your appetite as been sufficiently whetted for what is by all odds an historical turning-point fashioned by the personal humanity of a great leader. Author Marshall (glmarshalljr@worldnet.att.net) is an adjunct faculty member of John C. Calhoun Community College in Huntsville, Alabama. A Research Physicist at the U.S. Army Missile Command, Redstone, Alabama, Marshall has published several historical articles in national journals.

Tom Jewett
Professor Tom Jewett continues his series on Thomas Jefferson begun in previous editions of The Review with a study of Jefferson's views on women. In his own words The Sage of Monticello tells us how he feels about such aspects as romance, sex, and feminine hygiene. As Professor Jewett (tjewett@siue.edu) cautions, Jefferson should be measured not by today's standards but by those of his own time and place.

Jewett is Assistant Professor at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. He has written over fifty articles, and is the author of five books on history and education.

The book review on "Slavery, Capitalism and Politics in the Antebellum Republic was written by Robert E. Wright (ALEXANDE@VM.TEMPLE.EDU), who currently teaches at Temple University and Peirce College in Philadelphia.

As we are wont to do at this stage of the proceedings, I ask that those of you who feel you have a manuscript of interest to our readers kindly send me a query regarding same. In every case, I promise a prompt response.

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