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Bidwell Lore – Barnabas’ Time In Canada

Welcome to week 32 of Bidwell Lore! This week we begin wrapping up Barnabas’ incredible story with two pieces written by Barnabas himself. Last week we shared the shocking story of Barnabas Bidwell’s political downfall.  It was a scandalous story in its day and resulted in Barnabas moving to Kingston, Ontario, where he lived until his death...

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Collections Focus – Portrait of Mary Gray Bidwell, Part III

Welcome to the final installment of our exploration of the portrait of Mary Gray Bidwell. If you have been following our Bidwell Lore series, you have come to know both Mary and her husband, Barnabas, and you can learn more about Mary and the entire Bidwell family here: https://www.bidwellhousemuseum.org/blog/. In the previous installments, we discussed...

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Collections Focus – Portrait of Mary Gray Bidwell, Part II

Welcome to the second installment of our exploration of the portrait of Mary Gray Bidwell. If you have been following our Bidwell Lore series, you have come to know both Mary and her husband, Barnabas, and you can learn more about Mary and the entire Bidwell family here: https://www.bidwellhousemuseum.org/blog/. In the last installment, we discussed...

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Bidwell Lore – Ultracrepidarianism, Slavery, and The Age of Enlightenment, Part III

Welcome to week 28 of Bidwell Lore! This week we finish the three-part series Ultracrepidarianism, Slavery, and The Age of Enlightenment.  Last week we also started a three-part series in our Friday email about the history of the Mary Gray Bidwell portrait we have used to illustrate many of these recent emails.  You can read part I of that series...

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Collections Focus – Portrait of Mary Gray Bidwell, Part I

If you have been following our Bidwell Lore series, you have come to know Mary Gray Bidwell. If you are not familiar with the series, you can check it out here to learn more about Mary and the entire Bidwell family: https://www.bidwellhousemuseum.org/blog/. Her image has appeared in several of the entries, written by Bidwell descendent...

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Bidwell Lore – Ultracrepidarianism, Slavery, and The Age of Enlightenment, Part II

Welcome to week 27 of Bidwell Lore! This week we continue the three-part series Ultracrepidarianism, Slavery, and The Age of Enlightenment. Congressman Barnabas Bidwell, often a dinner guest of President Thomas Jefferson, was one of two floor managers in the House of Representatives. As floor manager, he was often referred to by Federalists as “the sworn interpreter of executive...

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Bidwell Lore – Ultracrepidarianism, Slavery, and The Age of Enlightenment, Part I

Welcome to week 26 of Bidwell Lore! This week we begin a new three-part series, still in the world of Barnabas and Mary, titledUltracrepidarianism, Slavery, and The Age of Enlightenment. Thank you Rick Wilcox for all of your work writing these articles! Ultracrepidarianism: the habit of giving opinions and advice on matters outside of one’s knowledge. In my role...

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Bidwell Lore – Mary Bidwell in Saratoga

This week we are sharing a short story containing letters from Mary Gray Bidwell to Barnabas Bidwell that Mary wrote in July of 1803 when she traveled to Saratoga Springs. A possible reason for this journey to Saratoga Springs was that between 1786—when health officials first began recording mortality rates—and 1800, tuberculosis claimed 2 percent...

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Bidwell Lore: Love, Marriage, and Politics in the Early Republic, Part III

Welcome to week 24 of Bidwell Lore! We conclude our three-part series about Mary and Barnabas with some wonderfully illustrative letters between the two.  This correspondence gives you an idea of the type of person Mary was and hints at the great affection Barnabas and Mary felt for each other.  A February 26, 1805, letter from Mary includes:“We...

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