18th Century

Benjamin Lay, the Quaker Comet

Benjamin Lay was a Quaker and a radical abolitionist who lived in the period between when the Religious Society of Friends began and when it started formally banning slave ownership among its members.

SYMHC Live: The New Harmony Utopias

We did a live show for the Indiana Historical Society about the town of New Harmony, Indiana in the window from 1815-1827. In that period, two different communal societies occupied the town, one right after the other. But one was far more successful.

Ferdinand and Barbara, Married Mad Royals

Despite ascending to power in a court filled with intrigue, juggling relations with Britain and France, and both likely having mental health conditions, the reign of Ferdinand VI of Spain and his wife Barbara was surprisingly stable.

General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas

General Dumas sounds like a character out of one of his son’s books. Because he pretty much was. His life is a series of dramatic and daring adventures, including an impressive rise up through the ranks of the French military.

The Regulator War

This episode was inspired by the TV series "Outlander." The Regulator War, aka the War of the Regulation, aka the Regulator Movement, was a North Carolina event which arose in response to unfair taxes, poor representation and corruption.

A Brief History of Ballet, Pt. 2

In the first part of this two-parter, we covered ballet’s origins and early evolution. We left off with the founding of the Academie Royale de Musique, and the ways Jean-Baptiste Lully worked to ensure that his academy had as much prestige as possible.  

SYMHC Live: Anne Royall

Today we've got our live show from our recent East Coast tour, all about Anne Royall. She was a travel writer and a muckraking journalist way before Theodore Roosevelt coined that term, at a time when there were very few women doing either of those jobs. 

Libertalia: Legendary Pirate Utopia

Libertalia, which, in truth, may be completely fictional, is called a pirate settlement, though the man who spearheaded it claimed he wasn't actually a pirate. And it was set up as a sort of utopia, where men governed themselves, and every man was equal.

The First Celebrity Chef: Marie-Antoine Carême

Today, there is an entire industry around celebrity chefs. But the first celebrity chef in the western world's history was born in late 18th-century France.

Elbridge Gerry’s Monstrous Salamander

Elbridge Gerry signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. Gerrymandering is the drawing of political districts to give a particular party or group an advantage or disadvantage, and it's named after him.