18th Century

Hercules Mulligan, Spy on the Inside Pt. 2

After years of protesting and resisting British rule in New York, Mulligan passed important information on to George Washington, possibly saving his life. How did that one-time act of happenstance blossomed into a career as a full-time spy?

Hercules Mulligan, Spy on the Inside Pt. 1

Hercules Mulligan was indeed a real person who passed intelligence to George Washington, mostly through two means - one was an enslaved man named Cato, and the other was the Culper Spy Ring.

The Shared Sign Language of Martha's Vineyard

By the early 18th century, it was not uncommon for people in Martha's Vineyard to be deaf from birth. This had a profound effect on the culture of Martha's Vineyard - and one that went on to influence Deaf culture in the United States as a whole.

The Tupac Amaru Rebellion

The Tupac Amaru rebellion was a conflict between Spain and its colonies in South America which took place from 1780 to 1783.

The Whiskey Rebellion

Resistance to excise taxes levied against U.S. whiskey distilleries in the 1790s led to violence and rebellion. Tensions finally came to a head on Christmas day in 1794. Read the show notes here.

St. Clair's Defeat, or the Battle of a Thousand Slain

In 1791, a confederation of Native American tribes destroyed about half of the American army. The catalyst for that conflict was a lengthy period in which unfair treaties, biased against native peoples, were all too common.

The Black Hole of Calcutta

In 1756, after a skirmish between the British East India Company and the nawab of Bengal, dozens of captives were put into a holding cell intended for only a few people overnight. Most of them didn't make it out alive.

The Battle of Guilford Courthouse

In 1781, British forces shifted their efforts in the American Revolutionary War to the southern states. Major General Nathaniel Greene and his troops went up against Charles Cornwallis in a battle that was won on a technicality.

The Amazons of Dahomey

The kingdom of Dahomey may have had the world's first full-time, all-female combat fighting force. How did these women rise to become some of history's fiercest warriors, and what happened to them?

Dahomey and the Royal Palaces of Abomey

The Royal Palaces of Abomey are a series of earthen palaces in what is now Benin. The complex is culturally and historically important to West Africa, but the source of much of the wealth that built those palaces was the Atlantic slave trade. Read the show notes here.