Monday, June 27, 2011

The Tea Party


This essay was published on Lapham’s Quarterly website under the title “The Tea Party Parties On” in July 2011.

The first populist tea party movement came in the form of colonial-themed dinners during the Centennial Celebration, marking the country’s hundredth birthday, in 1876. The festive gatherings featured the simple fare of the colonial period, quaintly described in an antiquated style of English. Such dinners would come into fashion again during the last decade of the nineteenth century. This time, however, they reflected a broader nostalgia for the colonial period in response to social forces shaping the country.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Let There Be Peace

Richmond, Virginia

In October 1883, one hundred and eighty-nine Union veterans in Newark, New Jersey  boarded a train heading for Richmond, where they would attend a banquet with veterans from both sides of the Civil war. When I discovered a menu from this dinner, oddly printed on a Confederate banknote, I became curious about this unusual reunion in the former capital of the Confederacy.