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indigoBrian McGinty

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Independence Day, 1861. The schooner S. J. Waring sets sail from New York on a routine voyage to South America. Seventeen days later, it limps back into New York’s frenzied harbor with the ship's black steward, William Tillman, at the helm. While the story…
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The Oatman massacre is among the most famous and dramatic captivity stories in the history of the Southwest. In this riveting account, Brian McGinty explores the background, development, and aftermath of the tragedy. Roys Oatman, a dissident Mormon, led his…

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In the early hours of May 6, 1856, the steamboat Effie Afton barreled into a pillar of the Rock Island Bridge—the first railroad bridge ever to span the Mississippi River. Soon after, the newly constructed vessel, crowded with passengers and livestock,…

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In April 1861, President Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus along the military line between Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. This allowed army officers to arrest and indefinitely detain persons who were interfering with military operations in…
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Mixing idealism with violence, abolitionist John Brown cut a wide swath across the United States before winding up in Virginia, where he led an attack on the U.S. armory and arsenal at Harpers Ferry. Supported by a “provisional army” of 21 men, Brown…
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In a meticulously researched and engagingly written narrative, Brian McGinty rescues the story of Abraham Lincoln and the Supreme Court from long and undeserved neglect, recounting the compelling history of the Civil War president's relations with the nation's…
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The sparkling wines of California rival the best French Champagnes today, but their place at our tables came about through careful craftsmanship that began more than a century ago. The predecessor of today’s California bubbly was Eclipse Champagne, the first…