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October 2, 2003

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On-line journal Common-place publishes October issue

Worcester, MA--The awarding-winning on-line journal Common-place launches a new issue today, with essays, reviews, and investigations that examine America's past from a variety of angles. Topics range from pirates and wolves to poets and murder, and cover the corners of pre-twentieth century United States history from early American taverns to the South Jersey countryside.

In "The Sea in Me Blood," Common-place co-editor Jill Lepore takes a humorous look at the popularity of pirates and even shares her pirate name with readers, while Jon Coleman in "Terms of Dismemberment" tracks down the practice and symbolism of wolf decapitation in early New England. Robert Gross penetrates the nineteenth-century social and religious spheres of "the quintessential New England town" of Concord, Massachusetts, in his "Commemorating Concord," and James Cook explores the complex commercial and social interactions between blacks and whites in dance halls in the Five Points neighborhood of antebellum New York City. In the Common-place columns, "Tales of the Vault" highlights the building of relationships between a researcher and the staff of a local historical society, while in "Ask the Author" Thomas Slaughter shares his thoughts on the journals of Lewis and Clark. "Object Lessons" focuses on portraitist Sarah Goodridge and her provocative self-portraits, including one given to Daniel Webster of her breasts. The popular feature "Vox Pop" presents a review of the new PBS series History Detectives. Other reviews in this issue of Common-place include subjects of clothing, taverns, a strange murder, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and the Louisiana Purchase, the 200th anniversary of which is this year.

About Common-place

The web journal aims to provide "a common place for exploring and exchanging ideas about early American history and culture," said co-editor Jill Lepore. "A bit friendlier than a scholarly journal, a bit more scholarly than a popular magazine, Common-place speaks ñ and listens ñ to scholars, museum curators, teachers, hobbyists, and just about anyone interested in American history before 1900." The first issue of Common-place was published on the Internet in the fall of 2000.

About the American Antiquarian Society

AAS is a learned society and independent research library, specializing in all aspects of American history and culture through 1876. Founded in 1812 by the patriot printer and publisher Isaiah Thomas, AAS is the third oldest historical organization in the United States and the first to take the whole nation as its scope. The AAS library is the preeminent repository of pre-twentieth-century American printed materials and related manuscript and graphic arts materials in the world. The Society also sponsors an array of programs to encourage the use of its collections and to foster a greater understanding of American history. The main office for Common-place is at AAS, 185 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609-1634; telephone (508) 755-5221.

About the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

GLI promotes the study of the American past by organizing seminars and enrichment programs for teachers; supporting and producing publications and national traveling exhibitions; creating innovative history high schools, history programs, and Saturday academies; establishing research centers at universities and cultural institutions; granting and administering a major fellowship program for work in leading archives; and seeking to build national and international networks of people and institutions involved in American history.

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