Episode 28 – Childhood in America

Freake-Gibbs Painter, Elizabeth Clarke Freake (Mrs. John Freake) and Baby Mary, 1671–1674, oil on canvas, Worcester Art Museum, 1963.134

Did you know celebrating a child’s birthday, telling children stories about pirates and fairies, and entire industries focused on children (i.e. Disney) would have been unthinkable in the 18th and much of the 19th centuries? Childhood, as we understand it today, is a fairly recent invention. Join us as we discuss Puritans, the Devil, agricultural work, factories, labor unions, and motherhood in this episode!


The First Thanksgiving – Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Join Hilary and Geoff as they discuss the origin of Thanksgiving, how it has changed over the last 400 years, and how it has be reconfigured as a secular/public holiday in the United States. We also delve into how the idea of Thanksgiving can over-simplify and white-wash Anglo-Indian relations in the 17th century.

PS – We also discuss out favorite Thanksgiving dishes.