When Americans Feared an Invasion From Their Northern Border

In the Late 19th Century, the French Canadians Who Came to Work in Cotton Mills Were Treated as ‘Pawns in a Catholic Plot’

In 1893, Clare de Graffenried, special agent of the United States Department of Labor, published an article in The Forum describing an invasion of America’s northeastern border. For 30 years, Graffenreid observed, hundreds of thousands of French Canadians had been pouring into states like Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, finding work in the region’s burgeoning industries. “Manufacturing New England, Puritan and homogeneous no longer, speaks a French patois,” she wrote.

Furthermore, Graffenreid continued, French Canadian workers huddled in “Little Canadas” of “hastily-constructed tenements,” in houses holding from …

How Did 19th-Century Axe Murderer Lizzie Borden Become a Household Name? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Did 19th-Century Ax Murderer Lizzie Borden Become a Household Name?

The Wealthy Yankee’s Brutal Crime Went Unpunished, Infuriating an Increasingly Diverse and Egalitarian Public

The Lizzie Borden murder case abides as one of the most famous in American criminal history. New England’s crime of the Gilded Age, its seeming senselessness captivated the national …

Why Has America Been So Reluctant to ‘Own’ the South?

A Preeminent Historian Explores How a Region Central to U.S. Identity Gets Written Out of the National Narrative

James C. Cobb is Emeritus B. Phinizy Spalding distinguished professor in the history of the American South at the University of Georgia. He has published 13 books and many articles …

What One New England Tree Can Tell Us About the Earth’s Future

By Studying a Single Massachusetts Oak, I Recorded How Climate Change Is Confusing Nature

Trees are up to more than we think. Belying their image as mute, unmoving, and solitary, trees are not just standing there. They move. Breathe. Communicate. Politically astute and nimbly …

Like Maple Syrup, Vermont’s Identity Is Complex and Messy

My Research on "Sugaring" Connects Me With Stories of a Rustic, Self-Reliant State

When people all over the country think of Vermont, they think of maple. No matter the reasons that people come here—skiing and leaf-peeping are two—they often take some Vermont home, …

What Leaf Peeping in New England Taught Me About the Meaning of Autumn

Trees Don't Really Turn Colors, and Fall Signifies New Life, Not Death

The migration north happens every fall. Just as the V-formations of Canada geese head south, flocks, groves, and busloads of “leaf peepers” head to northern New England from all over …