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Archive for July, 2005

28 July

Benedict Arnold


Benedict Arnold was born on January 14, 1741. He was a general in the Continental Army who defected towards the British side during the American Revolutionary War. In the Continental Army he became well known for successful campaigns, but slowly he became dissatisfied. It began with what he felt was too little recognition for his participation during the raid of Fort Ticonderoga. Five years after Ticonderoga in 1780 he conspired with the British to take control of the fort at West Point in New York. Luckily Benedict’s plan failed. If successful in the raid, the British would have split the colonies in half with their control over the Hudson River. Benedict avoided immediate capture by the Continental Army. After his escape he joined the British Army and after some time became a general. In America his name is synonymous with traitor.

Thanks to Iain C. for his comments on the show!

I have changed the name of the mp3 file so it will more easily read in the small ipod window.



A Letter to the Inhabitants of America

Green Mountain Boys

Committee of Safety

Traitor: The Case of Benedict Arnold (Unforgettable Americans)

Benedict Arnold, Revolutionary Hero: An American Warrior Reconsidered

Dark Eagle : A Novel of Benedict Arnold and the American Revolution

Benedict Arnold: Misunderstood Hero?

Benedict Arnold: A Traitor in Our Midst

Read more…

21 July

Prince Henry of Portugal vs. Zheng He

Zheng He

Prince Henry of Portugul is know as ‘Henry the Navigator’, but why? Why not Zheng He? Zheng who? Exactly! He is listed as the 14th most important person in the last 1,000 years by Life magazine. Zheng He was a Chinese mariner and explorer. He made the voyages collectively known as “Zheng He to the Western Ocean’. Known more for being a eunuch (castrated male) then his spectacular voyages.

UPDATE: Tom sent an interesting article that challenges the ideas brought fourth by Gavin Menzies in 1421: The Year China Discovered America (see article information below). Robert Finlay asserts that: “It is impossible to keep track of how many self-confirming assumptions are at work in such citations of alleged evidence. Piling supposition upon supposition, Menzies never considers a question that he does not beg: every argument in 1421 springs from the fallacy of petitio principii. The author’s “trail of evidence” is actually a feedback loop that makes no distinction between premise and proof, conjecture and confirmation, bizarre guess and proven fact.”

Journal of World History, Volume 15, 2004
Finlay, Robert, How Not to (Re)Write World History: Gavin Menzies and the Chinese Discovery of America



Personalities & Problems: Interpretive Essays in World Civilization, Vol II

When China Ruled the Seas: The Treasure Fleet of the Dragon Throne, 1405-1433

Survey Ocean Shores (Hakluyt Society S.)

Henry the Navigator: The Story of a Great Prince and His Times

1421 : The Year China Discovered America (historical facts questionable)

History related podcast:

  Read more…

14 July
07 July

The Floating Whorehouse

History of Contraception

Civil War-era cartoon. “History of Contraception”, Case University.

Hope you enjoy this latest HistoryPodcast. Thank you Steve K. for your email with great suggestions! There were no links that I could find for this event. If anyone knows of anything that is online about The Floating Whorehouse please email me. Thanks!



The Brassey’s Book of Naval Blunders (Blunders Series)


More information online:

The Curious Case of Nashville’s Frail Sisterhood