Tag Archives: nineteenth century

Selling Vegetarianism

There’s a lot more to vegetarianism than meets the eye. In this episode, Averill, Sarah, and Tommy talk turkey – or, maybe tofurkey? – and graham crackers, the corpses of baby fawns, and the Beef-Steak Chapel. Listen, learn, and laugh with us today on the History Buffs Podcast.

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Show Notes & Further Reading

Berry, Ryan. “From cowherd to cornflakes: the religious roots of modern vegetarianism” Animals’ Agenda v18 i6 Nov 1998.

Collingham, Lizzie Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors. Oxford, UK: University of Oxford Press, 2006.

Johnson, James. The influence of tropical climates on European constitutions, including practical observations on the nature and treatment of the diseases of Europeans on their return from tropical climates. London, UK: Callow Medical Book Seller, 1815.

Maurer, Donna. Vegetarianism: Movement or Moment: Promoting a LIfestyle for Cult Change. Philadelphia: Temple U Press, 2010.

Marranca, Richard. “Vegging out with Kung Fu and Star Trek.” Vegetarian Journal i4 2007.

Sinha, Mrinalini. Colonial Masculinity: The ‘Manly Englishman’ and the’ Effeminate Bengali’ in the Late Nineteenth Century. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1995.

Streets, Heather. Martial Races: the Military, Race and Masculinity in British Imperial Culture, 1857-1914 (Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2004), 19.

Whorton, James C. “Historical Development of Vegetarianism.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1994.

Global Nineteenth-Century Revolutions

During seventeen tumultuous years in the mid-19th century, it seemed like the whole world was in chaos. Revolution broke out in Europe, South Asia, East Asia, and the United States. What was going on? Katie, Dan, and Tommy investigate.


Show Notes and Further Reading

Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Civil War Isn’t Tragic,” The Atlantic, April 26, 2011

Christopher Hibbert, The Great Mutiny (1978)

Thomas R. Metcalf, The Aftermath of Revolt (1964)

Jürgen Osterhammel, The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century.  Trans. Patrick Camiller (2014)

Feature images, clockwise from top: Suppression of the Taiping RebellionViennese students during the 1848 revolutionThe British Lion’s Vengeance on the Bengal TigerBombardment of Fort Sumter.  All works in the Public Domain.

The Rural Cemetery Movement

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Does your city have a big, sprawling cemetery – maybe one with ornate Victorian monuments and statuary? If it does, it was likely built during the rural cemetery movement of the early to mid nineteenth century, an effort to move places of burial away from the center of villages and to the park-like settings on the outskirts. What spurred this move? Join Elizabeth and Sarah as they talk grave iconography, disease epidemics, the commodification of death, and ‘rural’ cemeteries.

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Show Notes & Further Reading

Bender, Thomas. “The ‘Rural’ Cemetery Movement: Urban Travail and the Appeal of Nature,” The New England Quarterly 47 (June 1974).

Greenfield, Rebecca. “Our First Public Parks: The Forgotten History of Cemeteries,” The Atlantic, March 16, 2011.

Schantz, Mark. Awaiting the Heavenly Country: The Civil War and America’s Culture of Death. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2008.

Williams, Tate. “In the Garden Cemetery: The Revival of America’s First Urban Parks,” American Forests, Spring/Summer 2014.



Poor Relief in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Not long ago, a story in the University at Buffalo student newspaper caught our attention: during construction work on a portion of campus, workers came across some human bones. And then a few more bones… and then even more. In all, the UB archeologists and anthropologists uncovered 380 bodies, and estimate that something like 2000 may remain beneath the soil. It turns out that this part of the campus once housed the Erie County Poorhouse, also called the Erie County Almshouse. These bodies belonged to inmates of the poorhouse, who had died while living in this institution for impoverished members of the Buffalo area. This got us thinking: what were poorhouses like? What options existed for a person who was down on his or her luck in the past? Join Averill, Sarah, and Marissa as they discuss the history of poor relief in the United States and Great Britain in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.


“Please sir, I want some more!” | From The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby & The Adventures of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, London : Chapman and Hall, [1875?]

Show Notes and Further Reading 

Alice Harper’s story came from Minutes of the Overseers of the Poor of the City of Philadelphia, June 30, 1768, Philadelphia City Archives.

An Introduction to South Campus

Bones Found in UB South Campus Excavations Reveal History of the Land

Begin the Development of University Heights, Get a Street Named After You

Daily Occurence Dockets, taken from the following volumes: March 29, 1794 – September 28, 1795 and September 1790 to March 1792, Philadelphia City Archives

Dickens, Charles. Oliver Twist1839.

Erie County Almshouse & County Hospital

History of South Campus, University at Buffalo

Historical Background: Poor Law and Charity, London Lives 1690-1800

Katz, Michael. In the Shadow of the Poorhouse: A Social History of Welfare in America. New York: Basic Books, 1996.

On UB campus, stories from old almshouse are pieced together from the bones left behind, The Buffalo News 

Over the Hill to the Poorhouse

Polanski, Roman, et al. Oliver Twist. Culver City, Calif: Sony Pictures Entertainment, 2005.

The Poor DeadArt Voice

Wagner, David. Poor Relief and the Almshouse

Wagner, David. The Poorhouse: America’s Forgotten Institution. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2005.

Jewett, Sarah Orne. “The Flight of Betsey Lane.

Erie County, NY Poorhouse History

Feature Image: “Erie County Almshouse.” | Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library / New York Public Library Digital Collections.

Music: “Heart and Mind,” by Kai Engel | Free Music Archive.

A History (and Food!) Buffs Thanksgiving

All of us probably have a really clear image of Thanksgiving dinner: the roasted turkey, the savory stuffing, the cranberry sauce (or can-shaped cranberry log), and of course, the sweet, flaky pies. But even though this has become the standard menu of this traditional American feast,  it doesn’t really have a lot in common with the first Thanksgiving that took place in the fall of 1621.

E. Stuart Hardy | Public domain/ Wikimedia Commons

E. Stuart Hardy | Public domain/ Wikimedia Commons

How about swapping out that lovely bread stuffing for, say, cornmeal porridge? Or the pumpkin pie for some wild nuts and blueberries? Averill, Sarah and Tommy discuss the history of feasting, the food served at the first Thanksgiving, and how we got the turkey-centric meal we love today.

Sarah Josepha Hale. Painted by James Reid Lambdin (1807-1889) | Public domain/ Wikimedia Commons

Sarah Josepha Hale, painted by James Reid Lambdin (1807-1889) | Public domain/ Wikimedia Commons


Show Notes & Further Reading: 

The First Thanksgiving:

Barter, Judith A., et al. Art and Appetite: American Painting, Culture, and Cuisine. Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 2013.

Gambino, Megan. “What Was on the Menu at the First Thanksgiving?” Smithsonian Magazine. November 21, 2011.

Hale, Sarah Josepha. Northwood: A Tale of New England. Boston: Bowles & Dearborne, 1827.

Hodgson, Godfrey. A Great & Godly Adventure: The Pilgrims & the Myth of the First Thanksgiving. New York: PublicAffairs, 2006

Moniz, Amanda. “A short course on the history of Thanksgiving foods.” The Washington Post, November 22, 2013

Prendergast, Neil.  “Raising the Thanksgiving Turkey: Agroecology, Gender, and the Knowledge of Nature,” Environmental History, Vol. 16, No. 4 (October 2011), pp. 651-677.

Philbrick, Nathan. Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War. New York: Penguin Group, 2006.

Stavely, Keith & Kathleen Fitzgerald. America’s Founding Foods: The Story of New England Cooking. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

Wills, Anne Blue. “Pilgrims and Progress: How Magazines Made Thanksgiving,” Church History, Vol. 72, No. 1 (Mar., 2003), pp. 138-158.

For some old cookbooks:

Adams, Adrienne. A Fifteenth Century Cookry Boke. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1962.

Scappi, Bartolomeo. The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi (1570): L’arte et prudenza d’un maestro Cuoco (The Art and Craft of a Master Cook). Translated by Terence Scully. Buffalo, NY: University of Toronto Press, 2008. First published 1570 by Scappi. Digital file.

Works on feasting:

Albala, Ken. The Banquet. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2007.

Elias, Norbert. The History of Manners. Translated by Edmund Jephcott. New York: Pantheon Books, 1982

Freedman, Paul. Food The History of Taste. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2007

Feature Image: Jennie A. Brownscombe, The First Thanksgiving (1914) | Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons