Plain English: What this Dissertation is All About

This is the first in a series of posts where I explain things in plain English without feeling obliged to sound like a professor, and without recourse to academic jargon to convey my meaning. It’s also my first attempt to explain what the hell my dissertation is about, a task that is not always as easy as you might think it should be.

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Day Log, 5-12-09

  • Worked about 3 hours in Livingston Papers, reading Box 82: James Wilkinson Affair – documents concerning Livingston’s involvement in the Wilkinson-Burr affair of 1806-07
  • Read about 100 pages of Jon Kukla’s A Wilderness So Immense
  • Started this blog

By the way, Lynne Cheney sat next to me in the Rare Books & Special Collections reading room all morning. I had a feeling it was her — then when I left I saw the dudes with shades and earpieces waiting outside. She was reading something related to James Madison. It did make me wonder if she’ll ever do something to top this.

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Purpose of this Blog

This is a blog dedicated to chronicling my progress, or lack thereof, on my PhD dissertation. It is called “Crescent City Confidential” because my dissertation is about New Orleans in the early years of the nineteenth century, and the changes that took place in the city as a result of being attached to the United States after 1803.

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