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Connecticut has played a uniquely important role in the creation of United States culture. Because we were one of the first colonies, and because we sent so many sons and daughters to be the seed stock of other states, Connecticut’s story is truly, and deeply, the American story in every way. As Connecticut’s State Historian from 2004 to 2022, I was honored to play a part in keeping our past alive and vital.  In retirement, and as state historian emeritus, I hope to continue, in a more relaxed and personal way, sharing my love and appreciation for this wonderful state and its history.

I am especially grateful for  the generous support of the Sue B. Hart Foundation, which has made so much of my work possible.


RSS Grating the Nutmeg Podcast

  • 178. Mark Twain, Spiritualism and Ghost Stories December 1, 2023
        Did you ever think the universe was trying to tell you something? I just finished reading Anderson Cooper’s book on the Vanderbilt family. In it, he describes family patriarch Commodore Vanderbilt’s interest in Spiritualism and clairvoyance. Cooper writes “Evidence suggests that the Commodore had begun attending seances as early as 1864, but given […]
  • 177. Murder on Prospect Street November 15, 2023
    In this episode of Grating the Nutmeg, Natalie Belanger sits down with acclaimed crime writer M. William Phelps to get to the bottom of a notorious early 20th century Connecticut murder story. In the 1910s, Amy Archer Gilligan operated an innovative business in Windsor: a convalescent home for the ill and elderly. Her benevolent facade, however, hid a deadly […]