This Week in Louisiana History

On Aug. 22, 1787, U.S. General James Wilkinson, the man who, along with William C.C. Claiborne, received Louisiana from the French, signed a document transferring his loyalty to Spain. He led a double life for decades after, being paid by the Spanish for information while promoting himself within the emerging U.S. military and political establishment to become the ranking general. By making himself indispensable to his superiors with a combination of charm, diplomacy and deceit, Wilkinson rose to the rank of general at the age of 20 during the Revolutionary War. He left military life in 1781 and moved … Continue reading →

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Leading a double life and coding

Posted on August 22, 2014 by Molly Manson

The article in “This Week in Louisiana History” for Aug. 22 is about James Wilkinson, a U.S. general who was also being paid by Spain for information in the decades following the Revolutionary War. He probably didn't consider himself a spy. In his mind, he was likely just exploiting a lucrative revenue stream. Nevertheless, he took an oath of allegiance to the Spanish crown which he never repudiated, even though he became the highest ranking U.S. general.

Can your students find people in the news today who could possibly be leading a double life? Have them find someone whose … Continue reading →

Tragedy and Rescue: then and now – is there that much difference?

Posted on August 22, 2014 by Molly Manson

The Last Island hurricane of 1856 was a tragedy that could have been avoided if people were better able to predict the weather in the 19th century.

In addition to weather prediction, we take so much for granted in the 21st century: instant communication around the globe, ease of travel over long distances and availability of information on any subject at the click of a mouse. Yet, tragedy still strikes and the human toll is heavy. Despite the great advances we have made since 1856, the survivors of the Last Island hurricane received transportation from their scene of destruction … Continue reading →


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