Fig. 5. Tom Tucker (left) and Jeff “Billy” Wilson—cowboys who worked for the Aztec Land & Cattle Company—were sucked into the vortex of 1886-87, when the People’s Party took control of Apache County. In 1888, one of Commodore Perry Owens’s deputies arrested Wilson, the Aztec cook, and turned him and two others over to a lynch mob. Tucker, who had been among those who sought to drive out Mormons, was shot in the chest in a Yavapai County range war in 1887. Among those who fired on him was James Tewksbury, who, two years earlier, had served as a spy for William Flake and the Apache County Stock Growers Association. Tucker survived and later converted to Mormonism. Photograph courtesy of the Arizona Historical Society, Tucson, Arizona.


Welcome to Commonplace, a destination for exploring and exchanging ideas about early American history and culture. A bit less formal than a scholarly journal, a bit more scholarly than a popular magazine, Commonplace speaks—and listens—to scholars, museum curators, teachers, hobbyists, and just about anyone interested in American history before 1900. It is for all sorts of people to read about all sorts of things relating to early American life—from architecture to literature, from politics to parlor manners. It’s a place to find insightful analysis of early American history as it is discussed in scholarly literature, as it manifests on the evening news, as it is curated in museums, big and small; as it is performed in documentary and dramatic films and as it shows up in everyday life.

In addition to critical evaluations of books and websites (Reviews) and poetic research and fiction (Creative Writing), our articles explore material and visual culture (Objects); pedagogy, the writing of literary scholarship, and the historian’s craft (Teach); and diverse aspects of America’s past and its many peoples (Learn). For more great content, check out our other projects, (Just Teach One) and (Just Teach One African American Print).


How to cite Commonplace articles:

Author, “Title of Article,” Commonplace: the journal of early American life, date accessed, URL.

Sophie White, “Trading Looks Race, Religion and Dress in French America,” Commonplace: the journal of early American life, accessed September 30, 2019, https://commonplace.online/article/trading-looks-race-religion-dress-french-america/


Joshua R. Greenberg, editor


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