The Free and Independent Republic of West Florida

And speaking of short-lived, mostly forgotten nations, as I believe we were, allow me to go back into my notes from our road trip in 2015, and dig up a story that never got the blog post it deserved. * The Free and Independent Republic of West Florida made the Free State of Fiume look…

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The Puckle Gun (Not to be Confused with Pickleball)

Recently My Own True Love and I were discussing machine guns over breakfast. (What, you’ve never discussed armaments over an omelet and an order of hash browns?) In the course of settling the question of whether the Gatling gun or the Maxim gun was the first machine gun,* we discovered an ancestor of the machine…

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Russia, Siberia, and the Fur Trade

And speaking of the fur trade, as I believe we were, the Russian fur trade did not begin in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest of North America. At the same time that French and British (and to a lesser extent, Dutch, and Swedish) fur traders were exploring the virgin forests of North America in the…

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