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The Stories in the Objects

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Polk's America
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Episode Highlights Sharing curated moments from selected episodes to showcase the talents and expertise of our presenters and special guests. Polk's America
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Host Thomas Samuel and curator Candice Candeto speak to the ways in which everyday objects and people teach us about our history.
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So why does a furniture shop from the 18 hundreds matter? What does it tell us about pokes America? Well, like Candice Candida, we must look closely at the chest of drawers or the table. We must look for the stories in the objects for the hands that built it. Way often measure history by political events, wars, panics, revolutions. But for most of us, our history is measured by personal events, the birth of a child and illness, a career change. Such was the case for the shop of Robert Stewart and those who labored there. And in a way, an intimate history like Robert Stewart's is a more relatable history because it finds the humanity that it's so often lost when tackling the big ideas and personas in American history on I think that this is an important reminder for us and really for me, since I now spend my days interpreting in the United States president that as much as we can learn about America broadly by looking at figures like James K. Polk, there's also a lot that we can learn about pokes America by looking at the individuals who historians are just now beginning to get to know men and women from all different backgrounds who, like Robert Stewart, lived relatively ordinary lives but ones which have so much to teach us about their times. And that's really why we do this. Siri's this pokes America thing that we gather every month to dio, which you know, to an extent it's to zoom out and also to zoom in tow. Look at James K. Polk swirled from every possible angle, and by doing that to get to know the 11th president a little better by getting to know his world.