The May/June issue of American Spirit allowed us to get a little crafty … with scrapbooks. Carrie Wakeford designed a beautiful layout to spotlight smart, simple ways to compile an archival-quality scrapbook. Carrie’s creative take on preserving family history meant that, for a few days, Hammock’s library was covered with buttons, bits of wallpaper, colored paper, stickers and other scraps. Savvy readers will be able to pick out her clever use of childhood photos of editor Bill Hudgins.
And what would a family scrapbook be without those faded photos of Aunt Norma and Uncle David posing in their Sunday best? Our cover story, “Treasure Hunt,” outlines new resources to track down family photographs. Thanks to digital collections at libraries and historical societies and Web sites devoted to genealogy, it’s easier than ever to find photographs of long-lost relatives on your family tree–and we show you how.

Since we started publishing American Spirit for the Daughters of the American Revolution, we’re definitely scoring a little higher on American history trivia quizzes. But just when we thought we knew everything about our founding fathers, Hammock staff writers reveal little-known facets to the patriots’ personalities.
In his feature, Bill explores George Washington’s entrepreneurial side at his rebuilt distillery, which was one of the largest distilling operations in the country at the time. Built in 1798 at Mount Vernon, it was reconstructed in 2007 on the site of the original structure and now gives visitors a look at the 18th-century process of distilling.
And Emily McMackin explains how the Renaissance man Ben Franklin brought the idea for the first magazine to America. Inspired by British periodicals that emphasized artful writing over the day-to-day reporting of newspapers, Franklin planned to raise the quality of Colonial publications with this new brand of journalism. Though his General Magazine didn’t last long, the competition spurred a magazine industry that continues to thrive today. At Hammock, naturally.