Hit and Run History is a WGBH web series guest-produced by local filmmakers. This series of biographies and shorts
tell the stories of the men involved in the Columbia Expedition—the first American voyage around the world.
Part One | The Medallion
In this prologue to the series, the crew tracks down the oldest and rarest of all American coins:
The Columbia and Washington Medal. It was minted inBoston in 1787 to commemorate
the first American voyage around the world. Today, less than 20 survive.
Part Two | The Herald: John Ledyard
The Hit and Run History crew find out how a Dartmouth College alumnus, former British Royal Marine under Captain James Cook,
and the first American travel writer, found himself involved in the Columbia Expedition—the first American voyage to circumnavigate the globe.
Part Three | The Architect: Charles Bulfinch
The crew of Hit and Run History hits the Massachusetts State House to reveal the role its designer
played in the Columbia Expedition.
Part Four | The Opportunist: Joseph Barrell
The crew of Hit and Run History heads down to the Outer Cape to learn about Joseph Barrell,
a grocer who made his fortune in the war and then seized upon the idea of global trade that his contemporary,
architect Charles Bulfinch, seeded in him.
Part Five | The Privateer: John Derby
John Derby hailed from a wealthy merchant family in Salem, Mass. He gained fame during the Revolution
for delivering news about the war across the Atlantic. The Hit and Run History crew tracks down how
Derby turned to the profitable service of raiding English shipping fleets as a privateer.
Part Six | The Blackbirder: Captain Crowell Hatch
This webisode of Hit and Run History takes on a more sinister tone as the crew reveals how Columbia Expedition investor,
Captain Crowell Hatch was deeply involved in the dehumanizing, but lucrative business of the slave trade.
Part Seven | The Refugee: Samuel Brown
Hit and Run History shows the tenacity it takes for historians to bring the past to light, as the
crew tirelessly hunts for details about the life of the elusive Samuel Brown, a merchant from Newport, Rhode Island,
and one of the many men involved in the Columbia Expedition—the first ship to circumnavigate the globe.
Part Eight | The Rover: Captain Robert Gray
The Hit and Run History crew roves across New England in search of Captain Robert Gray.
Although the Columbia Expedition is Gray's claim to fame, the Rhode Island native’s personal
history is murky. Following the end of slave trade in the Ocean State, Gray was chosen as
second-in-command for the first American voyage around the world.
A visit with Gray’s descendants in Massachusetts reveals the legacy they inherited --
and leads to a surprising discovery of artifacts of untold historical value.
Part Nine | The Prisoner: Joseph Ingraham
The crew of Hit and Run History heads to Boston to investigate a son of the North End: Joseph Ingraham.
Years before Ingraham was chosen as second officer of the ship Columbia, he experienced the Revolutionary War
firsthand, along with the Boston Massacre and Tea Party. On board the Massachusetts warship Protector,
he battled a British privateer, only to be captured the next year.
Part Ten | The Auction | The Columbia and Washington Medal
In this series finale, the crew attends the sale of this national treasure in Philadelphia.
In their signature "gumshoe historian” style, they head to the auction, interviewing experts
and stumbling upon clues to their story along the way.
Throughout this series finale, "Power Pop" legend Tommy Keene's
Places That Are Gone moves the action ahead to a thrilling finish.