“The Long, Wicked War”—Regimental Histories from the American Civil War Collection, 1860-1922

Many of the documents in the October release of The American Civil War Collection, 1860-1922: From the American Antiquarian Society are histories of specific regiments. Some contain registers naming each member of the regiment. Others include photographs of their officers. But they all have unique perspectives and descriptions of their regiment’s particular “tramps and triumphs.”  

Testimonial to Col. Rush C. Hawkins, Ninth Regiment N.Y.V. (1863)

At a ceremony honoring Col. Rush Christopher Hawkins and the Ninth Regiment of New York Volunteers, also known as “Hawkins’ Zouaves,” Charles P. Kirkland contextualized the gravity of the Civil War. He considered it not only “a contest for a nation’s life” but also a “contest for the very existence of Republican Government, not only here but every where, for if our experiment fails, it surely can NEVER be repeated,—it is a contest… to determine the question of man’s capacity for self-government.” Kirkland continued:

“The Long, Wicked War”—Regimental Histories from the American Civil War Collection, 1860-1922

Just published—The Readex Report: November 2014

IN THIS ISSUE: Myth and fact mingle in early depictions of the Muslim world; history redeems a Justice of the Antebellum Supreme Court; and stitching together facts to visualize Colonial clothing.

The Muslim World in Early U.S. Texts
By Julie R. Voss, Assistant Professor of English, Coordinator of American Studies Program, Lenoir-Rhyne University

About a decade ago, I began researching representations of Islam in early national American literary texts; when someone would ask what the subject of my dissertation was, and I gave this answer, I often received responses along the lines of, “Was there any literature about Islam in the early U.S.?” Like my interlocutors, I was initially surprised when I stumbled upon the presence of Islam in early American writing.  Somehow, through the many American history classes in my education, I had missed learning about the Barbary conflicts that followed the Revolutionary War.  The Muslim world was never as separate from Europe (and Colonial America) as we moderns might believe, and between 1785 and 1815, Americans were intensely aware of Muslim North Africa in particular.  > Full Story

Finding John McKinley: Fresh Discoveries about a Forgotten Supreme Court Justice
By Steven P. Brown, Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science, Auburn University

Just published—The Readex Report: November 2014

Folly, Falsehood, and Disfellowship: Religious Discord and Disunity in 19th-Century America

The October release of American Pamphlets, Series 1, 1820-1922: From the New-York Historical Society includes works that illustrate tensions between different religions, within Presbyterianism, and between believers and free-thinkers.  

An Exposure of the Folly and Falsehood of the Rev'd George C. Light (1829)
By Archibald Cameron

Archibald Cameron wrote this pamphlet in response to one titled, “True State of the Case, or Slander Repelled” by Reverend George C. Light. Light claimed Presbyterians were secretly traveling throughout the country arguing against the separation of church and state.  Cameron clarifies the Presbyterian position, saying:

The object…was to influence the public to choose good men for official stations in society. It seems to aim at giving a general influence to Christianity in all things over the minds of men; but not the union of church and state, or the establishment of Presbyterianism by state authority. Presbyterians know that their system is sufficiently obvious in the Bible and they think it more glorious it should make its way by its own intrinsic excellence than by any human authority. There is no threatening here as the Advocate says about “filling every office in the state and national government with a good orthodox Presbyterian.” What if Dr. Ely should prefer a sound Presbyterian to be a judge or ruler if he should otherwise be a man competent to occupy that station, there is nothing objectionable in it: has he not as much right to his own choice as those people who exclaim against him.

Folly, Falsehood, and Disfellowship: Religious Discord and Disunity in 19th-Century America

The First Woman Elected to Congress: Jeannette Rankin’s Historic Victory

From America's Historical NewspapersFrom America's Historical Newspapers On Nov. 7, 1916, the U.S. Congress—and the entire nation—forever changed when Montana’s Jeannette Rankin became the first woman elected to Congress, winning a seat in the House of Representatives. Women at that time did not have universal suffrage—the 19th Amendment, granting all American women the right to vote, was passed by Congress in 1919 but did not become law until it was ratified on Aug. 26, 1920.

From America's Historical NewspapersFrom America's Historical Newspapers Rankin, a leading suffragist, had worked hard in the successful campaign that granted women the right to vote in Montana in 1914. She ended up serving two terms in the House: 1917-1919 and again 1941-1943. A committed pacifist, Rankin was one of 50 representatives to vote against America’s entry into World War I. During her second term, she was the only member of Congress to vote against America’s entry into World War II.

The First Woman Elected to Congress: Jeannette Rankin’s Historic Victory

A “Dirty and Diabolical Business”—Dividing Lines Over Slavery and Slave-Catching in 19th-Century America

The October release of The American Slavery Collection, 1820-1922: From the American Antiquarian Society includes documents illustrating the deep religious, political, and legal divisions within 19th-century American society over the issue of slavery.

An Address, Delivered on the Fourth of July, 1836 (1836)
By Charles Fitch, Pastor of the Free Congregational Church, Boston

“We hold it to be self-evident, that God has created all men equal, and endowed them with certain unalienable rights, and that among these rights, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
    
That is my text—and if ever one sentence was written in the English language, which expresses more than any other, the true spirit of those who would abolish slavery throughout the world, it seems to me to be this. It comprises just everything for which abolitionists contend. It covers the whole ground, and reaches the farthest possible extent of all their avowed principles, and of all the measures which they contemplate, or which they desire to see used, for the deliverance of their fellow-men who are held in chains.

Thus begins this address by Pastor Fitch who was adamant that “God has given men equal rights, according to the Declaration of American Independence” and “he who will not allow [African-Americans] these rights, is a transgressor of [God’s] law.”  Nor did Fitch equivocate between types of slave owners, saying:

A “Dirty and Diabolical Business”—Dividing Lines Over Slavery and Slave-Catching in 19th-Century America

Civil War Turning Points: Highlights from the American Civil War Collection, 1860-1922

The October release of the American Civil War Collection, 1860-1922: From the American Antiquarian Society includes documents discussing turning points in the war itself, the reputations of several prominent participants, and the ferocioius trench warfare that would later come to define the Western Front in World War I.

Within Fort Sumter; or, A View of Major Anderson's Garrison Family for One Hundred and Ten Days by One of the Company (1861)
By Miss A. Fletcher

In this volume, Miss A. Fletcher vividly describes life within Fort Sumter until its siege and eventual evacuation. She includes detailed accounts of the supply of rations, hastily constructed barracks within the fort, and the dramatic communications prior to the outbreak of war between U.S. Army office Major Robert Anderson and the Governor of South Carolina. On January 9, 1861, after the Union supply ship, Star of the West, was fired upon and forced to retreat from Charleston Harbor, Anderson wrote the following to Governor Francis Pickens:

Civil War Turning Points: Highlights from the American Civil War Collection, 1860-1922

Islam in the Soviet Union: Translated Reports from the Joint Publications Research Service

Source: Perry-Castañeda Library Map CollectionSource: Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection From an earlier release of Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS) Reports, 1957-1994, we recently highlighted five reports concerning religion and atheism in the USSR in the 1960s. The September 2014 release of JPRS also includes translations from the Soviet Union on this same broad topic with particular attention paid to Islam.

Entry on “Islam” in Great Soviet Encyclopedia

Click to open in PDFClick to open in PDF This seven-page entry translated from the Great Soviet Encyclopedia includes sections on the origin of Islam, Islam in the feudal period, and Islam in the period of capitalism. The first paragraph makes it clear how the writers of the encyclopedia regarded Islam and religion in general. They state that Islam…

Islam in the Soviet Union: Translated Reports from the Joint Publications Research Service

Calculating the Second Coming in 19th-Century America: Selected Items from American Pamphlets, 1820-1922

William Miller (1782-1849)William Miller (1782-1849) The first four decades of the 19th century were a time of increased religious activity known as the Second Great Awakening. One of the most widely recognized religious activists of this time was William Miller (1782-1849) who lived in the border area between Vermont and New York State. As a young man in Poultney, Vermont, Miller was a confirmed and public Deist; however, as a result of his experience in the War of 1812, particularly in the Battle of Plattsburgh, where the significantly outnumbered Americans were victorious, Miller concluded this victory was the result of an interventionist deity.

Subsequent study of the Bible convinced Miller that the holy book held prophetic references to the return of Christ to Earth including the specific time when this would happen. His predictions were widely disseminated. Despite his having been in error about the first dates he identified as the time of Christ's return—“sometime between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844”—the number of his followers grew exponentially. When a new date was identified in October of 1844 and Christ again did not return, this failed prophecy became known as the Great Disappointment of the Millerite movement. This month's release of American Pamphlets, 1820-1922: From the New-York Historical Society includes many works related to the national movement Miller sparked, including several rebukes to his prophecy, which were published in advance of any certain date for the return of Christ, as well as Miller's own “Apology and Defence,” published in 1845.

Calculating the Second Coming in 19th-Century America: Selected Items from American Pamphlets, 1820-1922

An African Queen, Inside Monticello, a Reconstructionist Reversal, and Recollections of an Underground Railroad Conductor: Highlights from Afro-Americana Imprints, 1535-1922

Queen ZinghaQueen Zingha The September release of Afro-Americana Imprints, 1535-1922: From the Library Company of Philadelphia includes descriptions of the Kingdom of Matamba and its powerful Queen Anna Zingha; the private life of Thomas Jefferson, as recalled in the 1860s by a former chief overseer; South Carolina during Reconstruction, recorded by the Washington correspondent of the New York Tribune; and the Underground Railroad, written by a former conductor. This release also includes In the Wilds of Africa, an exciting adventure tale replete with detailed illustrations.

Memoirs of Celebrated Women of All Countries (1834)
By Laure Junot, Duchess of Abrantes

Laure Junot, Duchess of Abrantes was an early 19th century French writer known for her attractiveness, extravagance, and sharp tongue. In this volume, Junot includes a biography of Anna Zingha, Queen of the Kingdom of Matamba, located in what is now Angola. Junot covers Queen Zingha’s rise to power and struggle with the Portuguese for control of her country. She describes the funeral ceremony for Zingha’s father in graphic detail:

An African Queen, Inside Monticello, a Reconstructionist Reversal, and Recollections of an Underground Railroad Conductor: Highlights from Afro-Americana Imprints, 1535-1922

Just published—The Readex Report: Mohandas Gandhi, "The Coquette," and Andrew Jackson (September 2014)

IN THIS ISSUE: How Gandhi's South African newspaper gave readers pause; the far-reaching impact of literary heroine handles; and the methods critics and rivals used to try and fell Old Hickory.

Slow Reading the News: Gandhi’s Philosophical Experiments with His South African Newspaper
By Isabel Hofmeyr, Professor of African Literature, University of the Witwatersrand

During his South African years (1893-1914), Mohandas Gandhi started a printing press and a newspaper, Indian Opinion. One of the world’s great intellectual archives, Indian Opinion constitutes an experiment with reading and writing that fed into Gandhi’s ideas on satyagraha or “passive resistance.”

Writing in an age of vertiginous acceleration via telegraph, train and steamship, Gandhi grappled with an industrializing information order in which readers were bombarded with ever more reading matter. In this context, Gandhi saw reading and writing as ways of managing the tempos of the industrial pressure. Such strategies questioned the relationship of speed with efficiency, a link that lay at the heart of satyagraha and its critiques of industrial modernity. > Full Story

Just published—The Readex Report: Mohandas Gandhi, "The Coquette," and Andrew Jackson (September 2014)

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