In the September 2010 issue: the dark descent of an American literary icon; using 19th-century government documents to right wrongs against Native Americans; and a private collector’s zeal adds depth and diversity to an eminent historical collection.
From Mascot to Militant: The Many Campaigns of Seba Smith’s Major Jack DowningBy Aaron McLean Winter, National Tsing Hua University
Readers of the Washington, D.C. newspaper The Daily National Intelligencer witnessed a strange and disturbing transformation in 1847, when the nation’s most popular literary character freely admitted that he had become a greedy, cynical killer. Soon enough this beloved American hero, whose name was synonymous with Yankee Doodle, would threaten to stage a military coup to seize the Capitol and overthrow Congress! Continued...
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the initial uprising that would lead to the independence of Mexico from Spain. 2010 is also the 100th anniversary of the Mexican revolution of 1910, which overthrew President Porfirio Diaz. Both revolutions lasted around a decade.
The 1810 uprising is traditionally thought to have begun on September 16. This article published on December 20, 1810 in Boston’s Independent Chronicle shows how early news of the uprising was presented in the United States. It’s short and to the point.
On February 23, 1811, Baltimore’s Federal Gazette contained this translation of an article from the November 20, 1810 issue of the Spanish-language Mexico Gazette. The original article is a first-person account by Brigadier Don Felix Calleja of his actions in the field against the insurgents. Everything traveled slowly then, not just news. Publishers had no fear of reprinting materials from wherever they could get them.