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

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.
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

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

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

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

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