The December release of The American Slavery Collection, 1820-1922: From the American Antiquarian Society includes both pro- and anti-slavery perspectives as well as a retrospective view of U.S. slavery at the close of the 19th-century.
A View of the American Slavery Question (1836) By Elijah Porter Barrows, Jr., Pastor of the First Free Presbyterian Church, New York
Pastor Elijah Barrows prepared this discourse on slavery “with particular reference to the condition of his own church.” He notes that its members were “divided in their views, and disunited in their feelings, on this much agitated subject.” Hoping to unify his New York congregation in support of abolishing slavery, Barrows begins his argument by drawing attention to Louisiana Code, Article 3:
A slave is one who is in the power of a master to whom he belongs. The master may sell him, dispose of his person, his industry, his labor; he can do nothing, possess nothing, nor acquire any thing but which must belong to his master.
Barrows then takes that definition to a logical and stark conclusion:
Following the release of an American contractor held in a Cuban prison for more than five years on spying charges, President Obama announced Wednesday the United States will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba. Mr. Obama also declared an embassy will be opened in Havana for the first time in more than 50 years.
During the Readex ALA breakfast presentation in Las Vegas last June, University of Florida Professor Lillian Guerra shared her first-hand observations of how the long-standing embargo has impacted life in the island nation. See the full presentation here:
Most famous for illustrating the first edition of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), Edward Winsor Kemble was highly regarded for his compassionate images of African Americans. Many of these illustrations can be found within Afro-Americana Imprints, 1535-1922: From the Library Company of Philadelphia. Below are a few examples of Kemble's artwork from a diverse selection of books published at the end of the 19th century:
From Our Phil and Other Stories (1889) by Katharine Floyd Dana, who published more widely under the pen name Olive A. Wadsworth:
The Digital Americanists Society (DAS) solicits abstracts (c. 200 words) for papers to be included in the Society’s pre-arranged sessions at the 2015 American Literature Association Conference (Boston, May 21-24). The Digital Americanists are eager to constitute panels of the most exciting DH work happening in and around American studies, literary and otherwise. If you have an idea for a panel rather than an individual paper, DAS would be happy to hear about it; email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
In keeping with the Digital Americanists’ commitment to a broad understanding of American literature, culture, digital media, and computational methods, DAS is pleased to consider submissions that address any facet of the relationship between those terms or that question the terms themselves. Submissions from early-career scholars and members of underrepresented groups are especially encouraged.
The December release of The American Civil War Collection, 1860-1922: From the American Antiquarian Society contains many documents pertaining to military medicine during the war. These include works on providing immediate surgical care on the battlefield, maintaining the health of a standing army, helping to recuperate the sick and wounded, and raising funds to care for veterans.
Reliving a moment in history through the pages of America’s Historical Newspapers takes the event out of its place on the timeline of history and reinserts it into the messy context of its era. The details of the event aren’t altered, but what surrounds it makes you think, “Oh wow, that was going on at the same time.” Or, “Man, I didn’t know he was involved in this.” Or, “I never knew that happened.”
Sometimes even events that everybody knows about are seen in new ways. The response to the attack on Pearl Harbor is a case in point. One of the odd things is that Pearl Harbor seems to exist almost outside of the wartime context, even though Japan was at war in China. The bombs falling on Hawaii and the sinking of our ships dominate our memory of it, even though it had a greater role in Japan’s war strategy which sometimes seems forgotten.
George Donisthorpe Thompson (1804-1878) was a British abolitionist who often pointed out America’s role in the perpetuation of slavery. Lecturing in the United States in 1834, Thompson attracted the attention of both abolitionists and slavery supporters. He left the U.S. “to escape the assassin’s knife,” a claim supported by the Hobart Town Courier, which reported that attempts to “burn and murder” Thompson had been made in several American towns. New abolitionist societies formed in the wake of Thompson’s speaking tour, and the November release of The American Slavery Collection, 1820-1922: From the American Antiquarian Society contains the annual reports from three such societies, each of which was organized by women.