Seamus Dunphy


About Author: 

A Readex Editorial Content Analyst, Seamus joined NewsBank in 2006 as a U.S. Congressional Serial Set indexer. He received his BA in History from Marlboro College and continues to study political science and economics. His passion for organic gardening stems from the lessons of hard work and sustainable living he learned on his family’s farm.

Posts by this Author

“A Confederate Girl’s Diary” and Other Wartime Perspectives: Selected Highlights from The American Civil War Collection

This month’s release of The American Civil War Collection, 1860-1922: From the American Antiquarian Society includes wide-ranging works with unique wartime perspectives. Examples include an 1862 adventure-romance novel, a personal narrative of battlefront conditions by a young Union private, an 1874 volume of illustrations by English artists that capture an international view of the conflict, and more.
 
The Rattlesnake; or, the Rebel Privateer (1862)
By Ned Buntline

This novel by the prolific and multitalented Ned Buntline tells the story of Miss Fluta Winchester’s fiancé, Will Ashton. After Miss Winchester, daughter of a Boston shipping magnate, discovers Mr. Ashton’s loyalties lay with the Confederacy, she breaks off their engagement. Ashton then joins the rebellion as a privateer and commander of the Rattlesnake, a vessel designed to surprise and defeat Union ships.

My First Campaign (1863)
By Joseph Grant

Joseph Grant’s narrative presents his personal story as a volunteer who served as a private in the Twelfth Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers from Oct. 1862 until July 1863. In My First Campaign, Grant recounts the experiences of his regiment during that time, writing in summary:
“A Confederate Girl’s Diary” and Other Wartime Perspectives: Selected Highlights from The American Civil War Collection

American Slavery through the Voices of Politicians, Pamphleteers, and Novelists

The April release of The American Slavery Collection, 1820-1922: From the American Antiquarian Society includes an 1848 speech by U.S. Senator Jefferson Davis, an illustrated French translation of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a response to a Southern pamphleteer’s claims of injustice, material from Ulysses S. Grant’s 1868 presidential campaign, and more.

Speech of Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, on the Oregon Bill (1848)

Prior to becoming the President of the Confederate States, Jefferson Davis served as the United States Secretary of War under President Franklin Pierce and earlier as both a Representative and Senator from Mississippi. In 1848 Davis delivered a speech in the U.S. Senate against prohibiting slavery in the Territory of Oregon. He argued that citizens moving from different states to the territory would not be treated equally; specifically, he had in mind citizens of slave states who moved to Oregon with their human property. Davis lamented:

Now, for the first time in our history, has Congress, without the color of compact or compromise, claimed to discriminate in the settlement of Territories against the citizens of one portion of the Union and in favor of another.

Reality Versus Fiction. A Review of a Pamphlet Published at Charleston, S.C. Entitled, “The Union, Past and Future, How It Works and How to Save It.”(1850)

By Elias Hasket Derby

American Slavery through the Voices of Politicians, Pamphleteers, and Novelists

Anarchists, Talking Gloves, Fraternal Owls, and a Feline Brigand: Highlights from American Pamphlets, 1820-1922

American Pamphlets, Series 1, 1820-1922: From the New-Historical Society offers an exceptional cross section of one hundred years of American society. The March 2014 release includes pamphlets providing a sympathetic review of the case against the anarchists involved in the bombing of Chicago’s Haymarket Square, an innovative tool for aiding blind and/or deaf veterans returning from World War I, and the rather bizarre initiation ceremony of a New York social club. Other intriguing items include a bookkeeping handbook full of clever tips and an illustrated children’s story that may have even caused the Brothers Grimm to blanch.

The Robber Kitten (1863)
By Comus

While the do-not-steal theme of this children’s book is timeless, its relatively graphic violence would likely horrify many of today’s parents and teachers. After shooting a chicken and robbing a cat, this book’s kitten “gets his due reward in the form of a wallop to the head at the paws of a dog.

Anarchists, Talking Gloves, Fraternal Owls, and a Feline Brigand: Highlights from American Pamphlets, 1820-1922

Perspectives on Slavery and Secession: Highlights from The American Slavery Collection, 1820-1922

Is slavery justified by the Bible? Is slavery an un-Christian institution or a commercial necessity? In early 19th-century America the answer to such questions depended on whom you asked. The initial release of The American Slavery Collection, 1820-1922: From the American Antiquarian Society includes not only examples of these differing perspectives, but also retrospective accounts of both slavery and the secession movement.

The Rights and Duties of Slave-holders: Two Discourses, Delivered on Sunday, November 27, 1836, in Christ Church, Raleigh, North Carolina (1837)
By George Washington Freeman
Perspectives on Slavery and Secession: Highlights from The American Slavery Collection, 1820-1922

Support of the Union through Verse, the Pen, and the Sword: Selected Highlights from The American Civil War Collection, 1860-1922

The inside story of a secret society, a firsthand account of a naval pursuit, and a strongly worded argument in international relations—these three items only scratch the surface of the newly digitized materials in the initial release of The American Civil War Collection, 1860-1922: From the American Antiquarian SocietyAn Authentic Exposition of the “K.G.C.”, “Knights of the Golden Circle”, or A History of Secession from 1834 to 1861 (1861)
Support of the Union through Verse, the Pen, and the Sword: Selected Highlights from The American Civil War Collection, 1860-1922

Skylarking, Horseplay and Other Hazards of the Early 20th-Century Workplace: As Seen in the U.S. Congressional Serial Set

Just as an aimless stroll can allow you to find a new perspective on a project, casually browsing Readex’s Archive of Americana can lead to serendipitous discoveries. What began as an investigation of nautical terminology, specifically the term “skylarking,” ended by shedding light on several amusing judicial opinions reprinted in the U.S. Congressional Serial Set.

Originally, skylarking described the antics of sailors who climbed about their ship’s rigging and slid down its backstays for fun. The ancient word "lac" means "to play" and because the frolicking of these deckhands started high in the masts, the term "skylacing" was born. Over time the word changed to "skylarking" and was used to refer to horseplay in general.

At first, skylarking wasn’t used pejoratively. For sailors with free time, this boisterous activity was considered a better diversion than engaging in mutinous talk. However, by the mid-19th century skylarking in the U.S. Navy became an offense punishable by the lash. The term first appears in the Serial Set in the 1849 publication, “Report of the Secretary of the Navy, with returns of punishments in the Navy.”1 The punishment for skylarking was comparable to that given for disobedience of orders, fighting, taking grog, skulking, or drunkenness: three to ten “lashes with cats.”

Skylarking, Horseplay and Other Hazards of the Early 20th-Century Workplace: As Seen in the U.S. Congressional Serial Set

I Was Chairman Mao's Cook (and other unexpected finds in a Cold War-era intelligence archive)

What do the hydrodynamics of dolphins[1], the philosophical quandary of extra-terrestrial life[2], and Soviet experiments to detect emotions[3] have in common? Need a hint? It’s the same thing that biographies of Anwar Sadat[4] and Zhu Rongji[5], who became the fifth Premier of the People’s Republic of China, and an article by Chairman Mao’s cook[6], have in common. They are all found in the Readex digital edition of Joint Publications Research Service Reports (JPRS)—an English-language archive of translations of foreign scientific, technical, and social science materials.
I Was Chairman Mao's Cook (and other unexpected finds in a Cold War-era intelligence archive)

The World’s Greatest Aviator: Daredevil Lincoln Beachey and the Dip of Death

Lincoln J. Beachey (March 3, 1887 – March 14, 1915)

In the early 20th century, aviator Lincoln Beachey and his Curtis biplane amazed and delighted crowds with the “Dip of Death” and his mastery of “looping the loop.” Or by daring to fly upside down, which on one occasion shook $300 from his pocket and led him to quip,
I am willing to take a chance of losing my life flying upside down but it’s certainly tough to be torn loose from my bank roll, too.1
A groundbreaking aviator and breathtaking stuntman, he could boast of having performed for over 20 million spectators, or about one fifth of the U.S. population at the time. Yet 100 years later his name is largely unknown.

Source: Jackson (Mich.) Citizen Press; Jan. 30, 1914. Click open full article in PDF.

The World’s Greatest Aviator: Daredevil Lincoln Beachey and the Dip of Death

Baseball in America: Its Origins and Early Days

Some things never change, or so suggested the Duluth News Tribune in 1916:

Baseball in America: Its Origins and Early Days

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