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Just published—The Readex Report: September 2015

Posted on 09/24/2015

IN THIS ISSUE: The curious history of notorious nicknames; the oratory impact of a renowned black author; how the great White North offered welcome and often-overlooked refuge to North American slaves.

War Hawks, Uncle Sam, and The White House: Tracing the Use of Three Phrases in Early American Newspapers

By Donald R. Hickey, Professor, Department of History, Wayne State College

As a student of the early American republic, I’ve always had a fondness for the period’s newspapers.  Newspapers have been published in America since the seventeenth century, and their number steadily rose in the eighteenth century.  By 1775 there were 42 newspapers, and by 1789 there were 92.  Newspapers continued to proliferate in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, so that by the time of the War of 1812 there were nearly 350.  Most were weeklies, but 49 were published two or three times a week, and another 25 were dailies published in... > Full Story

 W. E. B. Du Bois’s Lectures and Speeches: A Brief History

By Phillip Luke Sinitiere, Visiting Assistant Professor of History, Sam Houston State University

When you hear the name W. E. B. Du Bois, what comes to mind? Perhaps you think of his book The Souls of Black Folk, or his storied conflict with Booker T. Washington over the best approach to racial justice. Maybe you recall his study Black Reconstruction in America, or his membership in the Communist Party and subsequent move to Ghana. Chances are that the image of Du Bois conjures thoughts about a cerebral intellectual, college professor, ardent activist, and brilliant author. But what if we think about Du Bois as a lecturer and speaker, as a public intellectual whose spoken words contributed as much to the quest for racial and economic justice as his written work did? > Full Story

Former Slaves and Free Blacks in Canada West: Using Early American Newspapers to Trace the Circulation of a Slave Narrative

By Eleanor Bird, PhD Student, University of Sheffield, UK

Between 1830 and the eve of the American Civil War, approximately 40,000 former slaves and free blacks fled the United States for Canada, especially to Canada West (that is, modern-day Ontario). Slavery in Canada West had been in decline since the late eighteenth century, and slavery in the British colonies was officially abolished by an act of British Parliament which took effect in 1834. The number of fugitives travelling into Canada peaked after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law in 1850 since this law made it far easier for runaways in the Northern United States to be returned to their former masters. It is estimated that 15,000 to 20,000 African Americans entered Canada from 1850 to 1860. > Full Story

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