Just published — The Readex Report: September 2012

In this issue: celebrating a milestone of African American freedom; China's canal system sparks domestic curiosity and competition; students reveal the history of Radical Republicans; and fetching females hawk clipper-ship trips. Freedom Bound: The Sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation By Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Associate Professor of History, University of Delaware, and Director of the Program in African American History, Library Company of Philadelphia
In 2013, people across the United States will celebrate the sesquicentennial of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. As the country approached a third year of bloody civil war, President Abraham Lincoln issued what has become the most symbolic of mandates. Although limited in many ways, the Proclamation stands as a centerpiece in the long struggle to end racial slavery in America, an institution that spanned more than two centuries and brought death and despair to millions of people of African descent. (read article)
Lake Erie by Way of Guangzhou: Or, The Other Canal Boom By Dael Norwood, Ph.D. Candidate in History, Princeton University
What do you do when you can’t stop yourself from falling into a ditch? In my case it was “Clinton’s Ditch”—better known as the Erie Canal, opened in 1825. It seemed that every time I went to America’s Historical Newspapers to research my dissertation—I write on the politics of early American trade with China—every query, no matter how carefully constructed, returned discussions of canals. (read article)
Directing Student Research in Original Sources: A “Radical Republicans” Experiment By LeeAnna Keith, author of The Colfax Massacre
As a full-time high school teacher who aspires to be an independent scholar and a mom, I am always multitasking. My lesson plan for teaching about the Radical Republicans of the Civil War and Reconstruction Era was conceived to serve more than one purpose. On the one hand, it would provide the core of our class discussion and individual engagement with the subject of the Civil War Era. Students would employ and develop their skills for research, writing, and presentation. (read article)
Images of Women on Clipper Ship Sailing Cards By Bruce D. Roberts, author of Clipper Ship Sailing Cards
In the mid-nineteenth century, ship owners and shipping lines used sailing cards to advertise voyages of clipper ships. These cards, slightly larger than today’s postcards, announced that Ship A would leave Departure Point B for Destination C on or about Date D, and that you should contact Agent E if you had goods and/or yourself to transport. Shipping managers sent cards by private courier to commission merchants and exporters, and these cards were posted any place that might catch the eye of a potential customer. (read article)
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