American History


Budding novelist uses online newspaper archive to recreate the Civil War-era French Quarter

Guest blogger: Ja-ne de Abreu, an award-winning writer in the media production industry currently embarking on her first novel

The Louisiana Historical Newspaper Archivehas proven to be an invaluable source for research for me. Currently, I am writing a historical novel set in New Orleans during the Civil War. Before access to this digital newspaper archive, I was able to find vague references to events that happened in the city during this period, but not many details. Once I started perusing the local daily newspapers of that era, I was able to find the missing key I needed to give my novel weight. For instance, several books and websites state that Mardi Gras did not occur during the Civil War. Yet local newspapers reveal that while there were no parades, Mardi Gras balls were held in 1862, 1864 and 1865, leaving 1863 the only year in this span with no mention of festivities.
Budding novelist uses online newspaper archive to recreate the Civil War-era French Quarter

Chocolate: A Readex Sampler (by Louis E. Grivetti)

Chocolate: A Readex Sampler

By Louis E. Grivetti, Professor of Nutrition, Emeritus, University of California, Davis

International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) 2010 Award Finalist in the Culinary History category

Between the years 1998-2008 my large research team had the good fortune to be funded by a generous grant from Mars, Incorporated, to investigate the culinary, medicinal, and social history of chocolate.1 Our initial research focused on chocolate-related information from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, and the transfer of medical-related uses of chocolate into Western Europe. Between the years 2004-2008 our research shifted to the introduction, distribution, and social uses of chocolate within North America. To this end we paid special attention to cacao/chocolate-related aspects of agronomy, anthropology, archaeology and art history, culinary arts, diet and nutrition, economics, ethnic and gender studies, geography, history, legal and medical issues, and social uses.

Chocolate: A Readex Sampler (by Louis E. Grivetti)

How to Get Ahead: Century-Old Advice for the “Woman of Business”

From The Idaho Statesman (April 30, 1911). Source: American Newspaper Archives

How to Get Ahead: Century-Old Advice for the “Woman of Business”

The Real War Horses of America

Michael Morpurgo’s fictional story “War Horse” has gone from a beloved children's book to successful stage production to bestselling Hollywood movie directed by Steven Spielberg. But who were the real war horses of America?

The Real War Horses of America

Pearl Harbor: As Reported the Day After

Today is the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  Here's how four American newspapers reported it the next day on their front pages.    
Pearl Harbor: As Reported the Day After

Talking News with Carolyn Cassady: A Conversation with the Matriarch of the Beat Generation

[Sixty years after publication of Jack Kerouac’s influential novel of the Beat Generation, On the Road has been adapted for film. Produced by Francis Ford Coppola and directed by Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries), the long-awaited film, scheduled to open late this year, stars Sam Riley as Kerouac’s alter ego Sal Paradise, Garrett Hedlund as Dean Moriarty (Neal Cassady) and Kristen Stewart as Marylou (LuAnne Henderson, Cassady’s first wife). Kirsten Dunst plays Camille, the real-life Carolyn Robinson who married Cassady in 1948. The conversation below between Carolyn Cassady and NewsBank’s David Whittaker first appeared in the February 2011 issue of The Readex Report.]

Talking News with Carolyn Cassady: A Conversation with the Matriarch of the Beat Generation

D.B. Cooper: An American Original

Artist's sketch of D. B. Cooper (Photo: Seattle FBI)

D.B. Cooper: An American Original

Tecumseh's Dream Shattered: 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Tippecanoe

When reading accounts of the tragic conflict between whites and Native Americans, such as Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, one cannot help but wonder why the Indians did not see the whites as a common enemy and band together for their common safety and survival. Unfortunately for them, ancient tribal enmities seemed to erect insurmountable barriers. So it was that in one of the earliest “Indian wars,” the Mohegan and Pequot tribes helped the English colonists defeat the Narragansett and Wampanoag tribes in 1675-76. Arikara and Crow scouts helped Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer find Sitting Bull’s Arapaho, Cheyenne and Lakota village at the Little Bighorn in 1876. Chiricahua scouts helped General George Crook wage war against the Apache in 1882.

However, in this sorrowful history of the decimation of one tribe after another by the advance of white civilization, a heroic figure stands apart. One Native American leader tried to do the seemingly impossible: Tecumseh, the charismatic and influential Shawnee chief who organized a tribal confederacy to oppose the white encroachment on Indian lands. A fierce warrior, powerful orator and cunning diplomat, Tecumseh spent the first decade of the nineteenth century skillfully building his dream confederacy. Then it all fell apart in two hours. In the cold drizzle, overcast skies and pitch darkness of a pre-dawn battle, Tecumseh’s dream was shattered and his confederacy decimated at the Battle of Tippecanoe in Indiana Territory on Nov. 7, 1811—a clash Tecumseh had warned his people to avoid, and a battle that happened without him.

Tecumseh's Dream Shattered: 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Tippecanoe

A Sports Legend and His Dream: Bobby Jones, the Augusta National Golf Club and the Birth of the Masters

Bobby Jones entered the Roaring Twenties still the teenage prodigy who had first come to the public's attention when he qualified for the U.S. Amateur Championship at the age of 14. By the end of the 1920s, Jones was firmly established as a major star. The only golfer considered one of the true icons of the Golden Age of Sports, Bobby Jones stood alongside Babe Ruth, Red Grange, Jack Dempsey and Bill Tilden as giants in the public eye.
A Sports Legend and His Dream: Bobby Jones, the Augusta National Golf Club and the Birth of the Masters

Archive of Americana transports you through time into 18th- and 19th-century America

As a Readex account executive, I enjoy the opportunity to help bring our digital collections to the attention of students and scholars at some of the smallest four-year colleges. Occasionally, this extends to working collaboratively with librarians and faculty. Among my accounts is Washington College on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. At this liberal arts institution known for its strong commitment to undergraduate education, I consulted closely with Ruth Shoge, Associate Professor, College Librarian, and Adam Goodheart, Director of the College’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, among others, to help bring the acclaimed Archive of Americana collections to their campus.
Archive of Americana transports you through time into 18th- and 19th-century America

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