It was 100 years ago this month that Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian explorer, reached the South Pole. For the first time, two expeditions were making attempts to get there in the same summer season. Amundsen had been a member of an earlier expedition to Antarctica and had led expeditions in the Arctic. Robert F. Scott had led an earlier British expedition to Antarctica, and he was back to make another attempt to reach the pole. Their expeditions and their leadership styles continue to fascinate us.
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.
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.
African American Periodicals, 1825-1995, reflects more than a century and half of the African American experience. The first collection in Readex’s new America’s Historical Periodicals series, this wide-ranging resource features more than 170 titles from 26 states. Below is a brief description of seven of these publications. For descriptions of fourteen others, please visit the Key Periodicals page on the Readex website.
Henry Whitney Bellows (1814-1882), planner and president of the United States Sanitary Commission, the leading soldiers' aid society, during the American Civil War.
On April 12, 1861, Confederate artillery opened fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. The first shots had been fired in a war that would last four long and bloody years. This April marked the beginning of a four-year commemoration of the 150th anniversary, or Sesquicentennial,of the American Civil War. Over the next four years, Civil War re-enactors, historians and history enthusiasts from across the United States will gather to help commemorate the battles and other important events linked to the war.
Artist: Joseph H. Davis (1811-1865). Title: Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Otis and Child (1834). Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Focusing on the 18th and early 19th centuries, the first series of Early American Newspapersoffers over 350,000 issues from more than 710 titles. This widely used digital collection, based primarily on Clarence S. Brigham's authoritative "History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820," contains newspapers from 23 states and the District of Columbia.
Below is a brief description—and the nameplate—of several key titles:
Albany Register (New York)One of the most successful and influential American newspapers of the late 18th and early 19th century, the Register was edited from 1808 to 1822 by the ardent anti-Federalist Solomon Southwick.
[The article below by University of Georgia professor Stephen Mihm first appeared in The Readex Report (Sept. 2008). Last month, an op-ed by Mihm headlined "The Biographer's New Best Friend" was published in The New York Times Sunday Review section. In his Times piece, Mihm quotes historians and biographers James McGrath Morris, Joshua Kendall and Graham Hodges to help explain why "Readex's America's Historical Newspapers...has the potential to revolutionize biographical research."]
The Digital Detective: Tracking Criminals When the Trail Runs Cold
By Stephen Mihm, Associate Professor of History, University of Georgia