Benjamin Franklin


Historical Newspapers in the Classroom, a Controversial American Master, and a Founding Father’s Political Education: The Readex Report (Nov. 2016)

In this issue: using yesteryear’s advertisements to inspire contemporary classroom research; a compelling profile of a portrait-painting virtuoso; inferring the political intentions of a prominent Founding Father.


Early American Newspapers and the Adverts 250 Project: Integrating Primary Sources into the Undergraduate History Classroom

By Carl Robert Keyes, Associate Professor of History, Assumption College

Keyes.jpgIn January 2016 I launched the Adverts 250 Project, a daily blog that features an advertisement published 250 years ago along with analysis and historical context.  This project grew out of my current research, a book tentatively titled Advertising in Early America: Marketing Media and Messages in the Eighteenth Century. Publishing a blog as a supplement to the book offers several advantages, including the ability to share more of my work more frequently and to broader audiences. It also opened up new opportunities for integrating my research into the undergraduate classroom, enriching both my scholarship and my teaching. > Full Story

Historical Newspapers in the Classroom, a Controversial American Master, and a Founding Father’s Political Education: The Readex Report (Nov. 2016)

“Separate the callapach from the callapee”: New Selections from Early American Imprints, Supplements from the American Antiquarian Society, 1652-1819

A rebus by Ben FranklinHighlighted below are four newly added items in the major new enrichment to the Evans and Shaw-Shoemaker collections.  These diverse works, now available for the first time in Readex digital editions of Early American Imprints, are from the holdings of the American Antiquarian Society.

The Evans Supplement includes Daniel Boone’s autobiographical account of his early adventures in what was even then called Kentucky, and John Wesley’s reflections on the history of slavery to which he was opposed. The Shaw-Shoemaker Supplement includes Benjamin Franklin’s whimsical rebus for children, advising them to be thrifty, and a captivating cookbook by “an American orphan.”


Adventures of Colonel Daniel Boon, one of the original settlers of Kentucky: containing the wars with the Indians on the Ohio, from 1769 to the present time, and the first establishment and progress of the settlements on that river. Written by the colonel himself (1793)

Many Americans grew up thinking of Daniel Boone as one of the first rough-and-ready frontiersmen who discovered the easiest route through the mountains separating modern-day Virginia from Kentucky. It is surprising then to read this account and to appreciate the quality of his writing and the sensitivity of some of his observations. In a description of “a pleasing ramble” with a friend he writes:

“Separate the callapach from the callapee”: New Selections from Early American Imprints, Supplements from the American Antiquarian Society, 1652-1819

Just published—The Readex Report: April 2015

In this issue: helping young African-American scholars move toward new academic heights; six-foot-under censorship in the honor-bound Old South; and a Founding Father's focus on frugality shapes the American dream.


Diversifying the Graduate School Pipeline with Under-Represented Scholars: An Innovative Program of the African American Literatures and Cultures Institute
By Joycelyn K. Moody, Sue E. Denman Distinguished Chair in American Literature, University of Texas at San Antonio, and Howard Rambsy II, Associate Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

For the last five summers, the two of us have coordinated the African American Literatures and Cultures Institute (AALCI)—a program for college students with interests in eventually pursuing graduate degrees. The Institute convenes on the campus of the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) for the month of June. The program has provided us with important opportunities to enhance undergraduate students’ learning and to orient them toward a broader as well as deeper realm of ideas concerning African American studies. > Full Story

Just published—The Readex Report: April 2015

Just published—The Readex Report: February 2014

IN THIS ISSUE: A stirring look at an iconic abolitionist, the triumphant return of a renowned revolutionary, and a dead poet transmits verses via a mendacious medium.

The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass in Anacostia (Washington, D.C.) as told in the Washington Evening Star
By John Muller, author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia

Just published—The Readex Report: February 2014

Franklin scholar uses America’s Historical Newspapers to trace an ingenious hoax

Carla Mulford, Dept. of English, Penn State University

In December 2008 an essay about one of Benjamin Franklin’s cleverest hoaxes was published in The Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. Written by distinguished Franklin scholar Carla Mulford, “Benjamin Franklin's Savage Eloquence: Hoaxes from the Press at Passy, 1782” was awarded the prestigious William L. Mitchell Prize from the Bibliographical Society of America on January 27, 2012. As explained in the Bibliographical Society's press release, Dr. Mulford’s article...

Source: Proceedings of the American Philosophical Association (Dec. 2008)

Franklin scholar uses America’s Historical Newspapers to trace an ingenious hoax

Press Release: Announcing Afro-Americana, 1535-1922 -- the online edition of the Library Company's unparalleled collection

Today we distributed this news release:

Readex to Launch Digital Edition of the Library Company of Philadelphia’s Unparalleled Collection of Afro-Americana

More than 12,000 searchable books, pamphlets, and broadsides will stimulate new research on centuries of African American history, literature, and life 

Source: Library Company of Philadelphia/Afro-Americana Collection

Press Release: Announcing Afro-Americana, 1535-1922 -- the online edition of the Library Company's unparalleled collection

The First Map of the Gulf Stream: Benjamin Franklin's Maritime Observations

From Early American Imprints, Series I: Evans, 1639-1980

The First Map of the Gulf Stream: Benjamin Franklin's Maritime Observations

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