Monthly Archives: December 2012

“Another closing year draws nigh…”

It is often hard to find diaries written by young men and boys.  So today I’d like to highlight a great diary kept by a young man, Thomas Whitaker, of Waltham, Massachusetts.  Thomas began recording daily entries in 1874, when he was 17 years old, and the volume continues through 1878.  He filled the entire ...

Christmas and New Year Musical Souvenir, Richmond ca. 1863

musical souvenir cover detail

This piece of sheet music in the Society’s collection represents a handful of Confederate imprints published by George Dunn and Company (printer) and written or edited by F.W. (Fitz William) Rosier. Even before official secession, and certainly after, the Confederate States produced their own government documents and publications; there were also religious pieces and education ...

Christmas Cooking, North & South – 150 years ago

We are going to brave the waters of wartime Christmas. In the next few days, there will be three posts examining Confederate-printed items in the Society’s collection. This season of festivities is also one of commemoration and reflection as we are squarely in the War’s sesquicentennial. A glance over the pages of the nation’s most popular ...

The Acquisitions Table: Moral Tales for Young People

Edgeworth, Maria.  Moral Tales for Young People.New York: George Long, 1821. It is always gratifying to discover another edition of Maria Edgeworth’s popular Moral Tales that is new to AAS.  George Long (1771?-1843) produced a steady output of textbooks and children’s books, many of which were written by British and European authors, including Miss Edgeworth.  Interestingly, ...

What Do You Wear to a Bicentennial?

The AAS’s bicentennial gala—a black-tie affair held in the Society’s reading room, complete with a dance floor where scholars usually sit and an Isaiah Thomas made out of marzipan—has come and gone. But well-dressed enthusiasts of America’s printed legacy still want to know: What is the appropriate sartorial observance of the Society’s bicentennial? While our ...

The Acquisitions Table: The Clay Tribune

The Clay Tribune (New York).  May 4 – Nov. 2, 1844. 23 issues. This file combined with the issues already owned by AAS gives us one of three known complete files of this campaign newspaper.  It was published by Horace Greeley as a separate political issue of the daily and weekly Tribune.  Greeley greatly admired Henry ...

Santa, photographed

Some children would do just about anything to catch a glimpse of the gift-giving St. Nick on Christmas Eve – others have parents who would set up a camera and create a stereographic photograph to capture the whole visit. This image, titled “Santa Claus loaded for business” illustrates just such a scene. A bearded and ...

Frederick Douglass Project Gets National Award

For the past two years, the American Antiquarian Society has partnered with Mass Humanities to co-host a Worcester edition of the foundation’s interactive program “Reading Frederick Douglass in the Era of Barack Obama” in connection with the Fourth of July.  We were therefore very happy to hear that the National Federation of State Humanities Councils ...

Historical Re-gifting: Adopt a Gift Book!

Jan 1/1846 A friend how sweet that sacred sound It sheds a heavenly music round Which falls with pleasure on the ear To cheer us while we tarry here. A friend Dedicatory poems like the one quoted above appear in many of the gift books in the American Antiquarian Society's collections. This particular inscription is in AAS's copy of The ...