Tag Archives: slavery

Calling Sherlock Holmes…

My latest volunteer project, to quote Winston Churchill, was “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma." I was handed twenty-eight legal depositions, tucked in a manila folder, with a notation that simply said: “The depositions were part of a suit by multiple claimants for the $500 reward.” First, the riddle:  Who offered the $500 reward? ...

A new podcast from Past is Present!

Last year on Past is Present we featured a series of interviews with American Antiquarian Society fellows in order to showcase their thoughts about writing history and work with the Society's collections. This year we’ve decided that, instead of transcribing those interviews, we will make them available as podcasts. This will let our readers (and ...

A broadside of note

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AAS member Jane K. Dewey has volunteered in the manuscripts department for almost 30 years and processed forty large collections. Jane most recently organized, housed, and wrote about some of the manuscripts from the Pike-Wright Family papers, a recent donation from Susan Pike Corcoran. Even though the donation includes a substantial collection of ambrotypes, daguerreotypes, and photographs and a ...

Meet AAS Fellow Linford Fisher

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Linford Fisher is associate professor of history at Brown University, where he studies and teaches the religious history of colonial America and the history of Indian and African slavery and servitude. His first book, The Indian Great Awakening: Religion and the Shaping of Native Cultures in Early America, was published by Oxford University Press in ...

Meet AAS Fellow Sean Moore

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Sean Moore is Associate Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire and recently completed an American Antiquarian Society-National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship at the Society. His work has received support from a variety of institutions, including the John Carter  Brown Library, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Fulbright program, and he has just ...

One-hit Wonders

The American Antiquarian Society has a large number of periodicals and newspapers of which only a single issue was printed before they folded.  There are a variety of reasons for why this might be.  Sometimes issue no. 1 is really a prospectus trying to generate interest and subscribers, but failing in this mission.  Often it ...

Adopt-a-Book 2013: Romney and Obama, 1844 style

On Friday, April 5th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., the American Antiquarian Society will be hosting our 6th Annual Adopt-A-Book event. This event is an important fundraiser for the curatorial team at the Society, and monies raised will go towards future acquisitions of books, prints, newspapers, manuscripts, and children’s literature. Below are examples of two ...

The Acquisitions Table: Dialogue on Slavery

A very rare self-published collection of poems by Holmes, a farmer in Greene County, OH east of Dayton. Most of the poems are short and predominantly religious in theme. Preceding these is Holmes’s 20-page “Dialogue on Slavery,” which offers an unusual poetic recapitulation of the religious, economic, and political arguments for and against slavery. Firmly ...

The Children’s Henry Box Brown

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Henry Box Brown (b. 1816) escaped lifelong slavery in Virginia by shipping himself in a box (with the help of white and African-American abolitionists) to Philadelphia in 1849.  One of the few primary sources detailing his breathtaking escape to freedom is the children’s book Cousin Ann’s Stories for Children.  Written in 1849 by Quaker abolitionist ...