National Historical Publications and Records Commission

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That's Owen Brown in this carte de visite, the father of John Brown, the abolitionist, who led the raid on Harper's Ferr...
04/09/2021

That's Owen Brown in this carte de visite, the father of John Brown, the abolitionist, who led the raid on Harper's Ferry in 1859.

Owen Brown had a rich story of his own. Born in 1771 in Connecticut, Owen Brown moved to Hudson, Ohio in 1805 with wife Ruth Mills Brown and his children including John Brown (1800-1859). He set up a successful cattle-breeding business and tannery, became a trustee of the Western Reserve College and later was one of the founders of Oberlin College.

Owen was also a stout and outspoken abolitionist, founder of the Western Reserve Anti-Slavery Society, and gave speeches advocating the immediate abolition of slavery. He also was part of the Underground Railroad. He died in 1856, three years before John Brown's raid.

An NHPRC grant to the Ohio Historical Records Advisory Board helped fund the digitization of the Historic Hudson Collection, which consists of over 200 photographs of the people, places and events that document the rich history of Hudson, Ohio. This collection was contributed by the Hudson Library & Historical Society.

You can see more at https://www.summitmemory.org/digital/collection/hist_hudson

Here is a great example of how advances in technology have made history more accessible.Back in the late 1970s, the NHPR...
04/08/2021

Here is a great example of how advances in technology have made history more accessible.

Back in the late 1970s, the NHPRC funded a microfilm edition of the papers of W.E.B. Du Bois at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. On some 89 reels, the microfilm edition had a 305-page guide documenting one of the earliest and most influential spokesmen for African-American liberation. William Edward Burghardt “W.E.B.” DuBois (1868-1963) pioneered many of the strategies and programs of the American civil rights movement. He founded the Niagara Movement in 1905 and was one of the first leaders of the newly-formed National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Du Bois was a historian and a prolific writer with 21 books and countless journal articles to his credit. Most famous of his books is The Souls of Black Folk (1903), and its lasting impact on both white and black consciousness is well documented in this collection.

Of course, you needed access to a microfilm reader at a library that carried a copy of the 89-reel edition. Better than nothing, but now libraries are digitizing great collections, and the records are but a click away. Today, you can access nearly 100,000 items of the Papers of W.E.B. Du Bois via the internet at the UMass Library website at https://credo.library.umass.edu/view/collection/mums312

Spring has sprung in Washington, DC!The April issue of NHPRC News is up at https://www.archives.gov/nhprc/newsletter/202...
04/07/2021

Spring has sprung in Washington, DC!

The April issue of NHPRC News is up at https://www.archives.gov/nhprc/newsletter/2021/april

Check out the current Grant Opportunities (many have deadlines in early June!)

With stories on a teenage horse thief in Idaho,
the Charles W. Chesnutt Papers,
Reconstructing "lost" neighborhoods in Charlotte, NC,
Papers of a journalist who warned of global plagues, and Mississippi Civil War and Reconstruction Governors Papers project.

One of the famous feuds in American politics was between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. After working together for dec...
04/06/2021

One of the famous feuds in American politics was between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. After working together for decades in the cause of freedom, the friendship was ruptured by Jefferson’s victory over Adams in the 1800 presidential election. Adams left the nation’s capital just before Jefferson’s inauguration in March 1801, and with the exception of brief notes they exchanged shortly thereafter, no letters passed between the two men for more than a decade.

In 1809, their mutual friend Benjamin Rush had a dream that Jefferson and Adams would renew their friendship. You can read an account of that dream in Rush's letter to Adams in the NHPRC-supported Founders Online at https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/99-02-02-5450.

Rush implored Adams to write to Jefferson and for the two men to “embrace each other! Bedew your letters of reconciliation with tears of affection and joy. Bury in silence all the causes of your separation. Recollect that explanations may be proper between lovers but are never so between divided friends.” See more in editor Lyman H. Butterfield's note at
https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/03-04-02-0296-0001

By 1812, the two great figures of early American history had patched up their friendship. They would remain lively correspondents with each other the rest of their lives. On July 4, 1826, at the age of 90, Adams lay on his deathbed while the country celebrated the 50th anniversary of Independence Day. His last words were, "Thomas Jefferson still survives." Five hours earlier, Jefferson had died at Monticello at the age of 83.

This young boy has a brush with history during Franklin Delano Roosevelt's campaign visit to Butte, Montana in 1932. (Sm...
04/05/2021

This young boy has a brush with history during Franklin Delano Roosevelt's campaign visit to Butte, Montana in 1932. (Smithers.32.029.01/29)

This is one of thousands of images at the Butte-Silver Bow Archives. A grant from the NHPRC helped the preserve and describe the C. Owen Smithers Photograph Collection, documenting the rise and development of Butte as a mining city. One of the great things about the project is the citizen engagement via Facebook in identifying the people and places in the photos. You can check them out at https://www.facebook.com/butte.archives/ and via their website at https://buttearchives.org/

BTW, Silver Bow County voted for FDR, with 62 percent of the 1932 electorate. Montana went for FDR four times in a row!

Play ball!Columbia University student Lou Gehrig at bat on South Field in 1922. Gehrig joined the New York Yankees in 19...
04/02/2021

Play ball!

Columbia University student Lou Gehrig at bat on South Field in 1922. Gehrig joined the New York Yankees in 1925 and remained a Yankee until his retirement in 1939. He is remembered as one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Speaking of baseball, Columbia University's Baker Field (at 215th Street in upper Manhattan) was the site of the nation's first televised sports event, a baseball game between Columbia and Princeton universities, May 17, 1939, broadcast by NBC.

This yearbook image is from the Columbia University Archives. An 1993 grant from the NHPRC went to support the development of their archives and records management program.

Gehrig also pitched for the Columbia team, striking out 17 in a game in 1923. After his sophomore year, he signed with the Yankees, in part because his father had taken ill and he needed the money. (His bonus was $1,500.) The Iron Horse batted .340, hit 493 home runs (including 23 grand slams), and was a member of six World Series winning teams. His legendary streak ended in 1939, after he contracted ALS. His legendary "Luckiest Man" speech was on July 4, 1939 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNLKPaThYkE). Gehrig died two years later.

This image is from the Columbia University Archives. An 1993 grant from the NHPRC went to support the development of their archives and records management program. You can visit when in New York or online at http://library.columbia.edu/locations/cuarchives.html .

Did you know that Thomas Edison invented anti-gravitational underwear that made it possible for people to fly up to get ...
04/01/2021

Did you know that Thomas Edison invented anti-gravitational underwear that made it possible for people to fly up to get a better look at paintings in a museum (as show here)?

Almost as soon as Edison became famous for his invention of the phonograph in early 1878 journalists began to depict him as the "Inventor of the Age" and the "Wizard of Menlo Park."

Some of the earliest accounts played humorously with his growing legend, including a fantastic April Fool's story in the New York Daily Graphic which claimed Edison had invented a machine to manufacture food out "air, water, and common earth." (Which reminds me, I've got to get my garden started.)

Later in the year Punch published a series of humorous drawings depicting Edison's "telephonoscope," for transmitting pictures and sound like an early television (or indeed, your computer or phone), and his "anti-gravitation underclothing" (in a manner of speaking).

The NHPRC is proud to support the Thomas Edison Digital Edition (http://edisondigital.rutgers.edu). For more on Edison and Science Fiction, be sure to visit the special online exhibit at http://edisondigital.rutgers.edu/s/Exhibits/page/introduction

In the 1890s, the Black women’s club movement gathered momentum, combating racism and promoting community needs, includi...
03/31/2021

In the 1890s, the Black women’s club movement gathered momentum, combating racism and promoting community needs, including health, sanitation, education, and woman suffrage. In 1896, under the leadership of Mary Church Terrell, the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs was founded.

At the Avery Normal Institute in Charleston, South Carolina, Jeannette Cox, the wife of principal Benjamin Cox, founded the Phillis Wheatley Literary and Social Club in 1916. Wheatley was the first African-American author of a published book of poetry (1773). The club consisted of 19 women members meeting to discuss literary works by such authors as W.E.B DuBois, Carter G. Woodson and others. The club women also helped fulfill their mission to "lift as we climb" by taking an active role in Charleston's African American community by donating funds to such organizations as the YWCA, NAACP, Avery Normal Institute, and the Jenkins Orphanage. The club is still active.

The records of the Phillis Wheatley Club are part of a project at Avery supported by NHPRC, at https://avery.cofc.edu/archives/Phillis_Wheatley_Literary.html

You can read more about Black leadership at Avery at http://ldhi.library.cofc.edu/exhibits/show/avery/averyblackleadership

After the fall of Saigon in 1975, some 125,000 South Vietnamese fled the country. From 1978 through the mid-1980s, appro...
03/30/2021

After the fall of Saigon in 1975, some 125,000 South Vietnamese fled the country. From 1978 through the mid-1980s, approximately 2 million Vietnamese left the country by boat, which was both illegal and highly dangerous. Alarmed by the high death toll of the “boat people,” in 1979 the United Nations High Commission for Refugees proposed the Orderly Departure Program (ODP). This program allowed Vietnamese citizens to safely immigrate to the United States and other participating countries through an application-based system. For 15 years the ODP helped over 500,000 Vietnamese refugees immigrate to the U.S. before the program ended in 1994.

After her life was tragically affected by the war in Vietnam, Khuc Minh Tho dedicated herself to those hoping to start a new life, as she did, in the United States. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, her second husband, Nguyen Van Be, a colonel in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam was sent to a reeducation camp, where he would spend the next 13 years. In 1975, with her husband still incarcerated, Khuc immigrated to the U.S. She worked in a variety of social service positions in the suburban Washington, D.C. area.

In 1977, to win the release of her husband and other Vietnamese political prisoners, Khuc co-founded the Families of Vietnamese Political Prisoners Association (FVPPA) in Arlington, Virginia, along with Trinh Ngoc Dung and other spouses, children, relatives, and friends of Vietnamese political prisoners. Up to 20 volunteers met at Khuc’s house each night after putting a full day’s work at their day jobs and worked for the release of Vietnamese political prisoners and for their immigration to the U.S. through the ODP.

The FVPPA campaigned for the release of re-education camp prisoners, conducted a public awareness program on the needs of Vietnamese political prisoners and their families, and provided eligible persons with assistance with their immigration to the United States and other countries around the world. In 2004, members of the FVPPA reorganized and formed the Vietnamese American Heritage Foundation (VAHF), an organization dedicated to the preservation, promotion, and celebration of the history and heritage of Vietnamese Americans.

The Vietnam Center and Archive at Texas Tech University has digitized the records of the FVPPA collections as part of a National Historical Publications and Records Commission grant. More than 350,000 pages of documents are online through the Virtual Vietnam Archive at https://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/vahp/fvppa.htm

“Don't call me a saint. I don't want to be dismissed that easily." Dorothy Day (1897 – 1980) was an American journalist ...
03/29/2021

“Don't call me a saint. I don't want to be dismissed that easily."

Dorothy Day (1897 – 1980) was an American journalist and social activist, and co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement. In 1927, at age 30, Day converted to Catholicism, and a few years later started The Catholic Worker, a popular newspaper promoting Catholic teachings. And she would later work to establish Catholic settlement houses for the poor and needy, particularly the most difficult people. The Atlantic Monthly once called her "a saint for difficult people."

She herself was a radical, but her influence on social justice issues, guided by Catholic principles, remains relevant four decades after her death. Pope Francis himself highlighted the legacy of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement in his 2015 address to the United States Congress. The Pope called her one of "four great Americans," along with Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. and Thomas Merton.

In 1960, Dorothy Day sat down with Eugene Boyle to discuss the movement's campaign for world peace. Through a grant from the NHPRC, Pacifica Radio Archives was able to preserve and publish the interview online. You can find out more info at From the Vault and listen to the program on Soundcloud at https://soundcloud.com/pacificaradioarchives/from-the-vault-489-dorothy-day

Ida Laherty (Inmate #901), age 16, became one of the first women incarcerated at the Idaho State Penitentiary when she b...
03/26/2021

Ida Laherty (Inmate #901), age 16, became one of the first women incarcerated at the Idaho State Penitentiary when she began a sentence for Grand Larceny in 1903. She remained one of the youngest women to serve time there. Born in Washington, Ida lost her father when she was 11 years old, and her mother was left to raise six children alone. Ida left home at fifteen, settling in Moscow, Idaho. There she met and fell in love with a young man from Reardon, Washington named William Loomis.

One day, Loomis hatched a plan for Ida to hire a team of horses for one day from a livery stable in Moscow and ride by herself to Sprague, Washington where William would meet her and the two would sell the horses for a large profit. On October 2, 1902, Ida drove the team to Sprague and waited for him to arrive (he never did). Several days later, Ida was arrested as a horse thief.

When Ida first entered the prison, guards described her as an “ill mannered” child. A warden once caught a male prisoner sneaking through her window. He boarded the window to prevent them from communicating.

The local branch of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union petitioned the Board of Pardons with over 376 signatures on her behalf. After serving three months, Ida was released from prison and turned over to the local Florence Crittenton home, a social welfare organization.

A grant from the NHPRC to the Idaho State Historical Society supported a project to arrange, describe, and make more readily accessible prisoner files and inmate photographs from the Idaho State Penitentiary for the period 1880-1947. You can see a PDF of the catalog of Women Inmates athttps://history.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/inmates_women_1864-1947.pdf

Last year “Numbered: Inside Idaho's Prison for Women” was published, which takes a closer look at the 216 women, and you can hear an interview with the authors at https://www.boisestatepublicradio.org/post/numbered-book-goes-back-time-look-idahos-prison-women#stream/0.

You can hear a lot more about Ida on the Behind Gray Walls podcast at https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ep-20-van-vlack-and-laherty/id1469301746?i=1000461782605

Dolley Payne Madison was the most important First Lady of the 19th century, and the Dolley Madison Digital Edition will ...
03/25/2021

Dolley Payne Madison was the most important First Lady of the 19th century, and the Dolley Madison Digital Edition will be the first-ever complete edition of all of her known correspondence. As of March 2021 it is complete through 1849, with a total of 3291 documents, and the NHPRC is proud to have supported the project for many years.

The Dolley Madison Digital Edition received the 2020 Lyman Butterfield Award from the Association of Documentary Editing in recognition of the first comprehensive edition of a founding-era woman’s writings, the first primarily born-digital scholarly edition, and the first edition published by the Rotunda imprint of the University of Virginia Press. Editor Holly C. Shulman and her colleagues developed key technologies and approaches for digital editing.

To see more, go to https://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu/dmde/

Dickey Chapelle was one of the first female foreign correspondents to cover World War II, and she later covered military...
03/24/2021

Dickey Chapelle was one of the first female foreign correspondents to cover World War II, and she later covered military conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, and countries around the world. Her papers at the Wisconsin Historical Society document her long experience with wars, and a grant from the NHPRC helped the Society process her photographs, including more than 6,000 prints, nearly 17,700 negatives, and almost 6,500 transparencies.

Chapelle's work appeared in Reader's Digest, National Geographic, Look, Saturday Evening Post, and other publications, and she wrote two autobiographies, Trouble I've Asked For (1960) and What's a Woman Doing Here? (1961)

Her career as a photojournalist began soon after the attack of Pearl Harbor when her husband enlisted in the navy. Committed to both her husband and to photography, Dickey found a job as a correspondent with assignments that followed Tony's footsteps to the South Pacific, included going ashore with the Marines at Okinawa and Iwo Jima.

In November 1965, Chapelle was killed in a landmine explosion while covering Marine operations near Chu Lai Air Base in Vietnam, the first newswoman and fourth member of the American press corps to die while reporting the war.

You can see her work from Vietnam at www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=829 and read more about her at https://www.wiscontext.org/wisconsins-pioneering-war-correspondent-dickey-chapelle

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