How did slavery end in America? It’s a deceptively simple question—but it holds a very complicated answer. “Visualizing Emancipation” is a new digital project from the University of Richmond that maps the messy, regionally dispersed and violent process of ending slavery in America.
Not Even Past is beginning a new weekly series on digital history: The New Archive. Every other week, our Undergraduate Editorial Intern, Charley Binkow, will introduce our readers to the world’s most interesting digital archives.
There is a vast historiography on worker strikes and resistance to economic exploitation in Latin America and Brazil, yet most scholars disregard the environmental backdrop to struggles over land, labor, and resources.
The challenge of informing an inquisitive American public about the nation’s own two-hundred year old tragedy—slavery—has not fallen squarely on the shoulders of historians and other scholars. Artists, and particularly filmmakers, have played a central role in helping the larger public grapple with the horrors and indeed, aftershocks of human bondage.
This issue of The Lamp, which Standard Oil-NJ sent to its employees, stockholders, and outside subscribers, tries to assuage contemporary anxieties over big business by celebrating the economic development and social uplift occurring in Louisiana. Thanks to company investment, a productive and modern industry is replacing fallow cotton fields and the primitive, old ways they represent.
Machiavelli offers many kinds of advice to the modern prince: manipulate fear, spread benefits among the population, seek broad counsel, and take strategic risks. He envisions a strong and wise leader who protects the interests and freedoms of his people. Machiavelli also hopes that the modern prince will employ ambitious, experienced, and intellectual advisers, like himself.
This braided watch chain comes from a private archive. Similar family archives often end up in the collections of local historical museums or even national repositories like the Library of Congress. This archive is housed in a box in my closet.
In July 1835, after two years in Mexico, part of that time confined to a jail cell, Stephen F. Austin received a passport issued by the Mexican government. Austin had gone to Mexico on a diplomatic mission, when Texas was still under Mexican rule, but set off to return home to Texas, where the political climate had shifted and tolerance for Mexican rule had deteriorated. On his way back, he spent time in New Orleans, purchasing several books that might provide clues to his state of mind.
American History, in many ways, represents the nation’s résumé. It is a catalog of achievements and events – some good, some regrettable – that are used to encourage citizens and outsiders to buy into the nation.
Historians won’t be giving up their visits to archives or their days picking notebooks and letters out of boxes any time soon. But the path to those boxes has changed dramatically as institutions and history enthusiasts have been digitalizing and posting their treasures online.