Lydia Maria Child
The roots of white supremacy lie in the institution of negro slavery. From the 15th through the 19th century, white Europeans trafficked in abducted and enslaved Africans and justified the practice with excuses that seemed somehow to reconcile the injustice with their professed Christianity. The United States was neither the first nor the last nation to abolish slavery, but its proclaimed principles of freedom and equality were made ironic by the nation’s reluctance to extend recognition to all Americans.
“Americans” is what Mrs. Child calls those fellow countrymen of African ancestry; citizenship and equality are what she proposed beyond simple abolition. While Mrs. Child expected the Appeal to offend and alienate a significant portion of her large audience, she wrote “it has been strongly impressed upon my mind that it was a duty to fulfil this task; and earthly considerations should never stifle the voice of conscience.” Thirty years before Abraham Lincoln’s Emanicipation Proclamation, she assembled the evidence for liberation and placed it before a large national audience. Her work helped push national emancipation into the mainstream, and her research supplied a generation of later essayists and pamphleteers with essential background for the continuing debate on the most vital issue in American history.
Frederick Douglass based this story on the real-life heroism of Madison Washington, who led the largest successful slave revolt in U.S. history in 1841. His story is told through the eyes and words of two white men. First, Mr. Listwell from Ohio sees Madison enslaved in Virginia, then a fugitive in Ohio, and finally a recaptured returnee bound from Richmond to the slave markets of New Orleans. Lastly, Tom Grant, the mate on the slave transport Creole, describes the ship’s takeover by its human cargo and its passage to the British Bahamas, where 128 men and women stepped out of bondage and into freedom. Douglass contributed the story in 1853 to a book of collected pieces by anti-slavery writers and reformers. It is his only known work of “fiction,” and it is interesting especially for its prismatic point of view: a black writer’s account of white men describing a black hero. What makes a person heroic? And what possibilities for heroism even exist under slavery—for whites or blacks? Could they act together to lift the the great national curse? The work is brief, dramatic, and compelling, showing the gift for expression that made Douglass such a powerful figure on the anti-slavery platform.
Louisa May Alcott
In November 1862, Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888) signed up as a volunteer nurse for the Sanitary Commission charged with caring for the Civil War’s mounting casualties. From 13 December 1862 until 21 January 1863, Miss Alcott served at the Union Hotel Hospital in Georgetown in the District of Columbia, where she ultimately contracted typhoid and pneumonia and very nearly died. This book is her account of her journey south from Concord and her six weeks in the nation’s wartime capital. Styling herself by the fanciful name “Tribulation Periwinkle,” she brought humor as well as pathos to her subject, making this first-hand account of the absolute horrors of a 19th-century war hospital seem less shocking and more appreciative of the sacrifices being made by the wounded warriors and their families.
Roxanne Harde and Lindsay Yakimyshyn
Legacy books in colonial America were instruments for the transmission of cultural values between generations: the dying mother (usually) instructing and advising children on the path to salvation and heavenly reunions. They were a popular and influential form of women’s discourse that distilled the ideologies of the religious establishment into practical and emotional lessons for lay persons, especially the young.
This collection draws together legacy texts written by colonial American women and girls: five mother’s legacy books and two legacies by children, organized here chronologically. These legacies were written in anticipation of dying, making awareness of death central to the texts. All are highly personal, revealing the thought processes and emotive patterns of their authors, and all are meant for the comfort and instruction of the loved ones these dying women and girls were leaving behind. Published between 1664 and 1792, these texts provide insight into early New England culture through to the first years of the republic. Included are: • Anne Bradstreet, To My Dear Children (1664) • Susanna Bell, The Legacy of a Dying Mother to Her Mourning Children (1673) • Sarah Goodhue, The Copy of a Valedictory and Monitory Writing (1681) • Grace Smith, The Dying Mother’s Legacy (1712) • Sarah Demick, Memoirs of the Life of Mrs. Sarah Demick (1792) • Hannah Hill, A Legacy for Children (1714) • Jane Sumner, Warning to Little Children (1792) • Benjamin Colman, A Devout Contemplation on … the Early Death of Pious & Lovely Children (1714) • A Late Letter from a Solicitous Mother To Her Only Son (1746) • Memoirs of Eliza Thornton (1821)
"The unchast Touches and Gesticulations used by Dancers, have a palpable tendency to that which is evil."
When a dancing master arrived in Boston in 1685 and offered lessons and classes for both sexes during times normally reserved for church meetings, the Puritan ministers went to court to suppress the practice. Increase Mather (1639-1723) took the leading part, writing and publishing this tract, which compiles arguments and precedents for the prohibition of “Gynecandrical Dancing, [i.e.] Mixt or Promiscuous Dancing, viz. of Men and Women … together.” These justifications were certainly shared with the court, which found the dancing master guilty, fined him £100, and allowed him to skip town.
Mather’s tract on dancing is an overwhelming compendium of sources and authorities: from the Bible, classical authors, Christian Church Fathers, medieval philosophers, and Reformed theologians both Continental and English. None of them, it appears, approved of mixed dancing—because it leads to adultery and worse. The vilest sins and the direst disasters lie only a short step from the dance floor.
The Arrow is remarkable for two things (at least): for how much allusion and citation are packed into its brief 30 pages, and for how quickly it escalates the issue into life-or-death scenarios, all vividly painted to emphasize the mortal danger of men and women dancing together.
The Wonders of the Invisible World. OBSERVATIONS As well Historical as Theological, upon the NATURE, the NUMBER, and the OPERATIONS of the DEVILS.
Cotton Mather and Reiner Smolinski , Editor
Cotton Mather’s mythic image rests largely on his involvement in the Salem witchcraft debacle (1692–93) and on his Wonders of the Invisible World (1693). The work aims at several purposes. On the one hand, Wonders is New England’s official defense of the court’s verdict and testimony to the power of Satan and his minions; on the other, it is Mather’s contribution to pneumatology, with John Gaul, Matthew Hale, John Dee, William Perkins, Joseph Glanville, and Richard Baxter in the lead. Before Mather excerpts the six most notorious cases of Salem witchcraft, he buttresses his account with the official endorsement of Lt. Governor William Stoughton, with a disquisition on the devil’s machinations described by the best authorities that the subject affords, with a previously delivered sermon at Andover, and with his own experimentations. Mather’s Wonders, however, does not end without a due note of caution. While exposing Satan’s plot to overthrow New England’s churches, Mather also recommends his father’s caveat Cases of Conscience (1693), thus effectively rejecting the use of “spectral evidence” as grounds for conviction and condemning confessions extracted under torture. What ties the various parts together is Mather’s millenarian theme of Christ’s imminence, of which Satan’s plot is the best evidence. Robert Calef ’s accusation that Mather and his ilk incited the hysteria is, perhaps, unfounded, but Calef ’s charge of Mather’s ambidextrous disposition seems warranted. For while Mather defends the court’s verdict and justifies the government’s position, he also voices his great discomfort with the court’s procedure in the matter. Wonders appeared in print just when the trials were halting, but it remains, in his own words, “that reviled Book,” a bane to his name.
Kenneth B. Murdock
The classic biography of preeminent colonial Massachusetts minister and President of Harvard College, Increase Mather (1639-1723). This is the work that re-started Puritan studies in America.
“A book which will be indispensable to students of early American history.” —Times Literary Supplement
“It is a book to welcome and appreciate.” —American Historical Review
“The available sources have been used carefully, and the story is told with great literary skill.” —The Sewanee Review
“[Murdock’s book] opened the sluice gates to powerful streams of scholarship that in the next two decades revised our understanding of American Puritanism.” —Philip F. Gura, in A Concise Companion to American Studies
Ida C. Craddock and Paul Royster , editor
Ida Craddock took her own life in October 1902, rather than face the 5-year federal prison term she seemed certain to receive following her conviction for distributing this work through the U.S. Mail. It is a short (24-page) pamphlet addressed to young women and men about to embark on a sexual relationship and an honest and frank effort to alleviate the ignorance which both sexes often brought to the marriage union. Craddock's discussion of the "sexual act" stressed that empathy and consideration for one's partner were the vital elements for an enduring marriage. Craddock neither shrank from the description of genital anatomy nor from giving prescriptions for men's proper role in giving sexual pleasure to the female. These things put her advice and her attitudes beyond the realm of what could be safely published in America at that time.
Craddock's advice for men included the following:
A woman’s orgasm is as important for her health as a man’s is for his. And the bridegroom who hastens through the act without giving the bride the necessary half-hour or hour to come to her own climax, is not only acting selfishly; he is also sowing the seeds of future ill-health and permanent invalidism in his wife.
And her counsel for women:
Also, to the bride, I would say: Bear in mind that it is part of your wifely duty to perform pelvic movements during the embrace, riding your husband’s organ gently, and, at times, passionately, with various movements, up and down, sideways, and with a semi-rotary movement, resembling the movement of the thread of a screw upon a screw. These movements will add very greatly to your own passion and your own pleasure, but they should not be dwelt on in thought for this purpose.
Ultimately for Craddock, however, it was in the union of man, woman, and Divine Spirit, that highest fulfillment was achieved, and the close of her little treatise includes a discussion of yoga, Christian holiness, controlled orgasm, and "the most perfect communion with the Spirit of God which is known to us earthly beings."
The persecution of Ida Craddock and the legal censoring of her teachings were spearheaded by Anthony Comstock of the League for the Suppression of Vice, even though she never advocated anything more than the monogamous intercourse of heterosexual couples within marriage. She quite consciously and purposefully violated the taboos that restricted women's lives and diminished their opportunities by speaking plainly and eloquently on subjects of intimate importance. She paid a heavy price for attempting to shed light and knowledge where ignorance and prejudice prevailed, and this little-known pamphlet is a monument to her dedication, generosity, perseverance.
Ida C. Craddock and Paul Royster , Editor
This remarkable and unconventional description of the Christians’ afterlife in the New Jerusalem is based on Ida Craddock’s strict interpretation of Bible passages (from Ezekiel, Elijah, Daniel, and John) that describe the heavenly city and on the words of Jesus relating to life after the Resurrection. She advances scriptural arguments to show that Heaven is a substantial place where the inhabitants with physical bodies eat, drink, work, defecate, have sexual relations, and go naked.
“The idea, all too prevalent among Christian people, that Heaven is ethereal, unsubstantial, and intangible, with little or no likeness to earth and the earthly life, has not the least support in the testimony of Scripture. On the contrary, every glimpse the Bible gives us of Heaven and of its inhabitants goes to prove that the life of angels and of the blessed dead is but the old earth-life writ large and purified, plus additional capacities of which we are at present ignorant. … There is not one word said about the world beyond the grave being a ghostly place, peopled with misty shadows. It is, apparently, a tangible, actual, material world, where people live healthy, physical lives; where they love and beget children as they do here, but only in accordance with righteous laws; where communion with God is far more intimate and ecstatic than here; and where, finally, temptation to wrong-doing must still be met and overcome, and the moral nature kept uppermost, if a man’s Heavenly citizenship is to be a permanent thing.”
Ida C. Craddock (1857–1902) was an American spiritualist, theosophist, freethinker, yogic practitioner, and sexologist. A Philadelphia Quaker by birth and training, she championed women’s rights and enlightened sexual relations within marriage, but she was repeatedly convicted of sending “obscene” literature through the mail. This work, published in 1897, has none of her sexual researches or advice, but illustrates her conventional—even fundamentalist—approach to Christianity.
Timoleon, Etc. was the last work by Herman Melville published during his life. It was printed by the Caxton Press in May 1891, in an edition of 25 copies.
This ebook edition presents a facsimile of the 1891 first edition, in PDF format. Ultimately, the Northwestern-Newberry edition will establish and make available the authoritative texts of these 42 poems. Until such time, the texts here are offered for the use of researchers, scholars, and readers.
Timoleon, Etc. includes the following 42 poems: Timoleon • After the Pleasure Party • The Night March • The Ravaged Villa • The Margrave’s Birthnight • Magian Wine • The Garden of Metrodorus • The New Zealot to the Sun • The Weaver • Lamia’s Song • In a Garret • Monody • Lone Founts • The Bench of Boors • The Enthusiast • Art • Buddha • C_____’s Lament • Shelley’s Vision • Fragments of A Lost Gnostic Poem of the 12th Century • The Marchioness of Brinvilliers • The Age of The Antonines • Herba Santa • FRUIT OF TRAVEL LONG AGO [section] • Venice • In a Bye Canal • Pisa’s Leaning Tower • In a Church of Padua • Milan Cathedral • Pausilippo • The Attic Landscape • The Same • The Parthenon • Greek Masonry • Greek Architecture • Off Cape Colonna • The Archipelago • Syra • Disinterment of the Hermes • The Apparition • In the Desert • The Great Pyramid • L‘ ENVOI [section] • The Return of the Sire de Nesle
John Marr and Other Sailors, Herman Melville’s penultimate published work, was printed by the De Vinne Press in 1888 in an edition of 25 copies.
Presented here is an electronic text-based facsimile of the 1888 first edition, in PDF format. All line and page breaks from the original have been preserved, as have spelling, punctuation, capitalization, drop capitals, page numbers, and signature identification numbers. Ultimately, the Northwestern-Newberry edition will establish and make available the authoritative texts of these poems and prose pieces. Until such time, the texts here are offered for the use of researchers, scholars, and readers, who are encouraged to download, save, print, copy from, and link to these files, but are requested not to publish or post the complete work elsewhere without prior permission. A facsimile of the 1924 Constable (Standard) edition in PDF format and the texts of both editions in ASCII format are also attached as supplemental “Related Files.” The Constable edition is of particular interest because it incorporates notes and alterations that Melville indicated in his and other copies of the first edition.
John Marr and Other Sailors includes the following poems and prose pieces:
The Æolian Harp
To the Master of the “Meteor”
The Man-of-War Hawk
The Good Craft “Snow-Bird”
The Tuft of Kelp
The Maldive Shark
To Ned Crossing the Tropics
The Enviable Isles
Henry Highland Garnet
Henry Highland Garnet’s 1848 address to the Female Benevolent Society of Troy, New York, published that year, is an eloquent survey and reclaiming for the race of its share in the Western intellectual tradition. That the ancient Egyptians were Africans, that the Song of Solomon was addressed to an African woman, that the Ethiopians warriors were celebrated by Homer, that Moses’ wife was Ethiopian, that Hannibal, Terence, Euclid, Cyprian, Origen, and Augustine all were of African ancestry—these facts are adduced by Garnet to suggest both the heritage and the potential achievements of the Africans in America. Gar-net surveys the origin and histoy of the slave trade, and especially the late events surrounding its abolition and the end of slavery in the British empire, Mexico, Haiti, and the possessions of France and Sweden. He describes the horrors of slavery in America, the heroism of Cinque and the Armistad affair, and the martyrdom of the Cuban poet Placido. He challenges his own people to eschew the debates over whether to call themselves “Africans,” “colored,” “African-American,” or “black”; and to pursue education instead of showy and expensive pageants and demonstrations. He reviews the late annexation of Texas, and the increase in slave territory produced by the Mexican War. He describes a destiny in which the so-called races are blended—“This western world is destined to be filled with a mixed race.”—and he opposes colonization, out of patriotic attachment—“America is my home, my country, and I have no other. I love whatever of good there may be in her institutions. I hate her sins. I loathe her slavery, and I pray Heaven that ere long she may wash away her guilt in tears of repentance.”Garnet’s was an important early and radical voice in the black antislavery movement, and this address was made at an especially critical moment both in his career and in the nation’s careening slide towards secession and war.
A Synopsis of the Indian Tribes Within the United States East of the Rocky Mountains, and in the British and Russian Possessions in North America
Published in the American Antiquarian Society's Archaeologia Americana, vol. 2, (1836), pp. 1-422.
A 208-page geographical, historical, and cultural introduction is followed by 214 pages of appendices of linguistic materials.
Sect. I. Indian Tribes north of the United States
Kinai, Koluschen, &c., on the Pacific Ocean
Athapascas, (Northern, Cheppeyans, Copper Mine, &c., Sussees, Tacullies)
Sect. II. Algonkin-Lenape and Iroquois,
Northern (Knistinaux, Algonkins, Chippeways, Ottowas, Potowotamies, Mississagues)
Northeastern (Labrador, Micmacs, Etchemins, Abenakis)
Eastern (New England, Mohicans, Manhattans, Long Island, Delawares and Minsi, Nanticokes, Susquehannocks, Conoys, Powhatans, Mannahoks, Pamlicoes)
Western, (Menomonies, Sauks, Foxes, Kickapoos and Mascoutins, Miamis and Piankishaws, Illinois, Shawnoes)
Northern (Wyandots or Hurons, Extinct Tribes, Five Nations)
Southern (Tuteloes, Nottoways, Tuscaroras)
Sect. III. Southern Indians, (east of the Mississippi and in Louisiana)
Extinct Tribes of Carolina
Catawbas; Cherokees (Guess's alphabet)
Muskhogees (proper, Seminoles, Hitchittees,)
Alibamons and Coosadas
Choctaws and Chicasas
Southern Indians at the time of De Soto's expedition, Their social state (division into clans, worship of the sun, monarchical government; Natchez)
Tribes of Lower Louisiana, east and west of the Mississippi (great diversity of languages)
Sect. IV. Indians west of the Mississippi,
East of the Rocky Mountains
Sioux (Winebagoes, Dahcotas and Assiniboins, Shyennes, Minetares, Mandares, Crows, Quappas, Osages, Kansaws, Ioways, Missouris, Ottoes, Omahaws, Puncas,)
Pawnees and Ricaras; habits of western Indians
Black Feet, Rapid Indians, other erratic tribes
West of the Rocky Mountains: Want of vocabularies; Salish, Atnahs, Shoshonees, Chinooks
Sect. V. General Observations.
Climate; forests and prairies; geographical notices
Conjectures (Asiatic origin; semi-civilization of Mexico; ancient works in United States,)
Means of subsistence (hunter state; agricultural labor confined to women,)
Labor the only means of preserving and civilizing the Indians, (Cherokee civilization,)
Sect. VI. Indian Languages.
Diversity of vocabularies and similarity of grammatical forms; gender and number
Substantive verb; conversion of nouns, &c. into verbs, reciprocal; pronouns
Tenses and moods, compound words, multiplied forms, defective information
Suggestions respecting highly inflected languages
Grammatical forms in the earliest stages of society,
No. 1. Grammatical Notices.
Algonkin-Lenape, (Massachusetts, Delaware, Chippeway, Micmac,)
Iroquois (Onondago, Huron or Wyandot,)
No.2. Specimens of Conjugations and Transitions
Notes to the Tables of Transitions, &c.
No. 3. Note by the Publishing Committee, respecting Tribes on Northwest Coast of America
No.1. Comparative Vocabulary for Fifty-three Tribes
No. 2. Do. Sixteen Tribes
No. 3. Umfreville's Vocabulary
No.4. Miscellaneous Vocabularies
No. 5. Supplementary Vocabulary, (Muskhogee, Choctaw, Caddo, Mohawk, Seneca, Cherokee,)
Short Comparative Vocabulary of the Choctaw and Muskhogee
Muskhogee, Choctaw, Caddo
Ojibway, Cherokee, Seneca,
Supplementary Cherokee Transitions
The Lord's Prayer in Cherokee, Muskhogee, Choctaw, and Dahcota
Albert Gallatin (1761–1849) immigrated to the United States from Switzerland in the 1780s. He was U.S. Senator 1793, U.S. Representative 1795-1801, Secretary of the Treasury 1802-1814, Ambassador to France 1816-1823, Ambassador to Great Britain 1826-1827, co-founder New York University 1831, President of the Bank of the United States 1831-1839, co-founder American Ethnological Society 1842.
Thomas R. Gray and Nat Turner
Nat Turner (1800–1831) was known to his local “fellow servants” in Southampton County as “The Prophet.” On the evening of Sunday, August 21, 1831, he met six associates in the woods at Cabin Pond, and about 2:00 a.m. they began to enter local houses and kill the white inhabitants. Over the next 36 hours, they were joined by as many as 60 other slaves and free blacks, and they killed at least 10 men, 14 women, and 31 infants and children. By noon of Tuesday, August 23, the insurgents had been killed, captured, or dispersed by local militia. Nat Turner alone escaped—until October 30, when he was caught in the immediate vicinity, having used several hiding places over the previous 9½ weeks. The next day he was delivered to the county sheriff and lodged in the county jail in Jerusalem (now Courtland), Virginia. There, from November 1 through November 3, he was interviewed by Thomas Ruffin Gray, a 31-year-old lawyer who had previously represented several other defendants charged in the uprising. Gray had witnessed the aftermath of the killings, interviewed other participants, and survivors, and had supplied written accounts to various newspapers. He was familiar with the outlines of Nat Turner’s life and the plot, and he was aware of the intense interest and the commercial possibilities of its originator’s narrative.
In the Confessions, Nat Turner appears more a fanatic than a practical liberator. He tells of being spoken to by the Holy Spirit, of seeing visions and signs in the heavens—”that I was ordained for some great purpose in the hands of the Almighty.” In Gray’s view, “He is a complete fanatic, or plays his part most admirably.”
On November 5th, Nat Turner was tried and condemned to be executed; on November 9th, he was hanged. On November 10th, Gray registered his copyright for the Confessions, in Washington, D.C. Within a week his pamphlet appeared, and it is estimated over 50,000 copies were sold in the next few months.
This ebook edition is based on the first edition, published at Baltimore, MD, in November 1831.
Walker’s Appeal, in Four Articles; Together with a Preamble, to the Coloured Citizens of the World, … (Boston, 1830)
David Walker and Paul Royster , editor & depositor
This is a digitally reconstructed edition of David Walker’s inflammatory and influential antislavery pamphlet. It provides an online, text-based and textually reliable copy that recreates the form and presentation of the 1830 edition. This version captures the look and feel of Walker’s original self-publication and represents the work as it might have appeared fresh from the printer.
Walker’s Appeal ... is a radical antislavery and antiracist manifesto by a free American of African ancestry. Its bold denunciation of European culture was unprecedented, unrestrained, and startling, viz.:
“The whites have always been an unjust, jealous, unmerciful, avaricious and blood-thirsty set of beings, always seeking after power and authority.”
Walker attacks the slave system and its rampant racism from the viewpoint of America’s allegiance to the idea of freedom; he quotes the Declaration of Independence at length, and strikes a recognizably jeremiad note:
“O Americans! Americans!! I call God—I call angels— I call men, to witness, that your destruction is at hand, and will be speedily consummated unless you REPENT.”
The Appeal’s targets include Southern slaveholders, their political protectors, Christian ministers who deny the lessons of the Gospel to Africans, and the efforts to resettle (i.e., deport) free and freed Negroes back to Africa. Two hundred years after enslaved Africans were first brought to North America, Walker’s Appeal announced a new phase of resistance and struggle. Considered too radical by many who sympathized with abolition, it casts a beam of insightful courage across the centuries since—speaking truth to power, and chiding modern Americans over how much of its indictment still obtains.
This very early (if not the first) account of Native American history and myth, written and published in English by an Indian, is valuable on that score alone. This online electronic edition (in pdf format) was transcribed from digital images of the 1828 edition in the Library of Congress. No attempt has been made to correct or regularize spelling and punctuation or to standardize the language of the original; some typographical errors have been corrected, and these are listed in the notes.
The history begins at the Creation, with the twin brothers Enigorio and Enigonhahetgea (the good spirit and evil spirit) and their creatures, the Eagwehoewe (the people) and their enemies the Ronnongwetowanca (giants). The earliest people were championed by the hero Donhtonha and the less heroic Yatatonwatea and plagued by the mischeivous Shotyeronsgwea. These early people were also threatened by (but survived) the Big Quisquiss or mammoth, the Big Elk, the great Emperor who resided at the Golden City to the south, the great horned serpent of Lake Ontario, and the blazing star that fell.
More recently, the creation was renewed and restored, and the Six Nations situated and intermittently rescued by the intervention of Tarenyawagon, the Holder of the Heavens.
The Five Nations were a confederacy, or Ggoneaseabneh (Long House), consisting of the 1. Teakawrehhogeh or Tehawrehogeh (Mohawks) 2. Newhawtehtahgo or Nehawretahgo (Oneidas) 3. Seuhnaukata or Seuhnowkahtah (Onondagas) 4. Shoneanawetowah (Cayugas) 5. Tehooneanyohent or Tehowneanyohent (Senecas) They were later joined by the Kautanohakau (Tuscaroras) to make the Six Nations.
Their human enemies at times included the Sohnourewah (Shawnees), Twakanhahors (Mississaugers), Ottauwahs, Squawkihows, Kanneastokaroneah (Eries), Ranatshaganha (Mohegans), Nay-Waunaukauraunah, and Keatahkiehroneah.
Their monstrous enemies included the Konearaunehneh (Flying Heads), the Lake Serpent, the Otneyarheh (Stonish Giants), the snake with the human head, the Oyalkquoher or Oyalquarkeror (the Big Bear), the great musqueto, Kaistowanea (the serpent with two heads), the great Lizard, and the witches introduced by the Skaunyatohatihawk or Nanticokes.
Important figures in the history include Atotarho I, first king of the Five Nations, his successors Atotarho II–XIII, the war chiefs Shorihowane and Thoyenogea, Sauwanoo, Queen Yagowanea, and the allied or friendly Dog Tail Nation and the Kauwetseka.
Cusick gives particular attention to geographical details, including the Kanawage or St. Lawrence River, Yenonanatche or Mohawk River, Shawnaytawty or Hudson River, Ouauweyoka or Mississippi River, Onyakarra or Niagara River, Kaunsehwatauyea or Susquehanna River, Kuskehsawkich or Oswego Falls, Jenneatowake or Canandaigua Lake, Kauhagwarahka or Lake Erie, Goyogoh or Cayuga Lake, Geatahgweah or Chatatique Lake, and the forts at Kedauyerkawau (now Tonewanta plains), Kauhanauka, and the village of Kaunehsuntahkeh.
Cusick’s Sketches of Ancient History of the Six Nations has been proposed as a possible source for or influence on the Book of Mormon; it has also been advanced as evidence for the existence of Bigfoot and the Lake Champlain monster.
David Cusick was born around 1780, probably on the Oneida reservation in upstate New York. He served in the War of 1812, during which his village was burned by the British. He was a physician and painter and student of Iroquois oral tradition. He published the first edition of Sketches of Ancient History of the Six Nations as a 28-page pamphlet at Lewiston, NY, in 1827. He re-issued it the following year with additional text and four of his own engravings, and that edition provides the text and illustrations reprinted here. Cusick is thought to have died around 1840. The Sketches was republished in 1848 (Lockport, NY) and again in 1892 (Fayetteville, NY).
Furman’s work is one of the earliest compilations of historical documents (with commentary) about an American city, in this case his native Brooklyn. It is an invaluable source of information on the early Dutch and English settlements of Brooklyn, Flatbush, Bushwick, New Lotts, Canarsie, Bedford, New Utrecht, Jamaica, and New Amsterdam, and their controversies with one another and with the Governors of New York and the crown of England. Included are original documents relative to the Indian purchases, original boundaries, water rights, ferry rights, wood rights, and forms of town government. Sections include: Situation of the Town of Brooklyn, Ancient Names and Remains, Soil and Climate, Ancient Grants and Patents, Town Rights and Ferries, Roads and Public Landing Places, Common Lands, and the Division thereof, Differences as to Bounds, Revolutionary Incidents, Ancient Government, Present Government, Public Buildings and Institutions, Schools, Newspapers and Moral Character, and Fire Department.
Gabriel Furman (1800-1854) was a lawyer, judge, and state senator, and an eminent scholar, book collector, compiler, and antiquarian. He led an eccentric and solitary life, and died in poverty, the victim, some said, of an opium addiction. His only other work published during his life was an 1845 edition of Daniel Denton’s 1670 tract, A Brief Description of New York, Formerly Called New-Netherlands.
This online electronic edition is transcribed from a facsimile of the original, produced by RENASCENCE in Brooklyn in 1968. The table of contents has been moved to the beginning of the volume, and a small number of typographical errors corrected, but otherwise the pagination and the language, style, spelling, and punctuation are those of the original.
The Notes was re-issued after Furman’s death, in 1865 in a edition prepared for the Faust Club of Brooklyn, compiled (according to some catalogers) by A.J. Spooner, and containing two biographical sketches of Furman. These sketches can bee seen at http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/libraryscience/28/ and Furman’s “Introduction” and “Notes” to Denton’s Brief Description can be seen at http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/libraryscience/23/
An Oration on the Abolition of the Slave Trade; Delivered in the African Church in the City of New-York, January 1, 1808
Peter Williams Jr
The United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 9, prohibited Congress from banning the importation of slaves until the year 1808. A bill to do this was first introduced in Congress by Senator Stephen Roe Bradley of Vermont in December 1805, and its passage was recommended by President Jefferson in his annual message to Congress in December 1806. In March 1807, Congress passed the legislation, and President Thomas Jefferson signed it into law on March 3, 1807. Subsequently, on March 25, 1807, the British Parliament also passed an act banning the slave trade aboard British ships. The effective date of the new federal law (January 1, 1808) was celebrated in New York City by the oration and program reprinted here. The state of New York had banned the importation of slaves in 1788; and it pursued a policy of gradual abolition that freed all slaves in New York by 1827, although outsiders were legally entitled to hold slaves temporarily under a “nine-months” law in effect until 1841. The 1807 Act applied only to the importation of slaves from abroad, and did not end the domestic slave trade, which remained legal until the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 (for the seceded states) or the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 (for the slave states that remained in the Union). The text of the 1807 Act is online at http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/statutes/slavery/sl004.htm The Oration by Peter Williams, Jr., is among the earliest publications by an African American on the subject of abolition. Williams (c.1780–1840) was born in Brunswick, New Jersey, and attended the African Free School in New York. His mother was an indentured servant from St. Kitts, and his father was a veteran of the Revolutionary War who had helped establish the first African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in 1796. Williams, Jr., later organized St. Philip’s African Church in Harlem in 1818, and in 1826 he became an Episcopal clergyman. He was active in the New York African Society for Mutual Relief and the American Anti-Slavery Society. A brief biography of him is online at the New-York Historical Society: http://www.slaveryinnewyork.org/PDFs/Life_Stories.pdf
'Farewell' Address to the People of the United States, Announcing His Intention of Retiring from Public Life at the Expiration of the Present Constitutional Term of Presidency
President George Washington’s farewell address “To the People of the United States” was delivered to the public through the medium of the Philadelphia Daily Advertiser newspaper and was immediately reprinted in other newspapers and in pamphlet form throughout the country, and in England, Ireland, and Scotland as well. All contemporary editions derived directly or indirectly from the Daily Advertiser newspaper source.
The composition of the address was a collaborative effort, with James Madison co-authoring with Washington an early draft that was reviewed and revised at least twice to incorporate suggestions by Alexander Hamilton. The final draft, in Washington’s handwriting, was submitted to Timothy Pickering and others in the Cabinet before being given to the printer.
Washington’s “farewell address” emphasizes the importance of Union, the danger of partisanship, the threat of parties allied to foreign countries or interests, the accomplishment of a national government, the precedence of national over sectional interests, the maintenance of the public credit, the avoidance of large military establishments, and the overall momentousness of the American experiment in democracy. Throughout the address Washington demonstrates the restraint, modesty, and humility that—combined with his personal judgment, honesty, steadfastness, commitment to the republic, and devotion to the idea of liberty—made him so deeply reverenced by his contemporaries and by fellow-citizens for centuries to come.
Hammon’s Address, published in New York and Philadelphia in 1787, is a simple but eloquent set of Christian advice and reflections. To his fellow Negroes who are enslaved, Hammon advises obedience to masters, honesty and faithfulness, and the avoidance of profaneness. Among his strongest recommendations is that Negroes make every effort learn to read and use that knowledge to study the Bible. Hammon’s focus is on eternity, judgment, redemption, and God’s governance of the world.
Yet Hammon’s appeal is no apology for the slave system, but rather a modulated and astute assessment of the social and power relations between blacks and whites in the early republic: “That liberty is a great thing we may know from our own feelings, and we may likewise judge so from the conduct of the white-people, in the late war. How much money has been spent, and how many lives has been lost, to defend their liberty. I must say that I have hoped that God would open their eyes, when they were so much engaged for liberty, to think of the state of the poor blacks, and to pity us.” Even Hammon’s overtly Christian message contains a very equalitarian strain: there is only one Heaven for whites and blacks, and only one Hell; and “God hath not chosen the rich of this world. Not many rich, not many noble are called, but God hath chosen the weak things of this world, and things which are not, to confound the things that are.”
If Hammon’s address is less radical than some later appeals, it nonetheless embodies a consciousness of racial inequality and a refusal to accept the current situation of Negroes in America as just or as representing God’s will. That his call for change is couched in Christian language and interwoven with a pietistic non-violent ideology, only links his revolutionary message more strongly to a long tradition of black protest that includes, among many others, Dr. Martin Luther King and Cornel West.
Containing a Concise History of the Origin of Printing; Also an examination of the Superficies, Gradation, and Properties of the Different Sizes of Types cast by Letter Founders; Various Tables of Calculation; Models of Letter Cases; Schemes for Casting off Copy and Imposing; and many other Requisites for attaining a perfect Knowledge both in the Theory and Practice of the Art of Printing. With Directions to Authors, Compilers, &c. How to Prepare Copy, and to Correct their own Proofs. Chiefly collected from [John] Smith's Edition. To which are added Directions for Pressmen, &c. The whole calculated for the Service of All who have any Concern in the Letter Press.
This is an open-access electronic text edition of Filson’s seminal work on the early history of Kentucky, including the first published account of the life and adventures of Daniel Boone. Filson’s work was an unabashedly optimistic account of the western territory, where Filson had acquired large land claims, whose value he sought to enhance by the publication of this advertisement and incitement for further settlement. Scarcely two years after the violent and tragic British and Indian invasion of 1782, Filson portrayed Kentucky as a natural paradise, where peace, plenty, and security reigned. Of some significance is Filson’s recognition that the territory would be economically tied to the West, and especially the river ports of Natchez and New Orleans, rather than the Eastern seaboard. His reflections on the interests of the United States in acquiring and securing the western regions of North America predate the Louisiana Purchase by 18 years. The work, and especially the narrative of Daniel Boone, proved extremely popular, and was frequently reprinted and translated into French and German. It proved to be the first in a long tradition of rousing Western adventures associated with the westward migration of the Americans. This edition includes the complete text of the first edition, some notes, a biographical sketch of John Filson, and a discussion of the editorial procedures. It also includes the “Map of Kentucke” published in 1784 along with the book.
The Life and Spiritual Sufferings of That Faithful Servant of Christ Jane Hoskens, a Public Preacher among the People Called Quakers
Jane Fenn Hoskens
In 1712, nineteen-year-old Jane Fenn left her home, family, and friends in London to obey an inner voice that said ——“Go to Pennsylvania! ” Arrived in Philadelphia, she was soon cast into debtors’ prison for refusing to sign an indenture dictated by the man who had arranged her passage. Redeemed by a group of Quakers from Plymouth County who wished to employ her as a schoolteacher, she spent three years in their community and began to absorb their teachings and their ways.
Her narrative chronicles her inward struggles with her own sense of unworthiness, the temptations of Satan, her distaste of being noticed, and her resistance to speaking in meetings. In 1716, she moved to the Quaker community of Haverford, and in 1718 to Chester, where she became the housekeeper and protege of David Lloyd, a leading Quaker and the chief justice of Pennsylvania. In 1721, she began to travel locally as a minister, in company with Elizabeth Levis. In 1722, the women extended their ministry to Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. In 1725, they journeyed to Barbados, Rhode Island, Nantucket, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia. In 1727, with Abigail Bowles, she took the ministry to England and Ireland. Over the next thirty years, she continued to travel the eastern seaboard, speaking in Friends’ meetings and also preaching in public venues.
Hoskens’ narrative is considered the first spiritual autobiography by a Quaker woman published in America. It documents not only her own religious experience, but also the practices of the Quaker communities of early Pennsylvania, and, especially, the importance of the networks of female relationships around which women’s lives revolved.
Hoskens’ Life is presented here in an ebook based on the first edition of 1771, which was prepared from a manuscript left at her death in 1764. This earliest version of the work has not previously been generally available; and later editions (notably the 1837 version published in The Friends Library) have undergone substantial editorial alterations. The 1771 text, which brings the reader much closer to Hoskens’ own usage and language, is presented in a format that closely emulates the first edition published in Philadelphia. Some explanatory notes have been added at the end, and a brief note on the text describes and lists the obvious printer’s errors corrected.
In October of 1753, George Washington, a 21-year-old major in the Virginia militia, volunteered to carry a letter from the governor of Virginia to the French commander of the forts recently built on the headwaters of the Ohio River in northwestern Pennsylvania. The French had recently expanded their military operations from the Great Lakes into the Ohio country, and had spent the summer of 1753 building forts and roads along the Allegheny River, with the design of linking their trade routes and sphere of influence down the Ohio to the Mississippi. Virginia governor Robert Dinwiddie believed them to be in violation of treaties and claims that made those territories part of Virginia and Pennsylvania, as granted by the British Crown, and his letter to the French commander instructed him to cease, desist, and depart from those regions.
Washington left Williamsburg, Virginia on October 31, 1753, and completed the round trip of more than 1,000 miles by horse, foot, canoe, and raft in about ten weeks. He was accompanied by Christopher Gist, an explorer and surveyor employed by the Ohio Company, by Jacob Van Braam, a French Interpreter, four Indian traders and baggage-men, and various Indian delegations and guards, including Tanacharison, known as the “Half-King.” Washington accomplished far more than the mere delivery of a letter: he practiced diplomacy to keep the Native leaders allied to the English cause; he interviewed French deserters and reported on the extent of French military posts between New Orleans and the Great Lakes; he reconnoitered the Forks of the Ohio with an eye to the proper site for building a fort; and he inspected and reported on the construction of the new French forts and made estimates of their strength and preparations for the following year’s expeditions.
When Washington arrived back in Williamsburg on January 16, 1754, Governor Dinwiddie immediately asked him to prepare a written report for the House of Burgesses. Dinwiddie then had this report printed, and it became very popular reading. The Virginia legislature was so pleased with his mission and his report that they voted him a £50 reward. The Journal of Major George Washington was reprinted in various colonial newspapers as far away as Boston, and a British edition was issued in London later that same year, for which Washington sent materials for the preparation of a map.
This online electronic text edition of the Journal is based on the first American edition published at Williamsburg in February 1754. It includes some annotations for the nonspecialist reader and a note on the text discussing the sources and the few emendations made.
It is accompanied by 2 maps, attached as supplementary PDF files: one is a copy of the map that appeared with the London edition, showing the whole region from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, based on materials furnished by Washington; the other is a detail derived from the map accompanying Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia (1787), showing the frontier region through which Washington travelled, between Cumberland (Md.) and Lake Erie. Of the two, the Jefferson map shows the geography with somewhat greater accuracy.
Georg Wilhelm Steller
Steller’s classic work, published in Latin in 1751 and in German in 1753, contains the only scientific description from life of the Steller’s sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas), as well as the first scientific descriptions of the fur seal or “sea bear” (Callorhinus ursinus), Steller’s sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus), and the sea otter (Enhydra lutris).
Steller’s sea cow was a sirenian, or manatee, inhabiting the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea. It was first discovered by Europeans in 1741 and rendered extinct by 1768. It was a 30-foot long, plant-eating aquatic mammal, weighing up to 12 tons, that lived in large herds on the coasts of Alaska and Kamchatka.
Steller made his observations as part of Vitus Bering’s second voyage, during which the crew was shipwrecked for 9 months on Bering Island, from November 1741 to August 1742. This voyage was undertaken as part of the Great Northern Expedition, commissioned by the Imperial Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, to prosecute the exploration of the North Pacific and western North America.
This English translation originally appeared in 1899, in an appendix to The Fur Seals and Fur-Seal Islands of the North Pacific Ocean, edited by David Starr Jordan, Part 3 (Washington, 1899), pp. 179–218.
A brief bibliography, links to online works and sites, and illustrations have been added by the present editor.
Most of these works have been previously issued in the "Electronic Texts in American Studies" series at http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/etas/ They are re-issued here for the opportunity to feature them as e-books and to display their graphic covers.
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