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Inside the Archives – November 2014 – Volume III Number 4

Volume III. Number 4.


As we move toward the close of 2014, with Thanksgiving on the horizon and Christmas just a few weeks away, Accessible Archives’ END-OF-YEAR SALE still is going strong. From The Revolution through the African American Experience and Civil War to Women’s History and beyond, individual and packaged collections are available at very special prices.  Whether you’re looking at individual permanent access or prefer an annual subscription to our complete collections, please contact us with your interests and we will be happy to review all options with you.

Frank Leslie’s Weekly — We continue to load keyed content onto the website, with a completion goal of early 2015.  As we remain in pre-publication mode, special pricing still is available.  Whether your interest lies with the complete collection or just in specific areas – The Civil War or World War I, for example – we are offering extremely favorable terms.

National Anti-Slavery Standard — While complete page images are already on the website, as are those for Frank Leslie’s weekly, the number of keyed issues increases on a regular basis.  Again, pre-publication pricing is in effect, with a very special offer for those who own the Standard’s sister publication, The Liberator from any source.  Please contact us and we’ll be happy to fill you in on the details.

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and we’re  “talking turkey”! 


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The New System of Reclaiming Lands (1867)

This article appeared in the November 16, 1867 issue of Frank Leslie’s Weekly.


Operations on Newark Meadows, N. J., by the Iron Dike and Land Reclamation Company of New York.

SWAMP-LANDS are blurs upon the fair face of Nature; they are fever-breeding places; scourges of humanity; which, instead of yielding the fruits of the earth and adding wealth to the general community, only supply to the neighboring places poisonous exhalations and torturing musquitos. They are, for all practical purposes, worthless; and the imperative necessity for their reclamation is obvious to all, and is universally conceded.




We are not dealing now with the vast, wild and desoate swamps which infest certain portions of our country, but of those marshes in the immediate vicinity of civilization—marshes, in fact, which stand in the way of civilization, keeping hundreds of millions of dollars locked up in their oozy, muddy, worthless bosoms. Jersey City and Hoboken would long since have become one continuous city but for the unsightly marsh which spreads out, barren, between; and thousands of families could find homesteads, where the waters of the East River overflow at 103d street. Many attempts have been made to reclaim similar marshes, but the enormous expense attending the only certain method of reclamation then known has always proved an effectual bar to the completion of the work. These marshes, as a general thing, are divided among numberless owners in parcels, from the sixteenth of an acre to five and ten acre lots. The conflicting interests of these parties, and the impossibility of inclining them to a united action, are found to be the most formidable barriers to the great work of reclamation. It is true that stupendous works of drainage have been accomplished in Europe, such as the Harlem Lake, the wonderful Dikes of Holland, the Fens of Lincolnshire, and the Bedford Level; but these were accomplished by Governmenta action or liberal subsidy. The results in each case have proven truly gigantic. Harlem Lake, formerly presenting an area of seventy square miles of water, is now a land teeming with the richest productions of the earth; Holland bids defiance to the ever-threatening tides: while the Bedford Level, a vast tract of thousands of acres, is now a fertile corn-field, and was not long since made into a county, and added to the domains of her Majesty, being declared the finest agricultural district in the country.


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The Association for the Advancement of Women in 1896

Among the hundreds upon hundreds of women’s organizations, of whose making there is no end and into whose many forms the much-talked of “woman movement” has crystallized itself, there is one unique and interesting society of which little is heard, though it is of ripe age–twenty-two years–and counts its membership in every section of the country.

From Canada to Florida, from Maine to California, are women to whom the initials “A.A.W.” stand for a new inspiration in their lives, and among its hundreds of members are included women of world-wide fame, from its president, Julia Ward Howe , author of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” down. From the fact that its working methods are somewhat unlike those of most women’s clubs, the only time when the Association for the Advancement of Women challenges universal attention, is when it calls its members from the East and the North, the South and the West, to its annual convention in some representative city. For the rest of the year it works so quietly–though none the less effectively –that to many of the outside world a brief account of the Association, its membership, and its work, will come as interesting news.


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Battle of Shiloh

A Look Inside: Maine in the War for the Union

The full title of this book is Maine in the War for the Union: A History of the Part Borne by Maine Troops in the Suppression of the American Rebellion. This volume was compiled by William E. S. Whitman and Charles H. True of Lewistion, Maine.

Accessible Archives subscribers can find the full text searchable version of this book within the The Civil War Collection Part II: The Soldiers’ Perspective.

From the Preface

When it was decided to commence the undertaking of preparing a volume in which should be recorded what Maine had done through her noble sons as her share in maintaining the honor, integrity and unity of the Republic, for the purpose of having the work as truthful and as complete as it could be made, the editors immediately opened a correspondence with officers and men in the service in whose statements they had implicit confidence, setting forth their design and soliciting of such parties their co-operation by furnishing us, at the earliest moment, such information as it was in their power to give. Adverting to the honor and reputation of the State and of the organizations with which they were connected, we enjoined upon them the importance of not disregarding our request, which we are happy to state was quite satisfactorily complied with.

With such material as was furnished, in addition to that obtained from official sources, we have been able to perform the task assigned us. Those from whom we have derived such private assistance, were all actors in the scenes narrated. The accuracy of the work ought, therefore, to be reasonably satisfactory, as great pains have been taken to make it of incalculable value in this respect, although it is not impossible but that a few errors have crept in unwarily, escaping our scrutiny in the work of preparation.


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Meeting of Colored Citizens of New York (1851)

The adjourned meeting of colored citizens, called for Thursday evening, 6th October (1851), upon the subject of colonization in Africa, was held at the same place where the two preceding meetings were held. The meeting was much more numerously attended than the previous one, and was very animated.

A very different sentiment prevailed from that reported of the two preceding meetings. A report, submitted by a committee, favoring emigration to Liberia, was, upon motion, refused even the respect of a reception. Rev. S.E. Cornish (see note below), Robert Hamilton, Peter Ginnan, Geo. T. Downing, and others, opposed the reception. L.H. Putnam and Mr. Jones were the defenders of the same.

Mr. Cornish declared that the leader in this movement (alluding to Mr. Putnam) felt no interest in common with his people. He said that he had been collecting funds ostensibly to send colored persons to Liberia, but in reality for his own benefit. Mr. Cornish said that Liberia was the last place that he would advise his people to go – giving as reasons, the poverty, the spirit of caste, and the general demoralizing influence of the place; and he further declared that the great obstacle to the elevation of the colored man in this country was the American Colonization Society.

Many remarks, denunciatory of the colonization scheme, were made by the several speakers, declaring that they did not feel called upon to interfere with Mr. Putnam’s collecting funds from colonizationists, so long as he did not compromise the well-known sentiments of the colored people, but that he was doing so now. Hence their denunciation.

The following resolutions were adopted:

  • Resolved, That we disavow the sentiments set forth in the reported proceedings of two meetings, purporting to be held by colored residents, and express our continued abhorrence of the colonization scheme in all its phases, whether promulgated by the American Colonization Society or by renegade colored men, made under the guise of an emigration society.
  • Resolved, That we, the colored citizens of New York, favor the expressed wish of Mr. L.H. Putnam to disconnect himself from “the Negroes” of New York (a term by which we are popularly designated, and one used by said Putnam, a negro), seeing that he has found it to be his interest to connect himself with the American Colonization Society, our enemy and vilifier.
  • Resolved, That we caution the public against contributing funds towards the so-called Liberia Emigration Society, as the colored citizens of New York have no connection or sympathy with it.

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s African American Newspapers Collection. This enormous collection of African American newspapers contains a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 1800s and is rich with first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day.

Source: Frederick Douglass Paper, November 13, 1851

About Rev. S.E. Cornish mentioned above

Rev. Samuel Eli Cornish

Rev. Samuel Eli Cornish

Rev. Samuel Eli Cornish (1795- November 6, 1858) was born in Delaware to parents of mixed race.

After graduating from the Free African School in Philadelphia Cornish began training to become a Presbyterian minister and was ordained in 1822. He was ordained in 1822.

He then moved to New York City and organized the first congregation of Black Presbyterians as New Demeter Street Presbyterian Church.

In 1827 he became co-editor of Freedom’s Journal.

He was also a founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society. This society was formed by Arthur Tappan, Lewis Tappan, Theodore Weld, and William Lloyd Garrison.

In 1840 he left to join the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.

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