#AskAnArchivist on Genealogical Research

Today, October 30th, was #AskAnArchivist day on Twitter.  This is the second year running where professional archivists have set aside a day to answer questions from the general public on Twitter.

I asked how genealogical hobbyists/laypeople could make the lives of archivists better.  Most of their replies followed a common theme.

Their Answers


Comments Off

The 2nd Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society

In 1840 the seven year old Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society experienced some internal and external dissent and was dissolved and reformed under the same name. Researchers studying this group should know that the society was sometimes also referred to as the “Female Abolition Society,” “Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society,” or the “Boston Female A.S. Society.”

Details on the situation, as well as some letters from the people involved, can be found in the October 28, 1840 issue of the National Anti-Slavery Standard.

The new organization published these resolutions at their October 14, 1840 meeting: (more…)

Comments Off

Remembering Mrs. Stanton

Elizabeth Cady Stanton died of heart failure at her home in New York City on October 26, 1902, 18 years before women were granted the right to vote in the United States. She was interred in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York.

In Memoriam; Elizabeth Cady Stanton - Pearson's Magazine, November 1902

In Memoriam; Elizabeth Cady Stanton – Pearson’s Magazine, November 1902

After Stanton’s death, her unorthodox ideas about religion and emphasis on female employment and other women’s issues led many suffragists to focus on Anthony, rather than Stanton, as the founder of the women’s suffrage movement. Stanton was commemorated along with Lucretia Mott and Susan B. Anthony in a sculpture by Adelaide Johnson at the United States Capitol, unveiled in 1921.

In 1999, interest in Stanton was popularly rekindled when Ken Burns and others produced the documentary Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony. Once again, attention was drawn to her central, founding role in shaping not only the woman’s suffrage movement, but a broad women’s rights movement in the United States that included women’s suffrage, women’s legal reform, and women’s roles in society as a whole.

Some of Stanton’s writing and  the work of others can be found in Accessible Archive’s Newspapers Collection. We can provide access to fully searchable newspapers by and for women including The Lily, The Revolution, and the National Citizen and Ballot Box.

Comments Off

Lieutenant Madame Brulon: A Modern Heroine

The brilliant lady who writes to the Tribune from Paris over the signature of “Au Revoir,” expresses very naturally the force of habit in a kiss, by describing an embrace she received from a woman in masculine attire, the famous Madame Brulon, of the Hotel des Invalides. She says, “I feel a blush creeping to my cheeks as she kisses me and holds me in her cordial embrace, so much are we in the habit of believing that man walks in coat and pantaloons. If there is ‘safety in numbers,’ however, (as we are assured of there being, in kiss-dom) the lady is safe enough;” for in the same letter she says, “The Hotel des Invalides embraces what would compose quite an American village.” But this Madame Brulon is indeed a celebrity. Of such a heroine on pension it is well to repeat the history:

Madame Brulon, though eighty-three years of age, retains all the vivacity of youthful expression, and assured us that she felt no faculty missing but that to guide well her feet, the right leg having become more refractory than the wounded one.

She wears the uniform of the Invalides, and since her first adoption of military dress, has never left it but once, and that for a moment’s amusement to her grandchildren, when she assumed female attire. But the children, instead of being amused, burst into tears, and begged their grandpa-ma to go back again to her soldier’s clothes.


Comments Off
Franklin County bank robbed by raiders.

The St. Alban’s Raid – October 19, 1864

We devote a large space, this week, to illustrations of the recent rebel raid upon St. Alban’s, Vermont. St. Albans is a flourishing town, situated three miles east of Lake Champlain, 23 miles from Rouse’s Point—where the railroads converge, going North—and 16 miles from the Canada line. The raid was made upon it on the afternoon of Wednesday, the 19th Oct. Business hours had not passed and the banks were still open. The attacking party numbered 25 or 30 persons. These men had come over from Canada and quietly congregated at the various hotels in St. Albans, holding no noticeable communication and awakening no suspicion. Their plan was a bold one, and was successfully executed. On the day mentioned, at about three o’clock in the afternoon, they suddenly congregated, in squads, and made a simultaneous attack on the St. Albans, the Franklin county and the First National Banks. At each bank they drew their revolvers, threatening instant death to all the officers present if any resistance was made. They then robbed the drawers and vaults of all specie, bills and other valuable articles that they could lay their hands upon.

Compelling workers at St. Albans Bank to take an oath of allegiance

Compelling workers at St. Albans Bank to take an oath of allegiance

At the St. Albans bank these ruffians compelled the tellers to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederate Government. At the Franklin bank they thrust the cashier, Mr. Beardsley, together with a Mr. Clark, into the safe, and left them, where they must infallibly have suffocated, but for the timely arrival of assistance, after the robbers had decamped.


Comments Off