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Group of Negro women at revival meeting, La Forge, Missouri

Ladies Should Read Newspapers (1861)

This appeared in an 1861 issue of The Christian Recorder.  It is important to note that this publication was produced and sold primarily within African American society and this issue came out while it was still illegal in some places for black slaves in the south to be taught to read at all.

It is a great mistake in female education to keep a young lady’ s time and attention devoted to only the fashionable literature of the day. If you would qualify her for conversation you must give her something to talk about, give her education with the actual world and its transpiring events.

Urge her to read newspapers and become familiar with the present character and improvements of our race. History is of some importance, but the past world is dead, and we have little comparatively to do with it. Our thoughts and our concerns should be for the present world, to know what it is and improve its condition.

Let her have an intelligent conversation concerning the mental, political, and religious improvements of our time. Let the gilded annuals and poems on the centre table be kept a part of the time covered with journals. Let the family – men, women a children – read the newspapers.

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:  The Christian Recorder, May 4, 1861
Image Details:  Group of women at a 1938 revival meeting, La Forge, Missouri (LOC)


wordpress

Colleen Greene: WordPress for Genealogy

Colleen Greene, MLIS is a librarian, web developer, content strategist, and educator who regularly teaches and presents on web content strategy, social media, digital history tools, and other emerging technology tools and topics. She has a knack for being able to explain complex technology concepts in easy to understand terms.

Colleen Greene

Colleen Greene

She has taken the time to put together a wonderful series of posts on her website that walk bloggers and website operators through exactly how to add Genealogy Snapshots to WordPress based sites. She broke it down into three parts to make it easier to digest.

These posts explain how to do this for almost any website, including Blogger and WordPress.com, but what makes her efforts special is the work she put into teaching readers how to get the most out of a self-hosted WordPress site using plugins and re-useable code.

What makes these guides really stand out is how thorough they are. Colleen makes clear exactly what you should see at each stage of the process and she takes the time to explain her thought processes and why she selected the specific tools and techniques used for this project.

WordPress for Genealogy Guides

If you are using Blogger or other platforms, be sure to check out Colleen’s Blogging for Genealogy: Adding a Lineage Snapshot Box to Ancestor Posts in WordPress.com & Blogger post.


Frederick Douglass

Problems with New York’s Personal Liberty Bill of 1859

Frederick Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, February 1818 – February 20, 1895) was an American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. He was editor and publisher of the Frederick Douglass Paper and Douglass’ Monthly.

This commentary appeared in the April 1859 issue of Douglass’ Monthly.

The Personal Liberty Bill

Nearly nine years after the passage by Congress of the Fugitive Slave Bill, nine years of insulting triumph on the part of the South, and shame-faced, puling submission on the part of the North, three of the free States, Vermont,Massachusetts and New York, have been roused by abolition appeals to take op the consideration of the subject whether their soil is their own, and whether their souls are their own, whether the State has eminent domain over the territory thereof, and the right to determine the status of all persons who may be within said territory.

These are grand, stirring questions. The stern Nemesis which watches over our commonwealth,is arousing the public sense to a consciousness of the fact, “for as much as ye did it unto the least of these, ye did it also unto me.” “Poor, and black, and friendless,as were the victims aimed at by the Act of Sept. 18th, 1850, yet that act pierced the heart of State sovereignty, and crushed thefree States beneath the iron heel of slavery.”

Vermont has passed her Liberty Bill, New York has under discussion, and Massachusetts will soon report and pass her Act. We have already printed the Bill now before our State Legislature. It is the same as that of Vermont down to the 6th section; we propose to examine this bill and see whether it be equal to the object it aims to compass.

“Sec. 6. Every person who may have been held as a slave, who shall come, or He brought, or be in this State with the consent of his or her alleged master or mistress, or who shall come or be brought or be in this State, shall be free.”

“Sec. 3. Whenever any person in this State shall be deprived of liberty, arrested or detained,on the ground that such person owes service or labor to another person, NOT AN INHABITANT OF THIS STATE, either party may claim a trial by jury,” &c.

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Fugitive Slave Act

The Colored Man’s Perils (1837)

The following shows up to the light some of the doings and devices of wicked men, which surround people of color in northern cities. Not only slave agents and kidnappers, but black-legs in desperate circumstances, prowl about to plot our ruin.

It will be recollected, that not long since, two colored men were arrested at Utica, on a claim of being fugitive Slaves, but who afterwards effected their escape. The Rev. Geo. Storrs, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, recently met with them, in his going about, and received the story of their difficulties from their own lips. He learned various interesting facts from them – and found them to be very simple, honest-hearted persons. The following is a copy of a part of his written memorandum of their conversation, as we find it in a Union paper. The soul-catcher alluded to, passed as a “Virginia gentleman!” at the time of the investigation at Utica.

Southern Jewels

“Jewels” found at Alexandria – engraved by Samuel Curtis Upham, 1819-1885

“Harry’s own story of the matter,” says Mr. Storrs, as he told it to me was, “that the soul-catcher had tried to persuade him to get his mistress’ consent to be sold, saying – ‘Harry, if you will be sold to me, I will give you $20, and will make you rich. I go to New York sometimes, and when there, I gamble, and sometimes lose $1000 or $1500, and then I go out and kidnap some of the colored people, and then go and gamble again, and get all my money back again, and win too.”

“He wanted,” adds the paper alluded to, “to see Harry as a decoy or stool-pigeon to entice others into his snares.”

The same paper further states – “It is proper to mention, that the colored men did not runaway on the solicitations of this gentleman soul-catcher. They were left by their deceased master to his widow, during her life, and afterwards, to younger heirs. The old lady being aware that they would be sold into Louisiana as soon as she died, and not expecting to live long, as they had been favorite servants, advised them to runaway.” These facts were disclosed, by the colored men, to their counsel in Utica. So that, in truth, they came into this State with the consent of their mistress, and hence could not, legally, be pursued or retained as slaves.

Learn more about this era in our free copy of Twelve Years a Slave.

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: Weekly Advocate, February 25, 1837
Top Image Source: Practical illustration of the Fugitive Slave Law


tulips-65305_1280

How to Plan a Flower Garden (1852)

Flower Gardens are of two kinds: those which are planted with flowers indiscriminately in the borders are called mixed flower gardens; and those which are of a regular shape as shown in the figures, and which are planted in masses of flowers of one kind, are called geometrical flower gardens.

Plans for Flower Gardens - Godey's Lady's Book, 1852

Plans for Flower Gardens – Godey’s Lady’s Book, 1852

Mixed flower gardens require comparatively little care to arrange and keep in order, as the principal objects to be attended to are to have the tallest plants placed furthest from the eye, and to keep the plants sufficiently distinct to prevent them from being drawn up for want of room.

The geometrical flower garden, on the other hand, requires great care in its arrangement; for, as the plants form masses of color, if the colors do not harmonize with each other, they produce a very bad effect.

It is, therefore, necessary to draw out a plan for a flower garden, and to color it before it is planted, as then, if the colors do not harmonize, they can be changed with little trouble.

Plans for Flower Gardens - Godey's Lady's Book, 1852

Plans for Flower Gardens – Godey’s Lady’s Book, 1852

In a geometrical flower garden, the colors must be contrived so as to produce a striking effect contrasted with each other, and the plants must be so chosen as to be nearly of the same size, so that the garden, when seen at a distance, may have the effect of a Turkey carpet.

The walks in a geometrical flower garden are either grass or gravel, but as in the latter case they must be bordered with box, the garden generally looks better when the beds are on grass.

Source: Godey’s Lady’s Book, March, 1852 – Plans for Flower Gardens

Godey’s Lady’s Book— Louis Antoine Godey began publishing Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1830. He designed his monthly magazine specifically to attract the growing audience of literate American women. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America.