January 16, 2017

Primary Source Spotlight: Thomas Paine

Common Sense 1776 image of original cover page American Treasures: Thomas Paine’s Common Sense Plain truth; addressed to the inhabitants of America, containing, remarks on a late pamphlet, entitled Common sense signed “Rationalis” image of original cover page The American crisis (No. 1) transcription image of original cover page More Thomas Paine writings Thomas Paine National Historical Association Thomas Paine correspondence Thomas Paine historic newspaper … [Read more...]

Today in History: Bastille Day & the French Revolution

Today in History–July 14–TPS-Barat Primary Source Nexus features Bastille Day, which commemorates the 1790 Fête de la Fédération held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille in Paris, France on July 14, 1789. This action marked the beginning of the French Revolution. Find out more about these events by investigating a variety of primary and secondary sources linked to below. Opera Goes to the Bastille In the Muse blog July 14, 2011 Touring French History through Political … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Has the war ruined the country?

Read the headline and the four lines of text just under the headline. Then look at the footer text at the bottom of this page. Who do you think was the audience for this broadside? Explain the reasoning behind your conclusion. (Hint: If you need help answering this, there is one particular word that you should research.) What can you learn about the evidence referenced in this broadside just by looking at the diagrams? (Don't read the text below the diagrams yet!) Access a larger version … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Slavery (U.S.)

Library slavery collections Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938 more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves Caroline Hammond (a fugitive) "I was born in Anne Arundel County near Davidsonville about 3 miles from South River in the year 1844...." The story of Charles Crawley, ex-slave "God knows, how old I am. All I know is, I wuz born 'fore de war...." Voices from the Days of … [Read more...]

Featured Source: El Mosquito Americano

Look closely at the illustration. What can you determine about this broadside from the art? What more do you learn from the summary of this primary source? Do you think the illustration supports the summary? Why or why not? Look at both the front and back of this broadside. How does each stanza end? Why do you think the creator might have chosen this pattern? Do you think this broadside literally refers to an insect invasion the United States? Why or why not? Learn more. What other … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Slave market of America

What contradiction does this broadside illustrate and discuss? Support your conclusion using specific details from the source. Who created this broadside? Using details from the source to support your responses, explain the purpose of this broadside and the intended audience. Review the bibliographic record for this source, in particular the summary. What more did you learn about slavery in 1836 Washington, D.C. What other observations, reflections or questions does this source inspire? … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Los sueños de las posadas

Reverse side What can you discover about the content of this broadside just by looking at the illustrations? Explain your discoveries using specific details from the images to support your responses. front side larger image | back side larger image Now review the bibliographic record, paying particularly close attention to the summary. In what ways were your discoveries similar to what the text reported? What more did you learn? Conduct some more research on las posadas and share your … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Synopsis of the Fugitive Slave Law

Review this synopsis of the fugitive slave law. Choose one of the synopsis points and find which part(s) of the fugitive law text the author drew from to create the summary. Use the text from the fugitive slave law to create your own synopsis using modern-day language. In the objections, the author states that the fugitive slave law "violates the spirit and letter of the Constitution" and then lists several examples. Look for one of the examples in the actual text of the U.S. Constitution. … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Doctor Fesler has arrived

Reverse Take a close look at the text features and illustrations on both sides of this leaflet. What information do you think the author wanted to highlight? What do you think readers would walk away remembering? Compare and contrast the information provided by the illustrations and bold text with the narrative text on the reverse side of this leaflet. What do you notice? What skills does Dr. Fessler have? Back up each skill with evidence from the text. What personal qualities does he … [Read more...]

Today in History: 1783 Treaty of Paris

Today in History–January 14–the Library of Congress features the Treaty of Paris, ratified by the Continental Congress on this day in 1784, nine months after the preliminary articles of peace were approved and over four months after the actual treaty was signed in Paris. Find out more by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access related primary sources. You might also want to take a look at this Revolutionary War primary source set. Preliminary articles of … [Read more...]