September 14, 2022

Collections Spotlight: African American Perspectives

"African American Perspectives" gives a panoramic and eclectic review of African American history and culture and is primarily comprised of two collections in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division: the African American Pamphlet Collection and the Daniel A.P. Murray Collection with a date range of 1822 through 1909. Most were written by African-American authors, though some were written by others on topics of particular importance in African-American history. Among the authors … [Read more...]

Today in History: Compromise of 1850

Today in History–September 20–the Library of Congress features the abolishment of the slave trade in Washington D.C., which was a feature of a legislative package known as the Compromise of 1850. Learn more by reading the Today in History section, then clicking the links below to access related primary & secondary sources. Compromise of 1850: American Treasures of the Library of Congress Compromise of 1850 timeline and select documents January 29, 1850 : Senator Henry Clay … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: Black American History & Heritage

Primary Source sets with teacher guides Baseball: Across a Divided Society Harlem Renaissance Jim Crow in America The NAACP: A Century in the Fight for Freedom Guided primary source analysis activities Afro-American Monument An airship with a “Jim Crow” trailer The Brownies’ Book Condition of the descendants of former African slaves The constitutional amendment Jesse Owens President Obama’s 2016 State of the Union Address Tree of Liberty Woman … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Abolition

Abolition newspapers Anti-Slavery Bugle (weekly) New-Lisbon, Ohio 1845-1861 The Examiner (weekly) Louisville, Kentucky 1847-1849 Primary source collections Abolition primary source set History of American Abolitionism 1861 More abolition books & articles Songs Related to the Abolition of Slavery Library of Congress article Abolition sheet music Abolition images Abolition webcasts Abolition in D.C. primary source collections Album: Abolitionist Cartoons … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Close Reading in Service of a Cause

Activity overview Close reading is an opportunity to read and reread thoughtfully and with purpose. By breaking down the analysis of texts and other primary sources into distinct chunks, you can increase rigor and help students more easily climb the staircase of complexity required by the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). In this primary source activity students will look closely and critically at images in conjunction with historical and contemporary texts. They will compare and contrast … [Read more...]

Today in History: Elijah Lovejoy

Today in History–November 7–the Library of Congress features Elijah Lovejoy, who was killed by a pro-slavery mob on this day in 1837. As editor of The St. Louis Observer–a newspaper started to promote religious and moral education–wrote editorials supporting emancipation. Learn more about the life and death of this champion of freedom by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access related resources. Elijah Parish Lovejoy Was Killed By a Pro-slavery Mob from … [Read more...]

Today in History: John Brown

Today in History–October 16–the Library of Congress features John Brown, who led a raid of Harper's Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia) on this day in 1859, seizing the town's United States arsenal and rifle works and taking 60 prominent locals hostage. The group hoped to spark a rebellion of freed slaves and to lead an "army of emancipation." The group was unsuccessful and John Brown was hanged less than two months later. But his actions, according to Frederick Douglass, were not in vain, "No … [Read more...]

Today in History: Frederick Douglass

Today in History–September 03–the Library of Congress features the escape from slavery of Frederick Douglass on this day in 1838. Born into slavery, Douglass became a renowned abolitionist, journalist, author, and human rights advocate. Learn more about this remarkable man who never ceased advocating for freedom by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more primary sources and primary source learning activities related to Frederick Douglass. Primary … [Read more...]

Today in History: Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Today in History–June 5–the Library of Congress features Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. This iconic American novel originally appeared in serial form, the first installment published on this day in 1851 in the abolitionist weekly the Washington National Era. The following year Stowe's book was published and became an instant bestseller and later became a theatrical hit. Find out more Stowe and this American tale by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to … [Read more...]

Guided Primary Source Analysis: Abolition Frowned Down

Access a larger image of this political cartoon. Do you think this cartoon supports or opposes abolition? Explain your reasoning, pointing to specific details in the source that support your view. Now review the bibliographic record and closely read the summary. Do you think this cartoon supports or opposes abolition? Explain your reasoning, pointing to specific details in the source record that support your view. The bibliographic record states that the drawing style and handling of the … [Read more...]