August 9, 2022

Primary Source Spotlight: U.S. Military Conscription (the Draft)

The Draft Riots of 1863 : A Historical Study Read at the Meeting of the Ohio Commandery Civil War draft riots Civil War induction officer with lottery box photograph Civil War Conscription Laws In Custodia Legis November 15, 2012 Freemen! Avoid Conscription! 1862 broadside Abraham's draft, 600,000 more 1862 sheet music Southern "volunteers" 1862 political cartoon The Conscription Bill speech of Hon. S.S. Cox, of Ohio delivered on February 26, 1863 Abraham Lincoln … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Chinese Exclusion Act

From the Library of Congress: The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was signed into law on May 6, 1882. Officially titled "An act to execute certain treaty stipulations relating to Chinese," the Chinese Exclusion Act prohibited the immigration of Chinese laborers for ten years. It was extended in 1892 for another ten years by the Geary Act and then made permanent in 1902. In 1943, at a time when the United States and China were allies during World War II, the ban on Chinese immigration and … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: 1876 Contested Presidential Election

From America's Library On the night of the 1876 presidential election, Republican candidate Rutherford B. Hayes went to bed early. He assumed that he had lost the election to his opponent, Democrat Samuel J. Tilden. Tilden did win the popular vote that night, but the Republicans challenged the validity of the electoral votes from three states. (Under the Electoral College, each state chooses electors to vote for the president.) A candidate must win the electoral vote to become … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead

Dia de los Muertos Celebration Local Legacies 1999 2010 Dia de los Muertos Parade Flickr photo album Note: Walker’s Point, a neighborhood in Milwaukee, WI, hosts the largest Dia de los Muertos celebration in the state; the local art center invites community members to create ofrendas and other artwork Día de los Muertos 2014 Day of the Dead, Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Los Angeles, CA USA Father and Daughter: Dia de los Muertos themed make up and costume Grover Beach, CA October 18, … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: American Revolution

Primary sources U.S. History Primary Source Timeline: American Revolution American Revolution primary source set The American Revolution and Its Era: Maps and Charts collection Mapping the American Revolution and Its Era Battle maps and charts of the American Revolution (1881) Printed Ephemera 1763-1783 A broadside titled "No Stamped Paper to be had" reports a variety of colonial efforts intended to force the repeal of the hated Stamp Act of 1765 An account of … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Lynching

Please be sure to review all primary sources prior to introducing students to them. You may also wish to read Selecting Primary Sources That Deal with Difficult Issues. Lynching by Helen Douglass 1859 manuscript "Lynch Law in the South" by Frederick Douglass The North American Review Volume 155, Issue 428 July 1892 Lynch Laws speech by Frederick Douglass The facts in the case of the horrible murder of little Myrtle Vance c 1893 Lessons of the Hour speech by Frederick Douglass, … [Read more...]

Today in History: The Gettysburg Address

Today in History–November 19–the Library of Congress features the Gettysburg Address, delivered by Abraham Lincoln at the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery on this date in 1863. Edward Everett, a well-known orator, delivered a two-hour speech. President Abraham Lincoln’s speech lasted only a few minutes. As the Library notes, "In spite of Lincoln's disclaimer that 'the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here,' his brief speech continues to resonate in the American … [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 An Introduction to the WPA Slave Narratives 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 … [Read more...]

Today in History: American Federation of Labor & Quarry Workers

Today in History–September 08–the Library of Congress features the Quarry Workers’ International Union of North America, which was granted a charter by the American Federation of Labor (AFL) on this date in 1903. While granite had been mined around the area of Barre, Vermont for years, new waves of immigrants with a strong tradition of unionism arrived in the late 19th century. Find out more about quarries, the life of the miners in Vermont and elsewhere, and the AFL by visiting … [Read more...]

State Spotlight: Iowa

Iowa stories from America’s Library Iowa primary source set with Teacher’s Guide Iowa-focused primary source sets address national and international history as well as Iowa-specific history Iowa's People & Places primary & secondary sources Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Iowa maps Iowa images Iowa sheet music Iowa songs & oral histories Iowa books & other texts Iowa historical newspapers Iowa broadsides & printed ephemera Lao Natasinh … [Read more...]