August 20, 2018

NHD 2019: Early U.S. History

Salem Witch TrialsToday in History: Salem Witch Trials background, primary sources, secondary sourcesAmerican Settlers Versus Native AmericansStories from America's LibraryRaid of Deerfield, Massachusetts in Queen Anne's War Roger Williams & Freedom in Rhode IslandCurated source collections: background, primary sources, secondary sourcesThanksgiving Wampanoag Jamestown Captivity Narratives Fort Necessity & the French and Indian War … [Read more...]

Timely Connections: James Madison & Slavery

In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Noah Feldman, a Harvard law professor and the author of the book The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President, discusses the dichotomies between Madison's moral views of slavery and his actions. Delving into the past, he contends, can provide us with lessons in racism for today. The tension between Madison’s aspirational beliefs and his highly constrained actions continues to be America’s own tension. Like Madison, contemporary United … [Read more...]

Timely Connections: Slavery & Compromise

In a Fox News interview with White House chief of staff John Kelly on Oct. 30, 2017, the former marine general said that “the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War”. Kelly's statement set off a firestorm of impassioned responses across traditional and social media about the cause of the Civil War and the history of slavery and compromise prior to this seminal event. Read some of the contemporary articles, review background information about compromises over slavery prior to the … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Alexander Hamilton

Today in History: Alexander Hamilton background information & select primary sourcesAlexander Hamilton Papers Library of Congress Blog August 29, 2017Alexander Hamilton Papers collectionAlexander Hamilton image setAlexander Hamilton items in the Creating the United States online exhibitionReport of the Committee of Detail with annotations by Alexander Hamilton Report of the Committee of Style with annotations by Alexander Hamilton A Champion to Challenge Alexander … [Read more...]

Today in History: War of 1812

Today in History–June 18–the Library of Congress features the War of 1812. On this date in 1812 President James Madison signed a declaration of war against Great Britain. Reasons for the war included frustration with Britain's maritime practices and their support of Native American resistance to western expansion as well as a desire to conquer Canada. The war lingered on past 1812 and in August, 1814, British forces attacked Washington D.C., setting fire to many government buildings … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Slavery (U.S.)

Library slavery collectionsBorn 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 slavesCaroline 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 Image: The first great Western empire

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Today in History: Nullification Crisis

Today in History–January 13–the Library of Congress features the Nullification Crisis. On this date in 1833, President Andrew Jackson wrote his new president Vice President Martin Van Buren affirming his commitment to preventing South Carolina's defiance of federal authority by nullifying national tariff laws. The Nullification Crisis began in November, 1832 when South Carolina nullified a federal tariff. On December 10, 1832 Jackson issued a proclamation promising to uphold the federal tariff … [Read more...]

Featured Image: A boxing match, or another bloody nose for John Bull

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Today in History: James Madison

Today in History–March 16–the Library of Congress features James Madison, born on this day in 1751. (Actually, he was born on March 5 under the Julian calendar but when Great Britain and its colonies switched to the Gregorian calendar in 1752 his birthday, along with everyone else's, was shifted 11 days forward.) Learn more about the man known as the "Father of the Constitution" by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more stories and primary sources about … [Read more...]