Credits & Contact
Producer: Matthew Pinsker
House Divided Project
PO Box 1773 / Dickinson College
Carlisle, PA 17013
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Tag Archives: Writings
Describing the stark choice that confronted the 55 men who met in Philadelphia during the summer of 1787, James Madison once wrote about the Constitution that “Every word … decides a question between power & liberty.”
Source: “Charters,” The National Gazette, January 19, 1792; available in The Writings of James Madison, 1790-1802, Volume 6, Edited by Gaillard Hunt, available via Google Books
Important primary sources include Jesse Torrey’s A Portraiture of Domestic Slavery, in the United States (1817) and The Moral Instructor and Guide to Virtue and Happiness (1819). Torrey’s book was published in London as American Slave Trade in 1822.
Places to Visit
No structures or sites related to Jesse Torrey, Jr. exist. Torrey was born in New Lebanon, New York.
Some of the images that Torrey created and published in A Portraiture of Domestic Slavery, in the United States (1817) are in the slideshow below.
Life & Family
Thomas Roderick Dew did not have any children. He married Natilia Hay in 1845, but died the following year in Paris, France.
After Nat Turner’s revolt in 1832, Dew published Review of the Debate in the Virginia Legislature, 1831-1832. In 1853 it was republished in The Pro-Slavery Argument, as maintained by the most distinguished Writers of the Southern States. In addition, Dew’s lectures at the College of William and Mary were published as Digest of the Laws, Customs, Manners, and Institutions of the Ancient and Modern Nations (1853). Dew also wrote several other books, including Lectures on the Restrictive System (1829). His correspondence is in the Read the rest
A key primary source is Solomon Northup’s Twelve Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup, a Citizen of New-York, Kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, and Rescued in 1853 (1853). In addition, see “An Account of Solomon Northup” from the New York Times on January 20, 1853 and an advertisement for Northrup’s book in the August 26, 1853 issue of the Liberator. You can read other accounts in the ”North American Slave Narratives” collection at the Documenting the American South project.
Places to Visit
A historical marker on Northrup is located in Saratoga Springs, New York.
A key primary source is William Still’s The Underground Rail Road (1872). In addition, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia has Still’s “Journal C of Station No. 2 of the Underground Railroad, 1852-1857” and the “Minute Book of the Vigilant Committee of Philadelphia.” have been digitized and are available online. Several historians have focused on Still’s work as an abolitionist, including Larry Gara’s “William Still and the Underground Railroad” Pennsylvania History (1961) and Stephen G. Hall’s “To Render the Private Public: William Still and the Selling of the Underground Rail Road,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (2003). Other important sources on the… Read the rest
Though his family connections alone guaranteed a bright legal future, the young Moncure Conway was an indifferent law student. Despite the urging of his numerous cousins to take up his place as an active defender of the South, he was already having significant problems justifying his beloved Virginia’s maintenance of slavery. Despite this, he served in 1850 as the secretary of the Southern Rights Association in Warrenton, and seemed in his momentary embracing of the recently published racial theories of Louis Agassiz to be searching for any justification for human bondage. Despairing of the law, he pleased his parents at last when on his nineteenth birthday he became a Methodist circuit rider preacher, assigned to… Read the rest
Life & Family
Abraham Lincoln was a southerner who led the North during the Civil War. Born on February 12, 1809, the same day as scientist Charles Darwin, Lincoln began his life on a farm in Kentucky before moving as a young child to Indiana and eventually to Illinois. He settled in Springfield, married Mary Todd, and raised four boys (two of whom died before he did). Lincoln was six-feet, four inches tall and weighed about 180 pounds. He was well respected as a politician and attorney and well-liked for his story-telling abilities. Lincoln served one term in Congress where he gained notice for opposing the Mexican War but otherwise had no experience in Washington before… Read the rest
A short profile of Day starts on page 366 of G. F. Richings’ Evidences of Progress among Colored People (1902). In November 1865 Day delivered a speech at Harrisburg’s Grand Review, which was organized to honor African Americans who served in the Civil War. You can read more about this event in an excerpt from Ceremonies at the Reception of Welcome to the Colored Soldiers of Pennsylvania (1865).
Places to Visit
You can find a historical marker about the November 1865 USCT Grand Review that Day helped organize in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. A historical marker about Day is also located in Steelton, Pennsylvania at the intersection of Lincoln Street… Read the rest
Anderson published his account of Brown’s raid in 1861 as A Voice from Harper’s Ferry: A Narrative of Events at Harper’s Ferry. Other important primary sources include James Redpath’s The Public Life of Capt. John Brown (1860), Franklin B. Sanborn’s The Life and Letters of John Brown, Liberator of Kansas, and Martyr of Virginia (1885), and Richard J. Hinton’s John Brown and His Men; With Some Account of the Roads Traveled to Reach Harper’s Ferry (1894). Important secondary sources include Benjamin Quarles’ Allies for Freedom; Blacks and John Brown (1974), Paul Finkelman’s His Soul Goes Marching On: Responses to John Brown and the Harpers Ferry Raid (1995), David S. Reynolds’ John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man… Read the rest
You can find collections of Lieber’s papers at the Henry E. Huntington Library, Johns Hopkins University, the University of South Carolina, and at the Library of Congress. Other important primary sources include Lieber’s Miscellaneous Writings: Reminiscences, Addresses, and Essays (1881) and Like a Sponge Thrown into Water: Francis Lieber’s European Travel Journal of 1844-1845 (2002). Lieber also wrote several books and articles, such as A Popular Essay on Subjects of Penal Law (1838) and Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field (1863). Important secondary sources include Frank Freidel’s Francis Lieber, Nineteenth-Century Liberal (1948), Bernard Edward Brown’s American Conservatives: The Political thought of Francis Lieber and John W.… Read the rest
Sam Wilkeson was a war correspondent for the New York Times who had sons in the Union army, including Lt. Bayard Wilkeson, an artillery officer who was mortally wounded on the first day at Gettysburg. The story of Bayard’s death became a northern sensation since he was one of the youngest artillery officers in the army, the son of a prominent journalist and also because he died in a particularly heroic fashion. The young lieutenant covered the retreating forces from the Union XI Corps on the battle’s first day and reportedly had to amputate his own shattered leg when doctors… Read the rest
A key primary source is Susie King Taylor’s Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33d United States Colored Troops Late 1st S. C. Volunteers (1902). Also see Taylor’s profile online at the New Georgia Encyclopedia and Catherine Clinton’s “Susie King Taylor: ‘I Gave My Services Willingly,’” in volume 1 of Georgia Women: Their Lives and Times (2009).
Places to Visit
Taylor is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, which is located in Mattapan, Massachusetts.
An image of Taylor is available on her House Divided profile.
Evans wrote several books, including Inez: A Tale of the Alamo (1855), Beulah (1859), Macaria; or Altars of Sacrifice (1864), St. Elmo (1867), Vashti; or, Until Death Us Do Part (1869), Infelice (1875), and At the Mercy of Tiberius (1887). Other important primary sources include Rebecca Grant Sexton’s A Southern Woman of Letters: The Correspondence of Augusta Jane Evans Wilson (2002). Some scholars have examined Evans’ novels, including William Perry Fidler’s Augusta Evans Wilson, 1835–1909: A Biography (1951), Drew Gilpin Faust’s “Altars of Sacrifice: Confederate Women and the Narratives of War,” Journal of American History (1990), and Anna Sophia Riepma’s Fire and Fiction: Augusta Jane Evans in Context (2000). In addition, Evans… Read the rest
Douglass wrote Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave in 1845 and published Life and Times of Frederick Douglass in 1881. Other primary sources include Philip S. Foner’s Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass (1950-1975), John W. Blassingame’s The Frederick Douglass Papers: Speeches, Debates, and Interviews (1979-1992), and the Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress.
Important secondary sources include Dickson J. Preston’s Young Frederick Douglass: The Maryland Years (1980), David W. Blight’s Frederick Douglass’ Civil War: Keeping Faith in Jubilee (1989), Frederick S. Voss, Majestic in His Wrath: A Pictorial Life of Frederick Douglass (1995), John Stauffer’s The Black Hearts of Men: Radical Abolitionists and the Transformation of… Read the rest
Shepherd wrote several books, including The History of the English Language from the Teutonic Invasion of Britain to the close of the Georgian Era (1874),
Life of Robert Edward Lee (1906), and Narrative of Prison Life at Baltimore and Johnson’s Island, Ohio (1917). In addition, Documenting the American South has a short essay about Shepherd.
Places to Visit
Shepherd served in the 43rd North Carolina Infantry Regiment and was captured during the Battle of Gettysburg. The 43rd North Carolina’s monument at Gettysburg is located on East Confederate Avenue. While in Gettysburg you can also visit the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center as well as tour… Read the rest