This post was written by cataloger Miranda Schwartz.
An unusual item in the American Historical Manuscript Collection is a hand-printed, or pen-printed, newspaper by Vermont farmer James Johns (1797-1874). Born in Huntington, Vermont, Johns received little formal education but from the age of 13 on he wrote—and wrote and wrote—not stopping until his death at age 76. Johns wrote poetry, short stories, essays, obituary poems, local history, weather reports, songs and music, all in addition to...Read More
A great deal of the work done on the Irish immigrant experience focuses on the refugees of Ireland's potato blight in the late 1840s. However, the epic story of the Irish in America, and the challenges it encountered, did not begin there. One obscure chapter of this story is captured in the tale of the short-lived New-York Hibernian Volunteers.
While Irish immigration was on a far smaller scale in the late eighteenth century, by the 1790s...Read More
It sounds like an easy question, right? Well, Thomas Jefferson certainly wrote it -- in terms of authorship. But do you know whose hand it was that literally produced the famous handwritten copy? If you're not sure, don't worry, historians aren't completely certain either. That said, there is consensus that it was "probably" Timothy Matlack, of Pennsylvania. Matlack had been appointed clerk to the secretary of the Second Continental Congress, Charles Thomson, a little over a...Read More
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