Jonathan Edwards and the Flying Spiders
September 29, 2015

This post is by cataloger Catherine Falzone. Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), New England preacher and theologian, is perhaps most famous for the 1741 sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” and for being a central figure in the religious revival known as the First Great Awakening. If you know him just from that sermon,…

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American emancipation or African colonization: Juneteenth, Paul Cuffe and “the society of people of colour”
June 17, 2015

This post was written by Julita Braxton, AHMC Cataloger. On June 19, 1865, two and a half years after Lincoln granted freedom to all persons enslaved within rebellious states through the issue of the Emancipation Proclamation, word finally reached Galveston, Texas. It was on this date that Union soldiers brought news that the war had…

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“I wish to be honorable & right in my dealings all round” — Letters from Louisa May Alcott to James Redpath
July 14, 2014

This post was written by Miranda Schwartz, cataloging technician. The New-York Historical Society Library has a collection of eighteen letters by Louisa May Alcott, best known as the author of the 1868 novel Little Women, a classic of American children’s literature. The Alcott letters are in the American Historical Manuscripts Collection, a trove of 12,000 small…

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“The Science of Government” and the U.S. Constitution
June 18, 2014

While preparing for a presentation about the intellectual foundations of American political thought, I consulted Donald Lutz’s book A Preface to American Political Theory which offers an interesting introduction into an extremely complicated aspect of American history. Among several things that piqued my interest was Lutz’s discussion of the Enlightenment origin and conception of “political science,” a term…

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“Speak to the past and it shall teach thee”: Wilberforce Eames, the Self-Taught Bibliographer
December 4, 2013

Written by Maureen Maryanski, Reference Librarian for Printed Collections. Last week a copy of The Whole Booke of Psalmes, the first book printed in English in North America, set a record as the most expensive book ever sold at auction – for $14.2 million. Published in 1640 by Stephen Daye in Cambridge, Massachusetts, only 11…

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