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Mr. Egyptology and his “Outline of a Grand Chronological Atlas”
June 3, 2016

Few of us would have the temerity to summarize world history in a single volume but that is what the Swiss educator, cartographer and geographer Henri Venel attempted in the 1840s. We would hardly be aware of his name though were it not for a translation of that work by the English-born American Egyptologist George Gliddon. As it…

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“Little Ethiopians:” 19th Century Photography of African Americans
February 4, 2015

To kick off Black History Month, here is a cabinet card that has fascinated me ever since I stumbled across it in our Portrait File. Titled “Little Ethiopians,” it’s a composite of 21 portraits of African-American babies. The cabinet card was issued by Smith’s Studio of Photography in Chicago, Illinois, and bears an 1881 copyright…

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“Jeff: Davis, aint this a Go?”: Hiram Rhoades Revels takes his seat in the Senate
February 21, 2013

On February 25, 1870 Hiram Rhoades Revels, a preacher from Mississippi was sworn into the United States Senate. That occasion marked the first time a man of African descent served in either house of congress. While his service is a landmark in American history, Revels would not seek a second term but did go on…

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