“So terrible a calamity”: Timothy Pickering, Slavery and the Declaration of Independence
July 1, 2016

Americans have spilled quite a lot of ink discussing the Declaration of Independence’s five words “all Men are created equal.” As with any historical text, their meaning in eighteenth century America is important to avoid drawing anachronistic conclusions. In particular, many would point out that many contemporaries commonly wouldn’t have regarded African Americans as commensurate with “all Men.” This underscores slavery’s denial of…

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Alexander Hamilton’s Version of #NeverJohnAdams
June 28, 2016

This post was written by Mariam Touba, Reference Librarian for Printed Collections What to do if you are a leader of a political party and you fear that your party’s presumptive nominee for the presidency thoroughly lacks the temperament for the office? If he is erratic, animated by “disgusting egotism,” “distempered jealousy,” and “ungovernable indiscretion”?…

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Cards versus Slips: Rufus King and Collection Concordance
July 14, 2015

This post was written by Nora Slominsky, New-York Historical Society Graduate Archival Research Fellow A key figure in the politics of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Rufus King was a powerful Federalist senator, diplomat, and attorney. In his very limited spare time, he also built and maintained one of the largest personal libraries in the Early…

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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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