On April 11, 2014, #ADPhD Founder Jessica Marie Johnson paid tribute to the late Stephanie M. H. Camp….
Steven Hahn. “Slave Emancipation, Indian Peoples, and the Projects of a New American Nation-State.” The Journal of the Civil War Era 3, no. 3 (2013): 307–330.
“At the very time he was drafting the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862, President Abraham Lincoln dispatched one of his generals, John Pope, to Minnesota with orders to suppress a rebellion of the eastern, or Santee, division of the Sioux. The rebellion built on at least two decades of festering tensions that had turned relatively amicable exchange relations with British, French, and American traders—some of whom had intermarried and been incorporated into villages—into hardbitten political conflicts with various federal officials and white settlers (mostly German, Scandinavian, and Irish immigrants) who hungrily eyed the fertile and game-rich terrain of southern Minnesota. In the process, the Sioux (who in this case composed four bands and called themselves Dakotas) had ceded millions of acres, which included ancestral grounds, for a strip of reservation land along the Minnesota River, annuity payments, and supplies. Recalcitrance in the U.S. Congress along with corruption among Indian agents and traders then combined to stretch a series of treaties to the breaking point; by the 1850s, the Dakotas were under great stress and increasingly divided over how best to respond, as some of their bands faced starvation…”
Beth Barton Schweiger. “The Literate South: Reading before Emancipation.” The Journal of the Civil War Era 3, no. 3 (2013): 331–359.
“The Old South had famously few public schools, but it teemed with readers. The archives are stuffed with evidence of them. Historians cannot possibly read all the diaries, letters, half-finished novels, bad poetry, receipts, recipes, lecture notes, speeches, love letters, commonplace books, and essays these readers left behind. They filled newspaper columns with their editorials and letters, magazines with their poetry, pamphlets with their sermons, mail sacks with their letters, court dockets with their opinions, and ledger books with their figures. They have supplied enough raw materials to keep members of the Southern Historical Association occupied for more than three-quarters of a century, to set scholars parsing the eighty-seven North American slave autobiographies written before emancipation, to offer Bell Wiley “amazingly large quantities” of letters written by ordinary soldiers, and to sustain Michael O’Brien for twelve hundred pages. “The South was a place,” he has written, “into which torrents of print poured….”
Brian P. Luskey. “Special Marts: Intelligence Offices, Labor Commodification, and Emancipation in Nineteenth-Century America.” The Journal of the Civil War Era 3, no. 3 (2013): 360–391.
““It seems to be absolutely necessary in large cities,” James Gordon Bennett explained in an 1859 issue of the New York Herald, “that labor, like every other merchantable commodity, should have its special marts.” In more than one column of prime, front-page real estate, Bennett informed readers about these marts, colloquially dubbed intelligence offices. Even though most Americans still found work or workers through friends and family members, these employment agencies were ubiquitous institutions in the middle decades of the nineteenth century. Bennett estimated that there were between forty and sixty such shops in Manhattan, while other commentators counted hundreds. In these offices—sometimes located below ground, in basements, to evade police surveillance and city licensing requirements—employment agents sold information about the labor market to prospective employees and employers so the former could find work and the latter could find workers. Intelligence office keepers collected a fee ranging from fifty cents to a dollar from each party who sought information. In the waiting rooms of these establishments, agents, workers, and employers met face-to-face, asking questions and inspecting appearances to deduce character traits and skills in the hopes of making amenable bargains with each other….”
REVIEW ESSAY – Nicole Etcheson. “Microhistory and Movement: African American Mobility in the Nineteenth Century.” The Journal of the Civil War Era 3, no. 3 (2013): 392–404.
“African American history may be one of the last fields to receive a micro-historical treatment. Nineteenth-century African American history has been favored with sweeping accounts of the black experience, ranging from John Blassingame’s classic The Slave Community to Ira Berlin’s more recent Many Thousands Gone. Studies on more focused topics such as slavery in the Chesapeake or free blacks in the North have certainly contributed to knowledge of the black experience, but scarce records, especially the lack of firsthand accounts for many aspects of black life, make microhistory’s tight focus on the “proudly small” difficult to achieve…”
Articles of interest in the May 2013 Hispanic American Historical Review.
Alex Borucki, “Shipmate Networks and Black Identities in the Marriage Files of Montevideo, 1768–1803.” Hispanic American Historical Review 93, no. 2 (May 1, 2013): 205–238.
The experience of enslaved Africans in the Atlantic crossing redefined the meanings of the nomenclature emerging from the slave trade. Under violent conditions, captives developed networks with shipmates on board slave vessels. These ties survived for decades if shipmates stayed together in the same region, as they did in Montevideo. Shipmate ties represented a living connection for Africans not only with their experience in the Atlantic crossing but also with their homelands. Shipmates provided support to their fellows when they needed trusted associates, as the marriage files of Montevideo clearly demonstrate. Enslaved Africans commonly asked fellow shipmates to testify about their past when marrying into the Catholic Church. Marriage files contain data on the routes Africans took across the Atlantic and the Americas. They indicate the origins of the groom, bride, and witnesses, their shared itineraries, and how these itineraries changed over time. Thus they reveal patterns of geographical mobility and networks created by common experiences. Marriage files can be easily quantified, which allows us to track historical trends. At the same time, each file offers a unique story. A close reading of these stories contextualizes the experiences of slaves in the Catholic Americas and underscores common patterns in ways that lie beyond quantification.
Paul Lokken, “From the ‘Kingdoms of Angola’ to Santiago de Guatemala: The Portuguese Asientos and Spanish Central America, 1595–1640.” Hispanic American Historical Review 93, no. 2 (May 1, 2013): 171–203.
The evidence presented in this article establishes the era of the major Portuguese asientos (1595–1640) as a key moment in the history of African migration to Spanish Central America. Between 1607 and 1628 alone, Portuguese slave traders made at least 15 voyages from Angola to the Caribbean coast of Central America, landing in most cases “by accident” at the Honduran port of Trujillo while allegedly en route to Veracruz. Many of the West Central Africans carried on these voyages were subsequently marched inland by the same Portuguese merchants to be sold in Santiago de Guatemala, capital of the Audiencia of Guatemala. Their final destinations were often rural properties located in or near the Pacific lowlands of modern-day Guatemala and El Salvador, where the largest sugar and indigo plantations counted dozens of Angolans among their enslaved workers. A decided majority of these involuntary migrants were young men, most no doubt having departed from Luanda following misfortune in the wars that, with a good deal of Portuguese encouragement, wracked their homelands after 1575. Their migration experiences testify to a significant shift in the point of origin of Africans brought to Central America away from Senegambia and neighboring regions of West Africa, birthplace of the majority of Africans transported to Central America prior to 1595. The later-arriving and larger West Central African workforce played a more important role than heretofore understood in satisfying the demands for labor that arose in the early seventeenth century as commercial agriculture briefly boomed amid persistent indigenous population decline.
Articles of interest in Early American Studies (volume 11:2):
The early generations of enslaved and bonded Africans and Indians in Bermuda were essential to the functioning of the colony. But beyond their contributions to the colonial enterprise, they continued to practice the skills that connected them to spiritual entities whose power enabled them not only to comprehend their environment but also to affect it directly. In their initial approach to Bermudian shores, in fishing, processing manioc, thatching and weaving with parts of the palmetto tree, as well as making cords with cotton and palmetto fibers, they altered the spiritual landscape in ways that are perhaps less tangible toWestern scholarly inquiry but no less significant to investigating these individuals’ influence on the tiny archipelago in which they found themselves. Uncovering these multiple layers of meaning requires imagining the archive in an expansive, speculative way that moves beyond certain narratives of the documentary record to a fuller consideration of the process of making place in an early modern Atlantic colony.
From 1827 to 1841 the black newspapers Freedom’s Journal and the Colored American of New York City were venues for one of the first significant racial projects in the United States. To counter aspersions against their race, the editors of these publications renegotiated their community’s identity within the matrix of the Black Atlantic away from waning discourses of a collective African past. First, Freedom’s Journal used the Haitian Revolution to exemplify resistance, abolitionism, and autonomy. The Colored American later projected the Republic of Haiti as a model of governance, prosperity, and refinement to serve this community’s own evolving ambitions of citizenship, inclusion, and rights.
The January 2013 issue of the Journal of American Ethnic History hosts a forum on the International Underground Railroad Memorial:
Faires, Nora. “Across the Border to Freedom: The International Underground Railroad Memorial and the Meanings of Migration.” Journal of American Ethnic History 32, no. 2 (January 1, 2013): 38–67.
Kerber, Linda K. “Crossing Borders.” Journal of American Ethnic History 32, no. 2 (January 1, 2013): 68–72.
Arenson, Adam. “Experience Rather Than Imagination: Researching the Return Migration of African North Americans During the American Civil War and Reconstruction.” Journal of American Ethnic History 32, no. 2 (January 1, 2013): 73–77.
Frost, Karolyn Smardz. “African American and African Canadian Transnationalism Along the Detroit River Borderland: The Example of Madison J. Lightfoot.” Journal of American Ethnic History 32, no. 2 (January 1, 2013): 78–88.
The Winter 2013 Radical History Review is a special issue: “Haitian Lives/Global Perspectives.”
From the introduction:
As several of the essays in this issue explain, in the years since Michel-Rolph Trouillot famously showed that the Haitian Revolution was “unthinkable” and its his- tory relegated to silence, the country’s history has gone from “hidden” and “unknow- able” to widely studied in the United States and beyond.2 The 2010 earthquake did stimulate a burst of interest in Haiti and its past among both scholars and the general public abroad. As sudden as this awakening may have seemed, however, to understand Haiti better people looked to a body of research, writing, and reflection by Haiti specialists that had been decades in the making. Yet, a great deal of mis- information, and in fact disinformation, persists alongside Haiti’s new cachet, and the perspectives of Haitians themselves are chronically absent from the discussion.
Table of Contents:
Amy Chazkel, Melina Pappademos, and Karen Sotiropoulos. “Editor’s Introduction: Haitian Lives/Global Perspectives.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 1–9.
Gary Wilder. “Telling Histories: A Conversation with Laurent Dubois and Greg Grandin.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 11–25.
April Mayes, Yolanda C. Martín, Carlos Ulises Decena, Kiran Jayaram, and Yveline Alexis. “Transnational Hispaniola: Toward New Paradigms in Haitian and Dominican Studies.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 26–32.
Simon R. Doubleday. “History After the Earthquake: Shifting the Axis of Teaching.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 33–44.
Paul Cheney. “A Colonial Cul De Sac Plantation Life in Wartime Saint-Domingue, 1775 – 1782.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter, 2013): 45–64.
Lorelle D. Semley. “To Live and Die, Free and French Toussaint Louverture’s 1801 Constitution and the Original Challenge of Black Citizenship.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 65–90.
Peter James Hudson. “The National City Bank of New York and Haiti, 1909 – 1922.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 91–114.
Jana K. Lipman. “‘The Fish Trusts the Water, and It Is in the Water That It Is Cooked’ The Caribbean Origins of the Krome Detention Center.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 115–141.
A. Naomi Paik. “Carceral Quarantine at Guantánamo Legacies of US Imprisonment of Haitian Refugees, 1991 – 1994.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 142–168.
Leah Gordon. “Kanaval Vodou, Politics, and Revolution in the Streets of Haiti.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 169–183.
Jerry Philogene. “Meditations on Traveling Diasporically: Jean-Ulrick Désert and Negerhosen2000.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 184–193.
David Geggus. “Haiti and Its Revolution: Four Recent Books.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 195–202.
Matthew J. Smith. “Haiti from the Outside In: A Review of Recent Literature.” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 203–211.
Toussaint Losier. “Jean Anil Louis-Juste, Prezan!” Radical History Review 2013, no. 115 (Winter 2013): 213–217.
Featured Image Credit: “Je renais de mes cendres” posted at the Public Archive: “…The reverse bears the inscription Les armoiries du Roi Henry Christophe, 1767-1820, Bâtisseur de La Citadelle (The arms of King Henry Christophe, 1767-1820, Builder of the Citadel). In the middle is the king’s coat of arms, a crowned phoenix rising from the flames, with stars in the firmament and the words, Je renais de mes cendres. (I am reborn from my ashes.)…”
This week, The Public Archive published its fourth installment on Radical Black Reading. The subject was race, urbanity, black geographies, and sense of place:
In this, The Public Archive’s fourth installment of Radical Black Reading,* we hope to contribute to an informal conversation about the history, plight, and future of Black cities – and towards the imagination of a radical Black city. It is a conversation taking place (if only in disparate, scattered form) across the African diaspora. The question of Black urban space, of Black geographies, and of the possibility of a radical Black city adds an urgent element to discussions of the nature of the urban, while the very survival of the Black city becomes a radical act of hope and resistance.
Several books of relevance were listed including Alejandro de la Fuente’s Havana and the Atlantic in the Sixteenth Century (2011), Leslie Harris’s African or American? Black Identity and Political Activism in New York City, 1784-1861 (2010), and Carla Peterson’s Black Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth-Century New York City. De la Fuente, Harris and Peterson are also featured here, here and here at #ADPhD.
“In the mid nineteenth century, the Anglo-Portuguese Mixed Commission in Luanda liberated 137 Africans from the slave trade. The liberated Africans then became apprentices for several years before they were granted complete freedom. This article argues that the in-between status of the liberated Africans was ambivalent and their very presence in a society where slavery continued to exist highly problematic. This was reflected not only in the way their bodies were shaped, but also in the fact that both colonial officials and liberated Africans sought ways to end the experiment. The article also argues that the conception and the vicissitudes of this civilising project were intimately linked to experiences with freed slaves elsewhere in the Atlantic world.”
“The call for reparations for those who suffered under the blight of slavery and its aftermath is one increasingly heard today, but this call is hardly a new one. Rather, the notion of reparations, or in earlier terms, ex-slave pensions, was something argued for and against throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. While the discipline of history traditionally records this story, archaeology can help fill in the gaps and illuminate this past in a unique way. One vital link to this past is contained in historic cemeteries, where the mortal remains of those who lived and died under slavery and the first decades after emancipation now lie.”
“This interview with the black Atlantic writer Caryl Phillips focuses on his non-fiction works and interrogates his ideas on the African diaspora and memorialisation, paying particular attention to such locales as African slave forts and European museums. It also discusses his latest work – a play about the 1940s friendship between Richard Wright and C.L.R. James. The interview discusses the long view of memorialisation on the transatlantic slave trade and interrogates the importance of the bicentenary celebrations of the abolition of the trade in Britain in 2007 to new structures of feeling and curriculum developments that have made the issues raised by the slave trade and its aftermath more central to British historiography. A final section discusses African diaspora communities and their challenge to find a home space amidst the detritus of slavery. Phillips discusses the importance of a slave manilla in his quest for an anchor for memory.”
This special issue of Atlantic Studies, “The Slave Trade’s Dissonant Heritage: Memorial Sites, Museum Practices, and Dark Tourism,” included articles by Alan Rice, Johanna C. Kardux, Lubaina Hamid, Charles Forsdick, Marian Gwyn, Anne Eichmann, and Senam Okudzeto.