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Fondly, Pennsylvania is HSP's main blog.  Here you will find posts on our latest projects and newest discoveries, as well articles on interesting bits of local history reflected in our collection.  Whether you are doing research or just curious to know more about the behind-the-scenes work that goes on at HSP, please read, explore, and join the conversation!

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George F. Parry's Civil War Diaries: April 1865

Friends and acquaintances, we're happy you've returned for more transcriptions from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War dating from 1863 to 1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry. In celebration of Parry's work and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I'm providing monthly posts on Fondly, PA of transcripts of entries from his diaries.

To see other posts in the series, check out the links over on the right-hand side of this page.  Clicking on the diary images will take you to our Digital Library where you can examine the volumes page by page, along with other digitized items from the Parry collection.

*****

April 2, 1865, witnessed the Battle of Selma, Alabama, and Parry's regiment was there in full. over the course of three days (April 1-3), Parry described the situation in as much detail as his diary would allow. From Selma, Parry traveled East through Alabama's capital, Montgomery, and he eventually reached quieter times Macon, Georgia, but not without first noting the death of President Abraham Lincoln.


Notes about the transcriptions: I've kept the pattern of Parry's writings as close as formatting here will allow, including his line breaks and spacing. My own additional or clarifying notes will be in brackets [ ]. Any grammatical hiccups that aren’t noted as such are Parry's own.


*****

Saturday, April 1
Reveille at three O’clock[.] marched at
Day light[.] passed through Mountvali[,] a
new place but almost destroyed by
us all[.] public buildings[,] Rail Road depot
and Iron works destroyed. Foragers sent
out from this place and returned with abun-
dance. continued on at a rapid rate
through Randolph and on towards Selma[.]
passed over ground that the advance Regt.
fought over. road lined with dead and
dying. captured several Hun’d Pris[oners] and
several pieces of artillery. Marched to Day
forty five miles. Camped at 11 O’clock night.

*****

Sunday, April 2
Twenty miles north of Selma[.] began our march
at light[,] out Brig’d in advance. The Country the
finest I ever saw. Rich and highly improved[.]
The Rebels fled to their [illegible] a few miles
from the City. Our lines formed for battle on two
lines of the City at two O’clock. after a Steady fight for
some lines were ordered to Charge to rebels. It was
some [of] the Rebels broke [illegible] second line of
walks} – our men charged again and at dark had
possession of the City. Our loss heavy but [illegible]
this day. Selma on eof the richest
Citys[sic] in the South

*****

Monday, April 3
Called on Gen’l
Wilson to extract [illegible] from his Horse. many
men with pockets full of Gold & Silver[,] also
[line erased]
found a bag of money – have $20 gold pieces Silver
Lucy was with me[,] gave then half and after
a trip through the City came to Camp[.]
Selma the Richest and finest City if
ever was in the South --  All kinds
of Ammunition and Guns captured here.

*****

Thursday, April 6
Burned Lieut Seigmund with all
the Horses of Way in the Cemetery
in Selma.
                 Got a pass approved and
with Dans visited the Arsenal and
other places of note in the City.
very hard Thunder Storm and heavy
rain in the Eve’g. draining the River to
the [illegible] the great Arsenal covering twelve
acres of ground was burnt. Millions of
Dolls. worth of Ordinance Stores destroyed.

*****

Sunday, April 9
Alabama River
In Camp near the River all day.
Forage and any thing in great abund-
ance – firing up and Preparing for
a onward movement. Slept the large
portion of Day.

*****

Thursday April 13
In Camp till 12 Noon then moved on
to and Through Montgomery. A fine
City and well defended by Forts and
Earth Works.
                       Slaves coming in and a
joining us by hundreds, Pleased to death
at our arrival.
                      Montgomery a very fine
City and as the Rebels left without firing a
Gun – nothing as disturbed by our Army
City was much pleased with our Army.

*****

Monday, April 17
Marched at day light and at
Eigth O’clock across the river
Chattachooe [Chattahoochee] and in the rich City
of Columbus, Georgia. Moved out of
the city three miles and Halted
till six O’clock[,] then onward at a
rapid rate forty miles to Secure
the bridge over [illegible] River – so
the Rebs could not have it. All
public and private Stores open free
at All. Buy thing to be had.

*****

Sunday, April 23
With Wm. M. Irving(?) rode into Macon and
called on Col. McCormick. Watered our
Horses in Ocmulgee River. rode  around
and toward the City. not to be admired.
some very fine places but majority Poor
Rebels in abundance in the Sheds without
Arms. Our men also with Arms. Hotels full[.]
Got Shaved and Boots blacked for ten 12
Dolls. In Confed. money.   Many fires
taking place[,] set on fire by the [illegible]
Red[sic] news of Death of Abraham Lincoln by
hands of assassin.

*****

Friday, April 28
Reveille at three O’clock[.] moved out at
Seven[.] marched four miles from Camp
to a large Open field and had a close
and careful Inspection of the Comm.
and                     much plunder and valuables
found on men.
                          Loaned Major Green(?)
$3.00
                        Gave Bill Watson .50 cts. in
Silver.

*****

Voicing the Absent: Crafting History

On April 8, 2015, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) had the pleasure of hosting a lively conversation as part of the event, Voicing the Absent: Crafting History.

The inaugural program in HSP’s two-year “An Artist Embedded” project, Voicing the Absent brought together playwrights, historians, filmmakers, and the public to explore the intersections of history and fiction, fact and truth.

Obie award-winning playwright Ain Gordon was on-hand, along with filmmaker Louis Messiah, and historian/novelist Jane Kamensky. Each brought a different perspective for interacting with the past, as well as working with different formats to present history and fiction: dramatic performances, written histories, and documentary films.

Where do their perspectives coincide? Conflict? Are their processes substantially different? How?

Filmmaker Louis Massiah

 

The evening’s conversation took as its jumping off point the simple fact that the historical record is incomplete. Put simply, both the artist and historian must make the same sorts of choices – to take “liberty” with their subjects – because all of the “facts” are impossible to cull.  “The closer you get to the truth,” filmmaker Messiah pointed out, “the more power you have.” 

Kamensky, a professor of history at Brown University who recently co-authored a novel, discussed her recent excursion into the world of writing historical fiction, and how she felt “completely free to lie,” liberated by gaps in the historical record.

Historian Jane Kamensky

 

Playwright Ain Gordon, in response to a question posed by a member from the audience, observed that our historical perspectives are, by their very nature, ill-informed and incomplete.

“History cannot be the story of everything that happened, it’s not possible,” said Gordon. “Some things made it, and some things didn’t.”

To help the audience visualize his view of the historical record, Gordon compared the construction of history to the conservation of ancient pottery. It is exceptionally rare to recover an intact piece. Many, like the vase featured in the image above, are missing considerable chunks. The archaeologist, like the artist and historian, is often forced to make interpretive choices, to “fill in” the gaps in an effort to re-create the whole.

History, Gordon reasoned, works a lot like these vases – there are pieces broken and missing, and while one can presuppose what those fragments may have looked like long ago, the record still stands in its imperfection and incompleteness.

Playwright Ain Gordon 

 

Questions from the audience covered a wide range, including everything from the possible perils of writing historical fiction and how to make history relevant to elementary-age schoolchildren, to the influence of popular entertainment on public memory. 

The next program in the series on Wednesday, May 13, sees playwright Ain Gordon return, along with historians Erica Dunbar & Judith Giesberg, to discuss the experiences of African American women of the early 1800s who worked to end slavery. The evening will begin with a dramatic reading by actress Melanye Finister from Gordon’s previous play If She Stood..., meant as a jumping off point for discussion of these pioneering radicals whose voices and stories are often muted and overlooked.  

Repairing the Union

This month marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War which began on April 12, 1861 at the Battle of Fort Sumter and ended shortly after General Lee surrendered to Grant on April 9, 1865. Over 600,000 Union and Confederate soldiers died, making the Civil War the bloodiest military conflict ever fought on US soil. In honor of this important anniversary in American History, let’s explore some of the Civil War political cartoons we’ve found while working on the Historic Images, New Technologies (HINT) project.

In the cartoon below, President Lincoln and Vice President Andrew Johnson are hard at work repairing the Union. Johnson uses a needle and thread to stitch the country back together while Lincoln uses a split rail to reposition the globe.

The Rail Splitter at Work Repairing the Union, 1865, Historical Society of Pennsylvania cartoons and caricatures collection (#3133)

Some of my favorite Civil War political cartoons poke fun at Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis. In the cartoon below, Jefferson, the newly inaugurated President of the Confederacy, is depicted as a power hungry King reigning atop a whiskey and cotton throne. He holds a staff of desolation, a skull and crossbones flag, and sits with a slave at his feet. Jefferson’s inauguration took place on February 18, 1861, four days before the anniversary of George Washington’s Birthday.

The Inauguration at Richmond,1862, Historical Society of Pennsylvania cartoons and caricatures collection (#3133)

In a similar vein, the artist of the following 1864 Punch cartoon portrays Lincoln as a phoenix, reborn from the ashes of the US Constitution, free press, state rights, habeas corpus, and commerce. The cartoon accuses Lincoln of abandoning the principles of democracy and was published shortly after his 1864 re-election.

The Federal Phoenix, 1864, Historical Society of Pennsylvania cartoons and caricatures collection (#3133)

In May 1862 Union forces won a major victory by capturing the port city of New Orleans. The political cartoon below depicts Lincoln celebrating this victory and pokes fun at him by turning him into Little Jack Horner. In the original British nursery rhyme, Jack Horner pulls a plum from his “Christmas pie.” In the political cartoon, Lincoln pulls a “New Orleans plum” from his “humble pie.” 

The New Orleans Plum, 1862, Historical Society of Pennsylvania cartoons and caricatures collection (#3133)

In the “Black Draft” Lincoln and Davis force two slaves to drink from “Conscription” mugs. However, the message of the Punch cartoon below is quite inaccurate because there was never a Black draft. At the end of the War, in March 1865, the Confederate Congress passed legislation which would allow slaves to enlist in the military, but only with the permission of their owners. Furthermore, all 180,000 men of color who enlisted in the Union Army were volunteers, and approximately 40,000 of them lost their lives during the War. They were paid less than their white counterparts and if captured by Confederate forces, could be sold into slavery or executed. One of the most infamous of these cases occurred at Fort Pillow in Tennessee in April 1864 when Confederate forces massacred a garrison of African American Union soldiers after they had surrendered. Furthermore, women of color volunteered as Union nurses and scouts. The most well-known of these volunteers was Harriet Tubman who served as a Union spy. 

The Black Draft, 1864, Historical Society of Pennsylvania cartoons and caricatures collection (#3133)

… And finally, my favorite of all the HINT Civil War political cartoons is this creepy cartoon published in the June 7, 1862 edition of Harper’s Weekly. I particularly love the head wreath!  Which one is your favorite?


Some Specimens of Secesh Industry, 1862, Historical Society of Pennsylvania cartoons and caricatures collection (#3133)

We hope you've enjoyed exploring our Civil War political cartoons. Be sure to check out the rest of our newly digitized cartoons when the exhibit becomes available later this year.

Watermarks Found in the Bank of North America Collection, I

For the past few years, working on the Bank of North America collection, the Conservation team has been privileged to encounter many interesting and beautiful watermarks, each possessing a hidden history of this centuries old paper.  Thus, I would like to share some of the images and information of the watermarks from the BNA collection. The most obvious thing that I learned from my short research about old watermarks is that they are not always identifiable by their appearance.

Watermarks are the seal or trademark of the manufacturers, and also a security measure to prevent counterfeit of important documents such as bank notes, currency, passports and other government documents.  Not every sheet of paper was watermarked because only medium or fine quality writing or printing papers were made using a watermarked mould.

Watermarks are impressions of patterns or designs that can be seen when the paper is held up to the light. The patterns have been made of wire and then fastened to the surface of the mould with thinner wire. The images below show how the wire of the signature was attached to the mould. During the paper making process, the pulp fills the mould and is displaced by the wire, resulting in the design being thinner than the rest of the sheet and thus more transparent under the light.

This illustration of the watermark of William Rittenhouse (recorded as the first person who made paper in America as early as 1690), shows how the signature was formed and fastened to the mould’s surface.

The illustration below shows the structure of the mould where the wire of the patterns would be attached

(Both illustrations from Colonial Craftsmen and the Beginning of American Industry, 1965 by Edwin Tunis)

This watermark "B" from the BNA collection (image below) is a great example of how the wire was attached to the mould because the impression of the thin wire is also visible.

According to Pennsylvania Colonial Paper Mills and Watermarks by James F. Magee, Jr. May 1935, the first known watermarks were used in Bologna in 1282.  The early emblems he found in old documents in Philadelphia were mostly of a religious character.  Later the watermark became a trademark containing the initials or names of the mill or the papermakers. The first American-made watermarks were mostly the trademarks of the manufacturers of the paper.

The watermarks that we have found in the Bank of North America Collection mostly indicate the manufacturers. Through my research, I believe more than half of the paper was made in the mills in America while some was assumed to be imported from England due to the similarity of the watermarks. The watermark is the signature of the papermaker, but it is not always certain that the paper was made by the papermaker indicated by the watermark.

Sometimes watermarks could be forged, but slight difference could also be the result of the wire being bent or misshapen with use – so it can be incredibly difficult to tell whether a paper was authentic.  

In the Catalogue of American Watermarks 1690 – 1835, Thomas L. Gravell and George Miller write that "moulds were expensive and they were often purchased second-hand. Both before and after the Revolution, many paper moulds were bought from English suppliers. These imported moulds were often used without removing the English watermarks. Frequently this was intentional because foreign-made paper was considered to be of better quality than domestically-made paper and often fetched higher prices." 

Also, forgery of more valued watermarks was known to have happened in Europe and possibly in America and it made it impossible to identify several watermarks in the BNA collection. And I also found out that papers from different mills from different time periods could have been used to complete one single bound book. So while I was going through some of the watermarks in the BNA collection, I found several that cannot be identified by just comparing with the other pages. 

In this blog post, I am going to share some of the watermarks that indicate English papermakers or paper mills, although it is possible that some of these papers were made in America using an imitation or forgery of the English watermark designs.

The watermarks "WELGAR"and "Shield and Fleur-de-lis" found in the vol. 393 were assumed to belong to the mill of William Elgar. Similar images of watermarks found on the website of the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia, explain that “William Elgar operated Chafford Mill on the Medway, outside the village of Fordcombe, near Tonbridge, between c. 1785 and 1802. The mill specialized in the production of fine writing paper, well suited to drawing and watercolor work, used by both [William] Blake and J. M. W. Turner (Peter Bower, ‘The vivid surface: Blake’s use of paper and board’, in Joyce Townsend [ed.], William Blake: The Painter at Work, Tate Publishing, London, 2003, p. 59)." However, there is a very subtle difference in the shape of the shield, between the papers and the ones in the BNA collection. Can we assume that the Elgar papermakers had used different moulds and they are the same paper that Blake and Turner used? Or do we have to consider that they were forgeries made by someone else outside of England?

 

 

This watermark below obviously says 'JWhatman', the signature of James Whatman I & II, Turkey Mill in Maidstone, Kent, England. The Whatman paper was known as one of the finest English papers of the 1700s and by the mid-century it was one of the largest paper suppliers in Europe. However this watermark I found in the BNA collection is not Whatman's:

"A genuine Whatman watermark does not have a crossed section in the centre of the letter 'W'. Numerous forgeries of the Whatman watermark are known, displaying varying differences, some subtle and others more obvious. Paper analysis by Peter Bower, who has written extensively on the subject, shows that Whatman watermarks were forged in France, Germany and Austria." - Conservation/ National Gallery of Australia.

Finding out this information was both disappointing and exciting at the same time. It was not the famouse Whatman paper but it was the evidence of the complex history of handmade paper and the business around it.

Then, should the 'Strasboug Bend' watermark (image below of the 'JWhatman') also be considered as a forgery? 

More information about James Whatman and similar images can be found at National Gallery of Australia and New York Public Library. Also drawn images of genuine Whatman watermarks and some examples of forgery can be seen at BAPH ( British Association of Paper Historians).

.

(found in BNA collection that looks almost same as the Whatman 'Strasbourg Bend' watermark, with the JW cypher beneath the bottom pendant)

 

This image of half of the watermark 'A BLACKWELL' is assumed to be a trademark of Ann Blackwell of Nash Mill, in Hemel Hempstead, Herfordshire, UK.

 

The initial below probably means Clement Taylor(c.1745-1804), a famous British papermaker of Tovil Place, Maidstone, Kent, UK. More information about him can be found here.

There are two very interesting but unidentified watermarks, 'Lay Jun' and 'C Patch' that I would like to find out more about. They could indicate papermakers either in Europe or America. If anyone can recognize these two unidentified watermarks, and wishes to share their knowledge or information about them, please contribute in the comments section below.

In a few months I will write a second blog post about the watermarks in the BNA collection, since I would like to share the watermarks of American mills and manufacturers and their brief history.

 

 

 

George F. Parry's Civil War Diaries: March 1865

Friends and acquaintances, we thank you for returning for more transcriptions from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War dating from 1863 to 1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry. In celebration of Parry's work and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I'm providing monthly posts on Fondly, PA of transcripts of entries from his diaries.

To see other posts in the series, check out the links over on the right-hand side of this page.  Clicking on the diary images will take you to our Digital Library where you can examine the volumes page by page, along with other digitized items from the Parry collection.

*****

As winter weather gave way to warmer temperatures in March of 1865, Parry's regiment was on the move south. Near the beginning of the month, he noted passing through Frankfort, Mississippi, located just across the northern Alabama border. By the end of the month, Parry found himself on the southeastern outskirts of Birmingham, Alabama, on the Cahaba River. Most notable among Parry's entries this month are those that pertain to the regiment's horses, a few of which recount the aftermath of them being given spoiled feed.


Notes about the transcriptions: I've kept the pattern of Parry's writings as close as formatting here will allow, including his line breaks and spacing. My own additional or clarifying notes will be in brackets [ ]. Any grammatical hiccups that aren’t noted as such are Parry's own.


*****

Thursday, March 2
Horses in bad condition from poor
feed – musty corn. suffering  from
Diarrhoea[,] Colic and Indigestion
made out report of the bad condition
and sent it in.
                             Rain most all Day
dull in camp.

*****

Friday, March 10
Cold and clear. Inspection and
testimony in regard to Forage
issued to Horses of the command
since March 1st. testimony of L. M.
Forage Master and veterinary Surgs[sic]
number of Horses died from bad
feed – Diarrhoea (20)
Since March 1st. all feed Issued to
the Regt in bad condition. Spoile[d?]
Horses done well up to that date.

*****

Wednesday, March 15
Issued Sixty Nine Horses to a Dis-
mounted company.
                                    Rode out to River
with Lt. Conner.
                                    Wrote a Letter Home
turned over our three Wagons with
orders to move on a three months
raid at moments notice[.]
                                    Herring, Cabbage
and other Sanitary stores issued to
our Regiment in abundance.

*****

Monday, March 20
Orders to move at Day Light – Order
co[u]ntermanded and in camp all day
rode down to the Tennessee River
with Lt. Breckbill – came up a
rain[,] got wet through &c.
                                          Wagon train
Moved out with Escort.
                                           Hard rain
and continued all night.

*****

Tuesday, March 28
Reveille at four O'clock. Rainy morn'g—
sick all night with Diarrhoea. And after
Breakfast seized with Spasms and Vomiting
as if Poisoned. [Danl?] Lucy held in
the same way. Slept till noon. Foragers
returned with abundance of Corn[,] five fine
Hams & sweat[sic] Potatoes &c. march at two O'
clock[,] passed through Jasper [Alabama] and on to the
north branch of the Black [?] river
distance fourteen miles – roads very bad – camped
at ten O'clock. Jasper entirely destroyed

*****

(Bad) Luck of the Irish in Political Cartoons

The Irish are probably the most represented ethnic group in the Historic Images, New Technologies project cartoons. That's not great for the Irish. If any individual or group shows up with any frequency in political cartoons, you can be sure that most, if not all, of these representations will be negative. And the Irish were a favorite punching-bag for one of the most innovative and influential illustrated humor magazines of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Puck. This magazine commented extensively on some of the most significant episodes in Irish and Irish-American history during this tumultuous period—and it invariably did it in the most insulting way possible.

Did you know that the Irish National League of America, which formally supported the creation of an independent Irish nation, was founded in Philadelphia in April 1883? This cartoon is how Puck illustrated this development:

Cartoon "The Irish Declaration of Independence That We are All Familiar With," showing an Irish housemaid shaking a fist at her non-Irish employer

"The Irish Declaration of Independence That We are All Familiar With," Puck, May 9, 1883. Balch Broadsides: Satirical Cartoons (PG 278)

"The Irish Declaration of Independence That We are All Familiar With" (May 9, 1883) features a caricature of an Irish female domestic worker violently "declaring independence" from her white American mistress. This Irish housemaid, like so many Irish and Irish-American subjects of Puck cartoons, is drawn with exaggerated, ape-like features.

How about the fact that many hard-working Irish-American immigrants sent their meager ownings across the Atlantic to aid their family members in Ireland? For a cynical view, with a bonus helping of negative stereotypes, look no further than Puck's "American Gold":

Cartoon "American Gold," showing Irish American laborers in the left panel and a lazy Irish family among pigs and whiskey bottles in the right panel

"American Gold," Puck, May 24, 1882. Balch Broadsides: Satirical Cartoons (PG 278)

In this cartoon, although the Irish-American laborers are portrayed with some dignity (although they have exaggerated facial features, they are portrayed as hardworking), the Irish family awaiting the money sent from America is shown to be lazy and drunken—lolling on a hillside among pigs and whiskey bottles. Worse yet, an inset above them shows Irishmen with a cash box for "Agitation and Disturbance" waiting to intercept the American riches.

Puck's cartoonists and editors were dependably scornful of attempts to relieve the suffering of Irish peasants as well as of attempts to advocate for Irish independence from Britain. In February 1880, when New York Herald editor James Gordon Bennett raised over $200,000 to send food to famine victims in Ireland, while at the same time Irish National Land League President Charles Stewart Parnell raised money to allow Irish tenants to purchase their own land from British landlords, Puck implied that any money sent to aid the Irish was taking food out of the mouths of American paupers.

Cartoon "To Our Starving Poor--If You Want Relief, Go to Ireland," showing sad American paupers watching ships labeled "Herald Relief Fund" and "Parnell Relief Fund" sailing away from docks

"To Our Starving Poor—If You Want Relief, Go to Ireland," Puck, Feb. 25, 1880. Balch Broadsides: Satirical Cartoons (PG 278)

While the stereotypes in these cartoons may be offensive, the events they comment on are fascinating. It's our hope that studying these rich visual resources will allow modern audiences to learn more about the important events and trends that these cartoons comment on, and to reflect on how visual representations shape public perceptions.

Want to learn more about these cartoons even before our exhibit site, Politics in Graphic Detail, launches? Check out "Window on the Collections: A Cartoon View of Irish Nationalism," in the fall 2014 issue of Pennsylvania Legacies.

Hail, Columbia!

Uncle Sam is one of our most recognizable national symbols. But did you know that from the colonial period to the early 20th century, America was most often personified by a woman? In honor of International Women's Day which was celebrated earlier this week, let's explore some of the political cartoons featured in the Historic Images, New Technologies (HINT) project that depict America as a woman.

In “Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,” the pre-revolutionary war cartoon about the colonists’ resistance to the Tea Act, we see a Native American woman wearing a headdress, wielding a bow and arrow, and leading a group of men or the Sons of Liberty into battle. As the cartoonist indicates in the description below the image, the warrior-woman represents America. 

Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression, 1773, in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Medium Graphics Collection.

Native American Woman in Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression, 1773, in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Medium Graphics Collection.

On the upper left side of the political cartoon, Britannia, a symbol of Great Britain, laments over the actions of her “degenerate sons.” Meanwhile, on the upper right side of the image, the goddess Liberty praises her sons to the goddess Fame, and implores her to not allow their bravery to “be buried in oblivion.”

Britannia in Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression, 1773, in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Medium Graphics Collection.

Liberty and Fate in Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression, 1773, in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Medium Graphics Collection.

In the political cartoon below, “The Parricide: A Sketch of Modern Patriotism,” America is once again depicted as a fierce Native American woman. Instead of a bow and arrow, she wields a knife and an axe and is about to violently murder Great Britain’s Britannia. Next to the Native American woman, stands Medusa, a female mythological figure whose image was traditionally used for protection in battle.

The Parricide: A Sketch of Modern Patriotism, 1776.

Columbia is one of the most famous personifications of America. The District of Columbia, Columbia University, and Columbia Pictures, as well as dozens of American cities, were named after Columbia. “Hail, Columbia," a former unofficial national anthem, is now the official Vice Presidential Anthem.

Stephen Finding 'His Mother', 1860, in Historical Society of Pennsylvania cartoons and caricatures collection (#3133)

Columbia is often depicted wearing classical robes and a Phrygian or liberty cap similar to the one worn by Britannia, the symbol of Great Britain. In the above cartoon, “Stephen Finding His Mother,” Columbia gives Democratic presidential candidate Stephen A. Douglas a spanking for his support of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. In the cartoon, she is wearing her liberty cap and is seated next to an eagle and shield. Uncle Sam approves of her actions and tells her to “give him the Stripes till he sees the Stars.” Stephen begs his “mother” to “let him off this time” and promises “never to do so anymore.”

Columbia reappears as a motherly figure once again in the political cartoon “Columbia: He's not only been abusing Billie, but the little Wilson girl says she never heard such language.” She holds William Taft’s hand as he cries and brings little Teddy Roosevelt to Uncle Sam for a scolding.

Columbia: He's not only been abusing Billie, but the little Wilson girl says she never heard such language!, circa 1909-1912, in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania cartoons and caricatures collection (#3133)

In the following political cartoon, “Little Mac Trying to Dig His Way to the White House but is Frightened by Spiritual Manifestations,” Columbia takes up a sword and shield. She possesses superhuman qualities and flies above presidential candidate George McClellan, threatening him with her weapon.

Little Mac Trying to Dig His Way to the White House But Is Frightened by Spiritual Manifestations, 1865, in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania cartoons and caricatures collection (#3133)

We hope you’ve enjoyed our post about female personifications of America. Be sure to keep an eye out for our upcoming post about the image of Uncle Sam in our HINT political cartoons!

 

Spin Me Right Round, Baby

Here at the HINT project, we've put a lot of effort into improvements to the HSP image viewer. The ability to annotate graphic images has been getting the most attention, but we'll also soon be unveiling a new viewer feature that has the power to turn your world upside-down.

That's right, we're getting a rotate tool!

Several cartoons in the HINT project are actually intended to be rotated. For example, "Jeff. Davis Going to War/Jeff. Returning from War" is a two-in-one image. To get to the punchline, you need to turn the page upside-down.

"Jeff. Davis going to War." right-side up, depicting Jefferson Davis as a (weird-looking) man with a moustache."Jeff. returning from War" (rotated 180 degrees), depicting Jefferson Davis as an ass.

Jeff. Davis going to War./Jeff. returning from War (1861), call no. Ba 612 J 35

This cartoon from the San Francisco Wasp contains two vignettes that comment on immigration. Readers would hold their magazines one way to view "Reception of European Emigrants Twenty Years Ago" and another way to view "Reception of Asiatic Emigrants in the Present Time." To do the same in a digital environment, however, requires the use of special controls.

Double-paneled political cartoon, "Reception of European Emigrants Twenty Years Ago/Reception of Asiatic Emigrants in the Present Time"

"Reception of European Emigrants Twenty Years Ago/Reception of Asiatic Emigrants in the Present Time," Wasp, June 15, 1878. Balch Institute broadsides (collection #3213).

Detail of cartoon showing immigrants from Europe being attacked by a mob at Castle Garden

Detail of cartoon showing Chinese immigrants in a wagon being attacked by a mob at the docks

With the ability to rotate images within the HSP image viewer, users can come closer to experiencing these images the way they were meant to be experienced—interactively.

We're looking forward to sharing many more rotate-able cartoons with you in our exhibit website, Politics in Graphic Detail.

George F. Parry's Civil War Diaries: February 1865

Hello again to our readers! We're back this month with another set of transcriptions from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War dating from 1863 to 1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry. In celebration of Parry's work and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I'm providing monthly posts on Fondly, PA of transcripts of entries from his diaries.

To see other posts in the series, check out the links over on the right-hand side of this page.  Clicking on the diary images will take you to our Digital Library where you can examine the volumes page by page, along with other digitized items from the Parry collection.

*****

February 1865 was not a terribly exciting month for Parry, though he did note several occasions in which he dealt with the regiment's horses. He didn’t mention much extensive movement, so it’s likely he rode out a wintry and often “disagreeable” February around the outskirts of Nashville, Tennessee.


Notes about the transcriptions: I've kept the pattern of Parry's writings as close as formatting here will allow, including his line breaks and spacing. My own additional or clarifying notes will be in brackets [ ]. Any grammatical hiccups that aren’t noted as such are Parry's own.


*****

Friday, February 3
Dull and wet.  Issued to Co.
I two Horses with Halters.
                                          Rode
out in afternoon.  Called on Frank
Keys and got some supplies.
                                          Rations
and Horse fed in abundance.
                                          Number
of third class Horses that reached Eastport
(112) and one mule

*****

Sunday, February 12
Sick but on duty[,] slept most
all day – had chill (etc.)  rode out
after dinner.   preaching in camp
by 4th Mich. Chaplin.    Splendid
Day and more like a Sunday
than any other day for a long time[.]
                                                            Dress
parade Band out – any thing splen-
did[.]          Col. McCormick first appe-
arance on dress parade.

*****

Thursday, February 16
Thunder Storm in the moon [illegible] cleared
up fine and warm – Rec'd new
pair of Pants from Tailor and put
them on[,] also new Boots.
                                                Inspected
the Horses and clasfied[sic] according
to Orders from war dept. in four
classes.

*****

Friday, February 24
Dull Day – very muddy for the Horses
Made a new place for to Confine
our Horses.
                        nothing new in camp[.] rumor
sais(sic) will start for Mobile in few days[.]

Fourty rebels came into our lines and
gave themselves up.
                                    Mail came[,] no
letters or papers for me.

*****
Tuesday, February 28

Nothing new in Camp[.] Mustered
Reg't in afternoon on Drill[.]
Bob Johnson and I rode down
to the river and Saw Gun Boat
and was taken over it by the
commander – a surgeon from
Chester on board.
                                    Small mail of
eight Letters arrived.

*****

Fads, Folksongs, and Fairy Tales in Political Cartoons

A few weeks back, we shared some political cartoons we've been researching for HSP's  Historic Images, New Technologies (HINT) project, that referenced classic works of art; we've also found several cartoons, however, that draw inspiration from the pop culture of their times.

The 1896 political cartoon "Effect of Roentgen's Rays," for instance, references Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, credited with the discovery of x-rays. In the cartoon below, Senator Boies Penrose of Pennsylvania and Republican party boss David Martin, who appears to operate an x-ray device, stand over the body of President of Select Council Wencel Hartman.

Effect of Roentgen's "Rays", 1896, in Hampton L. Carson papers (#117)

While most people think of X-rays in purely medical terms today, Roentgen's discovery set off a huge fad in the 1890s. Roentgen made the first X-ray film in November 1895 when he took an image of his wife’s hand. After he gave a public lecture on his discovery, people became fascinated with "Roentgen’s Rays" and began taking "bone portraits." Inventors even tried to develop X-ray devices for household use. Advertisers took advantage of the craze and made associations between their products and X-rays: consumers could buy "X-ray" headache medicine, soap, and whisky.

The following political cartoon, “If-The Inaugural Dinner at the White House,” features several well-known comic strip characters. William Randolph Hearst, a candidate for the 1904 democratic nomination and owner of the New York Journal and San Francisco Examiner, gives a toast. At the table are seated characters from Katzenjammer Kids, a popular comic strip published in the Sunday supplement of Hearst’s New York Journal. Characters from the Little Bears play musical instruments in the corner while Mr. Jack, the man standing below the portrait of Teddy Roosevelt and wearing a top hat and bow tie, raises his glass to Mr. Hearst.

If-The Inaugural Dinner at the White House, 1904, from Puck, in Historical Society of Pennsylvania cartoons and caricatures collection (#3133)

The following political cartoon, published in the humor magazine Puck, references the popular 19th-century  poem "Darius Green and His Flying Machine," by John Townsend Trowbridge.  In "The Political Darius Green and His Flying Machine," presidential aspirant John Sherman flies above a barn in a flying machine made up of his "bloody shirt" and "speeches." He exclaims: "I’ll astonish the nation,/ An' all creation,/ By my great Presidential Aspiration." Despite his best efforts, Sherman’s presidential hopes were later dashed when he lost the nomination to Benjamin Harrison in June 1888.

"The Political Darius Green and His Flying Machine," 1887, from Puck, in Historical Society of Pennsylvania cartoons and caricatures collection (#3133)

A number of cartoons use fairy tale imagery. The Wasp’s 1883 "Who Will Wake Sleeping Beauty?" creates a tableau from the story of Sleeping Beauty and transforms famous political figures like Ulysses S. Grant and Grover Cleveland into dwarves.

Who Will Wake Sleeping Beauty?, 1883, from Wasp, in Historical Society of Pennsylvania cartoons and caricatures collection (#3133)

A later cartoon published in 1908 in the Philadelphia North American also uses the fairy tale motif to criticize government corruption and corporate monopolies.  In "A Beautiful Fairy Tale," John D. Rockefeller sits on a rocking chair and recounts his own version of a fairy tale—one about kind-hearted and ethical corporate monopolists—to a tiny stand-in for the "common people."

"A Beautiful Fairy Tale," 1908, Philadelphia North American, Historical Society of Pennsylvania cartoons and caricatures collection (#3133)

 

These five political cartoons are just a small sample of the many cartoons that make pop culture references. We hope that you check out the rest of our newly digitized cartoons when the exhibit becomes available later this year.

4/27/15
Author: Cary Hutto

Friends and acquaintances, we're happy you've returned for more transcriptions from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War dating from 1863 to 1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Comments: 0

4/10/15
Author: Tyler Antoine

On April 8, 2015, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) had the pleasure of hosting a lively conversation as part of the event, Voicing the Absent: Crafting History.

The inaugural program in HSP’s two-year “An Artist Embedded” project, Voicing the Absent brought together playwrights, historians, filmmakers, and the public to explore the intersections of history and fiction, fact and truth.

Comments: 0

4/1/15
Author: Diane Biunno

This month marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War which began on April 12, 1861 at the Battle of Fort Sumter and ended shortly after General Lee surrendered to Grant on April 9, 1865. Over 600,000 Union and Confederate soldiers died, making the Civil War the bloodiest military conflict ever fought on US soil.

Comments: 0

3/31/15
Author: Sun Young Kang

For the past few years, working on the Bank of North America collection, the Conservation team has been privileged to encounter many interesting and beautiful watermarks, each possessing a hidden history of this centuries old paper.  Thus, I would like to share some of the images and information of the watermarks from the BNA collection.

Comments: 3

3/25/15
Author: Cary Hutto

Friends and acquaintances, we thank you for returning for more transcriptions from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War dating from 1863 to 1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Comments: 0

3/17/15
Author: Rachel Moloshok

The Irish are probably the most represented ethnic group in the Historic Images, New Technologies project cartoons. That's not great for the Irish. If any individual or group shows up with any frequency in political cartoons, you can be sure that most, if not all, of these representations will be negative. And the Irish were a favorite punching-bag for one of the most innovative and influential illustrated humor magazines of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Puck.

Comments: 0

3/11/15
Author: Diane Biunno

Uncle Sam is one of our most recognizable national symbols. But did you know that from the colonial period to the early 20th century, America was most often personified by a woman? In honor of International Women's Day which was celebrated earlier this week, let's explore some of the political cartoons featured in the Historic Images, New Technologies (HINT) project that depict America as a woman.

Topics : Politics, Women
Comments: 0

2/26/15
Author: Rachel Moloshok

Here at the HINT project, we've put a lot of effort into improvements to the HSP image viewer. The ability to annotate graphic images has been getting the most attention, but we'll also soon be unveiling a new viewer feature that has the power to turn your world upside-down.

Comments: 0

2/25/15
Author: Cary Hutto

Hello again to our readers! We're back this month with another set of transcriptions from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War dating from 1863 to 1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Comments: 0

2/18/15
Author: Diane Biunno

A few weeks back, we shared some political cartoons we've been researching for HSP's  Historic Images, New Technologies (HINT) project, that referenced classic works of art; we've also found several cartoons, however, that draw inspiration from the pop culture of their times.

Comments: 4