On This Day (September 27, 1861)

From the Mass Moments website:

On this day in 1867, a Worcester newspaper announced that “in accordance with the desire of a number of citizens,” a freedmens’ office would be established to make it easy for white employers to hire African Americans, newly arrived from the South. As a result of contact with soldiers and teachers from Worcester County, escaping and later emancipated slaves gravitated to central Massachusetts. The city’s black population doubled in the 1860s, and the Civil War-era migration continued into the late nineteenth century. With help from the northerners who had befriended them, the local African American community, and the area’s abolitionists, the refugees began to build families and institutions. The cultural traditions these southern migrants brought with them made Worcester’s small black community a vibrant one.

Read the rest of the story here.

Photo of Dwight Wilson, African American Archivist Sought

The Society of American Archivists Anniversary Committee is making archivist trading cards in celebration of their 75th year.

The Committee has not been able to locate an image of Dwight Wilson, Fisk University archivist and the first African-American to chair a SAA Committee. Fisk University does not have an image.

Can anyone help? Wilson was a professor at Morris Brown in 1935-1936, but the yearbook for that year has not been located.  Has a copy slipped in to your collection?

Mr. Wilson attended Kitrell College, Shaw University and Howard University and a member of the Allied Forces Records Administration during WWII. His obituary from the American Archivist can be found here http://archivists.metapress.com/content/a0v2744223598546/fulltext.pdf

Anyone with any information on the location of the yearbook for 35-36 or who may have a photo of Mr. Wilson, please comment on the blog so that we can forward the information to the SAA Committee.


Gilder Lehrman Online John Brown Exhibition


If you cannot make it to either the Massachusetts Historical Society to hear the lectures and see the exhibit on John Brown, perhaps you can see the exhibit at the New York Historical Society that runs from September 15, 2009 through March 25, 2010.

If you cannot do either — you’re in luck.  Visit Gilder Lehrman’s website at


to see the online exhibit.  If you have never visited this site before, you’re in for a treat.  Not only can you see original documents able to be enlarged so you can read them — they have transcriptions as well.


Obama to Use Lincoln Bible at Inauguration

The Library of Congress is featuring digitized copies of the bible on which  Abraham Lincoln took his oath of office in 1861.  From the LOC website:

“The Library of Congress often provides Bibles from its vast collections for the use of Members of Congress during their swearing-in ceremonies. But it is not every day that a president-elect makes the same request for his inauguration. It is rarer still when that Bible is the same one upon which Abraham Lincoln first took the oath of office in 1861. (In fact, as far as we can tell, that Bible has not been used by a president since Honest Abe himself.)

But that’s exactly what Barack Obama is doing, in keeping with the very Lincolnesque theme of his inauguration.

The historic meeting between past and present, symbolized by a single book, has caught the public’s attention. (A quick search in Google News reveals at least 600 articles.)

Because there are few high-resolution images of the Lincoln Inaugural Bible available on our Web site, I wanted to provide several of them here.

The Lincoln Bible, by the way, will be among the items on display in “With Malice Toward None,” our exhibit opening Feb. 12 that honors the 200th birthday of our 16th president.”

Here is the link to the images:  www.loc.gov/blog?p=410