In honor of Festivus, this seems like the perfect document for the airing of grievances. This feature was originally published in Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives (Summer 2013).
At the National Archives, and almost any other archival institution, one of the principal rules for using original records is to keep the records in the same order in which they are given to you.
We benefit in our research from the care taken by unknown prior custodians of the records. Their work is usually invisible, but in the case of our featured document, a clerk’s voice breaks through from the 19th century.
At the back of the Civil War widow’s pension file based on the service of Pvt. Stephen Whitehead, a Pension Office clerk wrote:
These papers having been sorted with considerable care and for convenience arranged in something like their logical order, are now fastened together in the hope that the next man may escape the annoyance and drudgery that would be entailed were they chucked back in the promiscuous condition in which they were found.
Jany. 16, 1894. C.L.H.
The clerk’s frustration is understandable in light of the complexity of the Whitehead pension case. In 1860, … [ Read all ]
Posted by Mary on December 23, 2014, under - Civil War, Prologue Magazine, Uncategorized, Unusual documents.
Tags: airing of grievances, civil war, civil war pensions, civil war widows, clerk, festivus, pension, Pension Office
Today’s post comes from Miriam Kleiman of the National Archives Public Affairs Staff.
I’ve worked at the National Archives for many years and have always been content with our 13 Presidential libraries (Hoover through Bush 43). Sure, I’ve thought wistfully about a Washington, Adams, or Lincoln Library. But only recently did I long for a Warren G. Harding Library to be part of NARA!
Our neighbors down the road at the Library of Congress recently shared online more than 1,000 pages of love letters from Warren Gamaliel Harding to his longtime paramour, Mrs. Carrie Fulton Phillips.
I’ve read letters between John and Abigail Adams, and between Harry and Bess Truman. And while interesting, those seem G-rated in comparison to the wild, impassioned, heated, salacious letters (the early 20th-century version of sexting) from Warren to Carrie.
Is this news?
Historic Presidential affairs are not news; we’ve long heard of Harding’s carnal appetite. He boasted to a group of reporters: “It’s a good thing I’m not a woman. I would always be pregnant. I can’t say no.” Even during his Presidency, there were reports of mistresses, dalliances with young aides, and even illegitimate children.
But many of the affairs of other past Presidents didn’t leave a paper trail.
What is unique about this affair is the newly available extensive … [ Read all ]
Almost 220 years ago, representatives of the United States and more than 1,600 people from Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy (Six Nations—Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, and Tuscarora) gathered together near Canandaigua, New York (the Finger Lakes region) to discuss peace and friendship.
On November 11, 1794, more than 50 chiefs and sachems, including Cornplanter and Red Jacket, signed a treaty. The treaty returned substantial tracts of land to the Haudenosaunee, which it had lost a decade earlier, but restricted the Haudenosaunee from making any further land claims for themselves. George Washington’s agent, Timothy Pickering, signed for the United States.
This fall and for the next six months, an even greater number of people will be able to see the treaty at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington, DC. On September 21, the museum opened the exhibition “Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations.”
Eight treaties negotiated between 1790 and 1868 between the United States and Native Nations form the core of the exhibition. The original treaties are permanently housed just across the Mall at the National Archives, and one original will be rotated in the exhibition every six months. The Canandaigua Treaty, which has never before been exhibited, will be shown for the first six months.
Posted by Mary on October 10, 2014, under Uncategorized.
Tags: American Indians, Canandaigua, Haudenosaunee, Iroquois, Jim Gardner, Kevin Gover, museum of the American Indian, Nation to Nation, national archives, native Americans, NMAI, Oren Lyons, Sidney Hill, Six Nations, Suzan Shown Harjo, treaties
At 1 p.m. on October 17, the doors to the National Archives Museum on Constitution Avenue opened for the first time since September 30. Archivist of the United States David Ferriero greeted the first visitors to enter the building.
“It’s really nice to see people roaming the halls again. I’m proud of the fact that we were able to open our doors as quickly as we did,” said Ferriero. “It’s clear that our visitors are extraordinarily grateful to spend this special time with the documents.”
The message from the Archivist and other staff was “We’re happy to be back,” and the visitors’ feelings were the same.
Visitors had come from across the country and around the world. One couple from St. Louis, MO, had been in Washington three years ago but missed the National Archives. This time they were determined to come to the Archives. Two other California visitors came from the north and south: Los Gatos and Orange County.
Visitors from Italy were among the first people to enter the reopened building, and they were followed by people from several countries. A couple from Japan had been in Washington since Friday and were happy to be able to visit the Federal museums after all. Two men from the United Kingdom—one from London … [ Read all ]
Today’s blog post comes from Katrina Wood, a summer intern with the Public Affairs Office.
As I took a self-guided tour of Embassy Row in Washington, DC, and paused at the statue of Winston Churchill at the British Embassy on Massachusetts Avenue, I thought of all the diplomats and representatives who have made homes in Washington.
Sir Frederick Bruce was a highly valued diplomat in Queen Victoria’s service. Somewhat surprisingly, he seems to be portrayed in a fashion slightly more casual than his lengthy political and diplomatic career would suggest.
Sir Frederick held posts from colonial secretary and consul-general to envoy extraordinary and chief superintendent of British trade in China. He was a native of Scotland, born in Broomhall, Fifeshire.
In 1865, when Sir Frederick was the British Minister in China, he received a new assignment as Minister to the United States. He arrived in New York only one week before the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and never officially met the President.
The diplomat did not survive the President very long. Sir Frederick died in Boston on September 19, 1867. His obituary in the New York Times praised him for performing his ministerial functions “faithfully and earnestly, but with no … [ Read all ]