We’re coming to the end of American Archives Month. This time, we’re heading back to the Midwest, up to Ann Harbor and Grand Rapids, MI. This Presidential Library belongs to a famous University of Michigan grad: Gerald Ford.
Name: Stacy Davis
Occupation: Archivist at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library
How long have you worked at this library?
Ten years, but I have worked 15 years for the National Archives.
How/why did you decide to go into the archival field?
I found the archives field by accident. While I was finishing my undergraduate degree in History at Central Michigan University, I found out about an internship at the John F. Kennedy Library through a flyer. I got the job, and from that point I was hooked on archives!
What are some of your responsibilities at your library?
I participate in a wide variety of activities at the Ford Library. I am the manager of the Library’s digitization program, the ARC point of contact, Specially Protected Materials control person, student employee supervisor. I help monitor the research room, accession new materials, sometimes process new collections, and provide reference assistance.
What do you like best about your job?
I think what I like best is the variety of things that I get to do, and the people I get to work with. On any given day, I could be working with newly … [ Read all ]
Posted by Victoria on October 31, 2013, under Uncategorized.
Tags: American Archives Month, Archives Month, Captiol, dc, Grand Rapids, Maria von Trapp, model, President Ford, Stacy Davis, Yale
Today’s blog post comes from National Archives social media intern Anna Fitzpatrick.
Nine months before President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, he signed a bill on April 16, 1862, that ended slavery in the District of Columbia. The act finally concluded many years of disagreements over ending ”the national shame” of slavery in the nation’s capital.
The law provided for immediate emancipation, compensation to loyal Unionist masters of up to $300 for each freed slave, voluntary colonization of former slaves to colonies outside the United States, and payments of up to $100 to each person choosing emigration. Although this three-way approach of immediate emancipation, compensation, and colonization did not serve as a model for the future, it pointed toward slavery’s death. Emancipation was greeted with great joy by the District’s African American community.
The white population of DC took advantage of the act’s promise of compensation. One month after the act was issued, Margaret Barber presented a claim to the Board of Commissioners for the Emancipation of Slaves in the District of Columbia, saying that she wanted to be compensated by the Federal Government, which had freed her 34 slaves.
Margaret Barber estimated that her slaves were worth a total of $23,400. On June 16, 1862, slave trader Bernard Campbell examined 28 of Barber’s slaves to assess their value for the Commission. In the end, … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on December 26, 2012, under - Civil Rights, - Civil War, Letters in the National Archives.
Tags: dc, district of Columbia, Emancipation Proclamation, lincoln, slavery, Thirteenth Amendment
Today is Emancipation Day for the District of Columbia. Some of you might immediately wonder if this is related to DC’s current efforts to win representation and a vote, but it is a celebration for a different kind of freedom for the residents of DC.
Eight and a half months before he signed the Emancipation Proclamation, President Lincoln signed a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia.
Lincoln had struggled with how to resolve the issue of slavery, even encouraging freed slaves to return to Africa. And of course, slavery in the nation’s capital was an even thornier issue—antislavery advocates spoke of “the national shame.”
The bill had some success. Over the next nine months, the Board of Commissioners appointed to administer the act approved 930 petitions, completely or in part, from former owners for the freedom of 2,989 former slaves.
Although its combination of emancipation, compensation to owners, and colonization did not serve as a model for the future, the District of Columbia Emancipation Act was an early signal of slavery’s death. In the District itself, African Americans greeted emancipation with great jubilation. For many years afterward, Emancipation Day was celebrated with parades and festivals.
When Washington Post reporter Christian Davenport uncovered the headstones of American veterans lying in a murky stream bed at Arlington National Cemetery this month, NARA’s National Personnel Records Center was solicited to help identify one of the partially legible grave markers.
Officials at Arlington National Cemetery were unsure how the stones got into the creek, to whom they belonged, and how old they were. It was possible the stones were engraved incorrectly and the discarded stones were used to line the stream bed. But it was also possible that these were the headstones of fallen veterans.
One headstone in particular offered some clues. With a design that was discontinued in the late 1980s, it offered some time frame as to when the markers arrived in the stream bed.
More important, there was a partially legible name on the marker. If the name could be associated with a veteran, it could explain where the headstones came from, when they were put there, and also help restore honor to one of America’s fallen heroes. The headstone only showed the rank of a Navy captain, and the name J (or L) Warren McLaughlin.
At the National Archives, veterans’ records from the 20th century are stored at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), located in St. Louis, MO.
The NPRC first heard of the issue from Doug Sterner who … [ Read all ]
Posted by Rob Crotty on June 30, 2010, under News and Events.
Tags: american history, arlington national cemetery, dc, head stones, McLaughlin, NARA, national archives, National archives and records administration, national personnel records center, nprc, odd history, Pieces of History, prologue blog, Prologue magazine, random history, veteran records, virginia, washington, Washington Post, weird US history