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Tag: Emanicipation Proclamation

Emancipation Proclamation: My Dear Wife

Today’s blog post comes from National Archives social media intern Anna Fitzpatrick.

Envelope from a letter sent by John Boston to his wife Elizabeth, January 12, 1862, enclosed in a letter from Major General George B. McClellan to the Honorable Edwin Stanton; Letters Received, 1805–1889; Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1762–1984, Record Group 94; National Archives Identifier 783102.

During the Civil War, the government moved slowly but steadily from an affirmation of the Constitutional protection of slavery to its complete abolition with the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment. This change was in part forced on the Federal government by the growing numbers of enslaved people who fled and sought protection behind Union lines.

John Boston, fleeing slavery in Maryland, found refuge with a New York regiment in Upton Hill, Virginia, where he wrote to his wife who remained in Owensville. At the moment of celebrating his freedom, his highest hope and aspiration was to be reunited with his family.

My Dear Wife it is with grate joy I take this time to let you know Whare I am
i am now in Safety in the 14th Regiment of Brooklyn . . . this Day i can Adress you thank god as a free man I had a little truble in giting away But as the lord led the Children of Isrel to the

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Facial Hair Friday: By Request

Horace Greeley, ca. 1860-ca. 1865, ARC 526061

Horace Greeley, ca. 1860-ca. 1865, ARC 526061

At least three colleagues here at the National Archives and one commenter have mentioned Horace Greeley as a candidate for the spotlight here at Facial Hair Friday. And upon looking him up and letting out a strangled gasp, I had to agree that his facial hair is indeed worthy of a blog post.

I’m not sure that Greeley’s hair is even, well, facial. It’s more like neck hair run amok. Is it a beard or a neck-beard “neard”?

In a recent FHF post, we posted a table that showed the bearded candidate had a better chance of winning when pitted against a clean-shaven candidate.

In 1872, Greeley even ran as a Presidential candidate against the heavily bearded Grant, but suffered a landslide loss. In the tabulation, we did not count Greeley’s facial hair as a beard, since it did not cover his chin.

Might Greeley have more political success with a different whisker style? Should we have counted his “neard” as a beard?

Despite Greeley’s eccentric appearance, he was also a well-respected editor who launched the widely read The New York Tribune.  “According to this article, he “opposed slavery as morally deficient and economically regressive” and supported the Emanicipation Proclamation (on display at the National Archives from November 11 to 14).… [ Read all ]