Belair Aug 25th 1864
Today, Maryland is thought of as the Mid-Atlantic, with barely any relationship to the south. But the fact is that the state is south of the Mason-Dixon line, and before Washington, D.C. brought transplants from all over the United States, I've seen references to suburbs like Kensington and Silver Spring as being "sleepy southern towns." More importantly in the context of today, Maryland Emancipation Day, this was a slave-holding state, a fact that many people seem to forget when talking about Frederick Douglass, a fierce abolitionist who was enslaved and worked in the Inner Harbor of Baltimore City, or Harriet Tubman, a heroic Underground Railroad worker born on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. During the Civil War, the state also had
many southern sympathizers, including the man who shot Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth (like Annie Davis, a resident of Bel Air, Maryland).
"Slave Statistics," a record of the enslaved people in Maryland and their owners at the time of emancipation exists for some counties in Maryland, but not for Harford. I haven't been able to find anything else about Annie Davis in a brief search. I want to thank Mr. C.R. Gibbs and the Reginald F. Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture for the Maryland Emancipation Day Lecture, where Mr. Gibbs shared this powerful letter.
Some spooky photos and objects to get us in the Halloween mood...
It's October! That means we can start with Halloween-themed posts, right?
I was recently made aware of the fact that there are a number of sheet music covers with witches in the Lester S. Levy Collection at the Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries Special Collections. So just in time for Halloween, I'll share some of them here!
Read my new article on OZY.com about the Laserman, the Swedish serial killer.
Not everything great can make it into an article, so I've included some more images and documents here on the blog!
Friday is Women's Equality Day, and given Hillary's nomination, now seems about as good a time as any to see some images from the women's suffrage movement.
It is really so amazing that in modern documents like this, Frau Conti is recognized as the President of the ICM, yet there is no mention of the backdrop of what was going on in 1936 in Berlin when they held this Congress, and the terrible implications of her politics and practices.
Some fun typefaces from advertisements in a Frederick, Maryland paper from December 18, 1885.
A museum in blog form.
Come read the stories behind objects and ephemera found in private collections, archives, and museums.