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Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society
Volumes 108-111

Volume 111, Part 1 (2001)
Contains the Proceedings of the Semiannual Meeting in April 2001, the Report of the Council, obituaries of recently deceased members, and the following articles:
  • Portraits in the Collection of the American Antiquarian Society by Lauren B. Hewes.
    Edited by Caroline F. Sloat and Katherine St. Germaine; foreword by Ellen S. Dunlap; notes and acknowledgements, Georgia B. Barnhill and Caroline Sloat; "Portraits as Documents: Historical and Humanistic Reflections" by Linda J. Docherty; "The Most Distinguished Ancient Worthies of Our Country" by Lauren B. Hewes.
    Available as a separately published book

Volume 111, Part 2 (2001) Contains the Proceedings of the Annual Meeting in October 2001, the Report of the Council, Report of the Treasurer, obituaries of recently deceased members, index to the volume, and the following articles:

  • "George Bancroft: Master Historian" by George Athan Billias. Pages 507-28.
    Bancroft's ten-volume History of the United States from the Discovery of the Continent contains an inherent contradiction. This essay explores Bancroft's attempts to reconcile two contradictory points of view--the universality of human nature and his belief that nations developed their own distinctive values or ethos. Bancroft seemed to want it both ways: Americans shared a common human nature with all others, and yet they became something quite different historically. How could this be?
    Available as offprint number 997

  • "Prophets, Publics, and Publication: The Case of John Brown" by Richard H. Brodhead. Pages 529-51
    Few people in all of American history have been so profoundly identified with the prophetic as John Brown. Prophetism has led a vigorous life in this country in religion and politics from the earliest days and shows no signs of waning now. American prophetism has also found a major outlet for its energies in artistic creation, particularly in literature. At the intersections of prophetism and print, this communications medium and this form of selfhood come into collision: if in one modality prophetism is hostile to print, in another it is in love with it, and seems to wish nothing so much as to seize this medium and make it its own.
    Available as offprint number 998

 

Volume 110, Part 1 (2000)
Contains the Proceedings of the Semiannual Meeting in April 2000, the Report of the Council, obituaries of recently deceased members, and the following articles:

  • "To be 'Read by the Whole People': Press, Party, and Public Sphere in the United States, 1789-1840" by John Brooke. Pages 44-118.
    Was the press in the early and antebellum republics adequate to the task of imparting sufficient political information to the American people? Identifying broad patterns, the essay proposes a general crisis in political communications in the 1830s. The configuration of party, press, public sphere, and popular audience changed in very different ways and at such different rates in the various regions making up the antebellum United States that one has to ask whether the nation was comprised of fundamentally different political systems.
    Available as offprint number 991

  • "The Meanings of Blindness in Nineteenth-Century America" by Ernest Freeberg. Pages 119-152.
    The blind men and women who entered special schools were not simply passive recipients of a new charity. They actively shaped these institutions, sometimes in ways unanticipated by their sighted benefactors, and carved out a cultural space for themselves by publishing their life stories. Through these personal narratives, the blind began for the first time to define the meaning of blindness for themselves.
    Available as offprint number 992

  • "Separated at Birth: Text and Context of the Declaration of Independence" by Thomas Starr. Pages 153-199.
    This essay analyzes the evolution of the iconic text of the Declaration of Independence. The printed document issued by the Continental Congress that was circulated to the colonies for reading was soon recast as a manuscript, divorcing the text from its context in print culture. Calligraphic form has portrayed the content of the Declaration so convincingly that it has taken on a life of its own, but in visual rather than verbal terms, and the implications of this form of representation are explored here.
    Available as offprint number 993

Volume 110, Part 2 (2000)
Contains the Proceedings of the Annual Meeting in October 2000, the Report of the Council, Report of the Treasurer, obituaries of recently deceased members, index to the volume, and the following articles:

  • "The Enduring Fascination with Salem Witchcraft." Opening Remarks by John B. Hench; "Mysteries, Memories and Metaphors: The Salem Witchcraft Trials in the American Imagination" by Gretchen A. Adams; "Archival, Testimony: Poetry And The Salem Witch Trials" by Nicole Cooley; Comment by Jill Lepore; "Dutch New York and the Salem Witch Trials: Some New Evidence" by Evan Haefeli; "Coming to Terms with the Salem Witch Trials" by John M. Murrin. Pages 253-348.
    Available as offprint number 994

  • "Epochal Change: Print Culture and Economics" by Richard Ohmann. Pages 349-376.
    The book publishing industry changed dramatically from the 1960s on. A series of mergers and takeovers eventually made trade books for the most part a product of media conglomerates. This transformation accompanied a broader one: the larger, stable, "Fordist" corporations that had dominated the American economy since 1900 gave way after 1970 to agile companies, most of them multinational, that exhibit much greater flexibility in product design, labor strategies, and marketing. Trade book publishing neatly instances the shift from one epoch to another in the history of capitalism.
    Available as offprint number 995

  • "Forefathers' Day Orations, 1769 1865: An Introduction and Checklist" by Udo J. Hebel. Pages 377-416.
    The first comprehensive checklist of Forefathers' Day orations documents the cultural significance of Plymouth anniversary festivities during the time of their hightest visibility in revolutionary, early national, and antebellum America. It includes hitherto uncatalogued items and identifies speeches previously not recognized as Forefathers' Day addresses. The recovery of orations given at celebrations outside of New England may support reconsiderations of Forefathers' Day as a site of national American memory between the Revolution and the Civil War.
    Available as offprint number 996

 

Volume 109, Part 1 (1999)
Contains the Proceedings of the Semiannual Meeting in April 1999, the Report of the Council, obituaries of recently deceased members, and the following articles:

  • "Heroic Women Found: Transgressive Feminism, Popular Biography, and the 'Tragical Deaths of Beautiful Females'" by Daniel Cohen. Pages 51-97.
    Available as offprint number 985

  • "Wheelock's World: Letters and the Communication of Revival in Great Awakening New England" by John Fea. Pages 99-144.
    During the Great Awakening in New England Eleazar Wheelock, the New Light minister, Indian missionary, and educator was a prolific religious communicator and letter writer. His correspondence served as an agent in the creation, preservation, definition, and redefinition of a revival community. Such scribal publication was effective in spreading news of revivals and uniting New Light ministers in the remote corners of the New England countryside. Letters, rather than oral communication or the print public sphere, frequently served as the catalyst for New England evangelicals to transcend their geographical isolation.
    Available as offprint number 986

  • "Increase Mather's 'Catechismus Logicus': An Analysis of the Role of a Ramist Catechism" by Rick Kennedy and Thomas Knoles. Pages
    The brief manuscript logic catechism was produced in 1675 in Latin for the use of undergraduates at Harvard College. Intended for the use of students who would copy it into their blank books, the work exemplifies the kind of rudimentary Ramist textbook used in seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century New England.

    "Increase Mather's Catechismus Logicus (1675)" edited by Rick Kennedy and Thomas Knoles.
    An edited and annotated translation of the manuscript.
    Included in the separately published book titled Student Notebooks at Colonial Harvard: Manuscripts and Educational Practice, 1650-1740

Volume 109, Part 2 (1999)
Contains the Proceedings of the Annual Meeting in October 1999, the Report of the Council, Report of the Treasurer, obituaries of recently deceased members, index to the volume, and the following articles:

  • "'The Greatest Book of Its Kind': A Publishing History of Uncle Tom's Cabin by Michael Winship
    Harriet Beecher Stowe, who had no idea of the success that this book would achieve, also lacked experience with book publishers. Right from its publication in book form, sales took off. Through the numerous adaptations, condensations, responses, and other spin-offs, the book brought the issue of slavery before the reading public as nothing else had. But success led to strain and a break with (Stowe's) publisher John P. Jewett; then, through a chance meeting, to James T. Fields, and ultimately to Houghton, Mifflin, the book's publisher when the copyright expired in 1893. This essay explores how, over time, the claim that it was "The Greatest Book of Its Kind" came to be deserved.
    Available as offprint number 990

  • "'In Usum Pupillorum': Student Transcribed Texts at Harvard College Before 1740" by Thomas Knoles and Lucia Zaucha Knoles
    For almost the first hundred years of Harvard's existence, many of the texts used in instruction were manuscripts and were transmitted in manuscript form only. In 1735 two of these texts were published, and from then on, the mechanics of textbook distribution at Harvard changed profoundly and permanently.

    "Student-Transcribed Texts at Harvard College before 1840: A Checklist" by Thomas Knoles
    Included in the separately published book titled Student Notebooks at Colonial Harvard: Manuscripts and Educational Practice, 1650-1740

 

Volume 108, Part 1 (1998)
Contains the Proceedings of the Semiannual Meeting in April 1998, the Report of the Council, obituaries of recently deceased members, and the following articles:

  • "Origins and English Predecessors of the New England Primer" by Gilliam Avery. Pages 19-47.
    The early history of the New England Primer is one of the most complex of bibliographic problems. The creator of the NEP is traditionally held to be London bookseller Benjamin Harris, but no edition earlier than 1727 has survived. Viewing it in context with its English contemporaries and predecessors, it is now possible to add a little about its origins and identify the source of the famous rhymed alphabet and also the probable author of the dialogue between Christ, Youth, and the Devil.
    Available as offprint number 978

  • "Beggars and Books" by Ann Fabian. Pages 49-102.
    We often think of reading and writing as aspects of the spread of refinement through American culture. This article explores a rougher world of writing, printing, publishing, and bookselling. A few of the early nineteenth-century Americans whose lives were upended by war, politics, and international intrigue turned to print to recover money and good name. The essay investigates the tactics the poor employed to present themselves and their stories to the skeptical audiences they hoped would buy and read their books.
    Available as offprint number 979

  • "The Social Construction of Thomas Carlyle's New England Reputation, 1834-36" by Leon Jackson. Pages 165-188.
    Literary historians often have recourse to dramatic metaphors in describing the spread of Romanticism in antebellum America. This paper looks behind the rhetoric to examine the hard facts of canonization in the 1830s. Taking Thomas Carlyle as an example, the paper argues that Carlyle's fame was established through the intensive dissemination of a limited number of texts in a tightly woven social environment; high-volume sales and extensive advertising campaigns were less important than the spread of texts, news, and rumor between friends.
    Available as offprint number 964

  • "Christmas in Early New England, 1620-1820: Puritanism, Popular Culture, and the Printed Word" by Stephen W. Nissenbaum. Pages 79-164.
    This essay traces how Puritans tried to keep Christmas out of New England, and how it managed to creep back in. The struggle over Christmas was waged with the weapon of print culture, almanacs, hymnals, and children's literature. These may have been the three most widely read genres of all--the very places in which official and unofficial culture were most closely intertwined. The reappearance of older popular traditions of wassailing and begging in printed form suggests both a continuity with older rituals and a transformation of these rituals by respectable, even official culture.
    Available as offprint number 963

Volume 108, Part 2 (1998)
Contains the Proceedings of the Annual Meeting in October 1998, the Report of the Council, Report of the Treasurer, obituaries of recently deceased members, index to the volume, and the following articles:

  • "Art in the Early English Magazine, 1731-1800: A Checklist of Articles on Drawing, Painting and Sculpture, from the Gentleman's Magazine, London Magazine, and Universal Magazine" by Janice G. Schimmelman
    English magazines containing information on politics, history, commerce, and the arts were eagerly sought after and widely read in eighteenth-century America. This checklist identifies 561 essays and notices on art-related subjects suggesting that art had a faithful audience among the prosperous, although not necessarily sophisticated, members of the middle class. The English magazines must have had a significant impact on the general awareness of the visual arts and the role that art played in an educated society.
    Available as offprint number 983

  • "Capitalizing on Mother: John S. C. Abbott and Self-Interested Motherhood" by Carolyn J. Lawes
    The Reverend John S. C. Abbott's best-selling antebellum advice books, The Mother at Home and The Child at Home, are analyzed within the context of Worcester, Massachusetts, the community in which they were written, in the early 1830s. Historians have generally viewed Abbott as a conservative evangelical who advocated the ideal of the self-denying mother. Indeed, Abbott's books were fundamentally pragmatic. The central theme of Abbott's work was not maternal self-sacrifice but maternal self-interest. In an era of high infant mortality and economic instability, good mothering represented not only a child's best hope for salvation but a woman's best hope for a comfortable old age. This article argues that peace of mind and social security not self-denial were the goals of Abbott's evangelical Mother at Home.
    Available as offprint number 982

  • "Reading for the Enslaved, Writing for the Free: Reflections on Liberty and Literacy" by E. Jennifer Monaghan
    Throughout the colonial period, and even in the post-Revolutionary United States, reading was usually viewed as compatible with the institution of slavery. Writing, on the other hand, was almost invariably perceived by southern slaveholders as intrinsically dangerous. After about 1820, reading became increasingly redefined in the slaveholding south as a seditious skill. To clarify the relationship between literacy and liberty, or literacy and any other topic, we need to ask different questions of each literacy skill. What is being read? Who is doing the writing? For whom is this an advantage?
    Available as offprint number 981

 

 

 

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cover of
the Proceedings of the
American Antiquarian Society, vol. 107, part 2.

 


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