From the editors:
Common-place 16.2 Is Now Live!
A brand new edition of Common-place, the journal of early American history, is now laptop, tablet, and mobile phone ready for you at common-place.org.
In this issue, Hilary Wyss presents a moving account of the importance of letter writing in eighteenth century Native American communities as revealed through the digital archives of the Yale Indian Papers Project and Dartmouth’s Occom Circle collection.
John Saillant details the largely unknown story of the generation of attacks by whites on Charleston’s black Methodists and their churches that preceded the much better known razing of an independent black meeting house attended by Denmark Vesey in 1822.
Jordan Stein, in an interesting reflection on the application of the trope “Black Lives Matter” to the study of early America, analyzes a 1760 broadsheet by the poet Jupiter Hammon to ask whether an overdetermined emphasis on enslavement obscures other essentially important aspects of early American black lives.
Elsewhere in Common-place, there’s a roundtable discussion of the implications that follow from Common-place’s recent publication of Forest Leaves, the newly discovered work of abolitionist, suffragist, poet and author Frances Ellen Watkins Harper.
Konstantin Dierks demonstrates his use of GIS and a host of other data to literally map the surprisingly early development of American globalization. Christina Michelon provides a literally touching account of the history of Valentine’s cards. Pierre Gervais shows how one easily overlooked sentence in a Pennsylvania flour broker’s 1786 correspondence revealed a widespread, organized, and successful effort to manipulate and control access to early American regional markets. Cybele Gontar tells the story of the sole surviving broadside document marking the closing of the Port of New Orleans to American shipping by Spain in 1798. Poet Austin Segrest, a descendant of an Old South family, rediscovers, and then channels poetically, the memoirs of his New England Puritan forebear Roger Clapp. Finally, we raise a glass to Michelle Orihel, who tells us how she uses the eighteenth century ritual of toasting to bring the politics of the 1790s to life in her classroom.
I am sure we will be posting about individual articles here at The Way of Improvement Leads Home. Stay tuned.