View of Quebec, Capital of Canada

This illustrated map, from the Rochambeau Collection of the Library of Congress, presents a striking panorama of the City of Quebec during its last years as the capital of New France, the French colony of Canada. Drawn in 1755 by Royal Geographer Georges-Louis Le Rouge, the map identifies ten key sites throughout the city. Located on the St. Lawrence River, Quebec was an administrative, military, and commercial hub, as well as a religious center that was home to a cathedral, bishop’s palace, seminary, and Jesuit mission. Originally established in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, Quebec became the capital of New France in 1663. In the Battle of Quebec (June-September 1759), one of the culminating struggles of the Seven Years’ War (1754-63), the French, under the Marquis de Montcalm, were forced to surrender the city to an invading British force led by General James Wolfe. Four years later, France ceded most of its Canadian possessions in North America to Great Britain.

Dunlap Broadside [Declaration of Independence]

John Dunlap, official printer to the Continental Congress, produced the first printed versions of the American Declaration of Independence in his Philadelphia shop on the night of July 4, 1776. After the Declaration had been adopted by the Congress earlier that day, a committee took the manuscript document, possibly Thomas Jefferson's "fair copy" of his rough draft, to Dunlap for printing. On the morning of July 5, copies were dispatched by members of Congress to various assemblies, conventions, and committees of safety as well as to the commanders of Continental troops. Also on July 5, a copy of the printed version of the approved Declaration was inserted into the "rough journal" of the Continental Congress for July 4. The text was followed by the words "Signed by Order and in Behalf of the Congress, John Hancock, President. Attest. Charles Thomson, Secretary." It is not known how many copies of what came to be called “the Dunlap broadside” were printed on the night of the fourth. Twenty-five copies are known to exist: 20 owned by American institutions, two by British institutions, and three by private individuals. Shown here is a copy from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

Apotheosis of Peter's Military Glory

“Apotheosis of Peter's Military Glory” exalts Tsar Peter the Great (1672–1725) as a wise ruler and military leader. The print shows Peter standing on a pedestal depicting battle scenes, surrounded by portraits of the 33 tsars and grand dukes who ruled Russia from the ninth century to the beginning of Peter’s reign in 1682. Labels beneath the portraits provide brief information about each ruler. Behind Peter stretches a chain of maps of the fortresses that he seized in battle. The work was commissioned by the Russian state and church figure and theologian Pheophan Prokopovich (1681–1736), who was an ideologist of Peter's reforms and promoter of the idea of enlightened absolutism. A letter from late March or early April 1717 indicates that Prokopovich prepared the tsar’s genealogy and sent it to him for review and approval. The print, created in 1717, is by Peter Picart, a Dutch artist and engraver who moved to Russia in 1702, where he produced numerous maps and prints. The work is in the Russian State Historical Archive in St. Petersburg.

Confederate Veterans Convention

Reunions of Civil War veterans from both the North and South were a prominent feature of public life in the United States in the early decades of the 20th century. This 1914 silent film records the meeting of 40,000 Confederate veterans in Jacksonville, Florida, nearly a half century after the end of the war. Titles are used to explain each sequence. The motion of the film is somewhat jerky but the quality of the images is good. Aging veterans dance to the music of two fiddlers and gather to parade on foot, by horse, or in cars. Also shown are crowd scenes, general views of the camp with its tents, an emergency medical tent staffed by the Red Cross, and thousands of veterans dining together in a mess tent. Scenes from the Sons of Confederate Veterans Parade include marching bands, a passing electric street car, and the Forrest Cavalry of Tennessee, named after Confederate cavalry general Nathan Bedford Forrest. An African-American loyal to the Confederacy is shown, as well as F.M. Iremonger, said to be the youngest living Confederate veteran.

Letter Written in Cipher on Mourning Paper by Rose Greenhow

Rose O'Neal Greenhow was a spy for the Confederacy during the American Civil War. As a young woman in Washington, she befriended many influential politicians, including President James Buchanan and South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun, who played a role in shaping her dedication to the South. During the Civil War, Greenhow wrote ciphered (secret code) messages to the Confederates, providing information about Union military plans. Confederate President Jefferson Davis credited her with helping the South win the First Battle of Bull Run. Greenhow sent a message about Union troop movements in time for Brigadier Generals Pierre Beauregard and Joseph E. Johnston to meet at Manassas, Virginia. A young woman working with Greenhow named Betty Duvall carried the message wrapped in a tiny black silk purse and hidden in a hair bun. Head of U.S. Intelligence Service Allan Pinkerton observed Rose Greenhow as part of his counterintelligence activities and found sufficient evidence to place her under house arrest. She later was transferred to prison and then deported to Richmond, Virginia. Shown here is one of her encoded letters.

Spanish Land Grant Papers of John B. Gaudry

The Spanish Land Grants were claims filed to prove ownership of land after the transfer, in 1821, of the territory of Florida to the United States. Starting in 1790, Spain offered land grants to encourage settlement in the sparsely populated and vulnerable Florida colony. When the United States assumed control of the territory, it agreed to honor any valid land grants. Residents had to prove the validity of their grants through documentation and testimonials in dossiers filed with the U.S. government. Claims either were confirmed (found to be valid) or unconfirmed (found invalid) by government land commissions, federal courts, or the U.S. Congress. To accurately describe the nature of the land and the date it was granted, the dossiers contained surveys and plots, copies of royal grants, testimonials, correspondence, deeds, wills, and translations of Spanish documents. The dossiers provide much information about the settlement and development of Florida during the Second Spanish Period (1783-1821) and the Territorial Period (1821-45). These papers relate to the claims of John B. Gaudry, a Spanish nobleman who established a plantation near present-day De Leon Springs after receiving a grant in 1807. They include a color illustration of the plantation depicting forest, lakes, swamps, an Indian path, and the border of the plantation along the St. Johns River, as well as a survey, complete with annotations, of the more than 2,917 acres of land claimed by Gaudry.

Certificate of Ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, Accompanied by Resolution and Transcript of the Journals of the Two Houses of the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee

The Nineteenth Amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote. The amendment was first introduced in Congress in 1878. Over the years, champions of voting rights pursued different strategies for achieving their goal. Some worked to pass suffrage acts in each state, and by 1912 nine western states had adopted woman suffrage legislation. Others challenged male-only voting laws in the courts. Suffragists also used tactics such as parades, silent vigils, and hunger strikes. Often supporters met fierce resistance as opponents heckled, jailed, and sometimes physically abused them. By 1916, almost all of the major suffrage organizations were united behind the goal of a constitutional amendment. The political landscape began to shift in 1917, when New York adopted woman suffrage and again in 1918, when President Woodrow Wilson changed his position to support an amendment. On May 21, 1919, the House of Representatives passed the amendment with the Senate following two weeks later. When Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment on August 18, 1920, the amendment passed its final hurdle of obtaining the agreement of three-fourths of the states. With this document of August 26, 1920, Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the ratification.

We Can Do It! Rosie the Riveter

This poster, produced by Westinghouse during World War II for the War Production Co-Ordinating Committee, was part of the national campaign in the United States to enlist women in the workforce. In the face of acute wartime labor shortages, women were needed in the defense industries, the civilian service, and even the armed forces. Publicity campaigns were aimed at encouraging those women who had never before held jobs to join the workforce. Poster and film images glorified and glamorized the roles of working women and suggested that a woman’s femininity need not be sacrificed. Women were portrayed as attractive, confident, and resolved to do their part to win the war. Of all the images of working women during World War II, the image of women in factories predominates. Rosie the Riveter--the strong, competent woman dressed in overalls and bandanna--was introduced as a symbol of patriotic womanhood. The accoutrements of war work--uniforms, tools, and lunch pails--were incorporated into the revised image of the feminine ideal.

Declaration of Intention for Albert Einstein

In 1936, German-born physicist Albert Einstein filed this Declaration of Intention to become an American citizen. Following the Nazi takeover of political power in Germany in 1933 and the onset of persecution of the German Jews, Einstein renounced his German citizenship and immigrated to the United States to take the position of Professor of Theoretical Physics at Princeton. On the basis of this declaration, the man who had first proposed the theory of relativity in 1905 became a U.S. citizen in 1940.

Declaration of Intention of Maria von Trapp

Maria von Trapp became a household name in the United States when her story was turned into the 1959 Broadway musical The Sound of Music. She and her family previously had immigrated to the United States from their native Austria following the takeover of the country by Nazi Germany. This Declaration of Intention to become a U.S. citizen, submitted to the U.S. District Court in Burlington, Vermont, on January 21, 1944, sheds light on the real Maria von Trapp.