119 results in English
Antietam, Maryland. Allan Pinkerton, President Lincoln, and Major General John A. McClernand: Another View
At the outset of the U.S. Civil War, Mathew Brady dispatched a team of photographers to document the conflict. Among them was a Scottish-born immigrant named Alexander Gardner, the photographer who took this photo of Lincoln at Antietam as well as other famous wartime shots. The man to Lincoln's right is Allan Pinkerton, founder of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, whom Lincoln had as head of a personal security detail during the war. Gardner titled another shot of Pinkerton and his brother William at Antietam “The Secret Service ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
His Excellency: George Washington Esq: L.L.D. Late Commander in Chief of the Armies of the U.S. of America and President of the Convention of 1787
In 1787, the confederation of the 13 American states was descending into disarray. The coffers were empty, New York and New Jersey were in a dispute over duties charged on goods crossing state lines, farmers in Massachusetts were rebelling, and Spain and Britain were encroaching on American territories in the west. The Federal Convention was called to address the problems of governing the young republic under the existing Articles of Confederation. The convention responded by framing the document that became the United States Constitution. The convention delegates elected George Washington ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Declaration of Independence. In Congress, July 4, 1776, a Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress Assembled.
This document is the first printed version of the American Declaration of Independence. On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia introduced a resolution urging Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, to declare independence from Great Britain. Four days later, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston were appointed as a committee to draft a declaration of independence. The committee’s draft was read in Congress on June 28. On July 4, Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, containing a list of grievances against the British ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Interview with Fountain Hughes, Baltimore, Maryland, June 11, 1949
Approximately 4 million slaves were freed at the conclusion of the American Civil War. The stories of a few thousand have been passed on to future generations through word of mouth, diaries, letters, records, or written transcripts of interviews. Only 26 audio-recorded interviews of ex-slaves have been found, 23 of which are in the collections of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. In this interview, 101-year-old Fountain Hughes recalls his boyhood as a slave, the Civil War, and life in the United States as an African American ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Lincoln Bible
On March 4, 1861, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney administered the oath of office to Abraham Lincoln using a Bible provided by William Thomas Carroll, clerk of the Supreme Court, because Lincoln’s family Bible was packed with other belongings that still were en route to Washington from Springfield, Illinois. In the back of the velvet-covered Bible, along with the seal of the Supreme Court, the volume is annotated: "I, William Thos. Carroll, clerk of the said court do hereby certify that the preceding copy of the Holy Bible is ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
A Summary View of the Rights of British America: Set Forth in Some Resolutions Intended for the Inspection of the Present Delegates of the People of Virginia, Now in Convention / by a Native, and Member of the House of Burgesses
This pamphlet is Thomas Jefferson’s personal copy of A Summary View of the Rights of British America, which he originally drafted in July 1774 as a set of instructions for the Virginia delegates to the first Continental Congress. Jefferson argued that the British Parliament had no rights to govern the colonies, which he claimed had been independent since their founding. He also described the usurpations of power and deviations from law committed by King George III and Parliament. Jefferson was not present in the Virginia House when his draft ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Rand, McNally & Company’s Map of the United States Showing, in Six Degrees, the Density of Population, 1890
This map, published in 1892 by the Chicago-based Rand McNally and Company, shows the population density of the United States in 1890. Six shades of color are used to indicate the different levels of population density by location, ranging from fewer than two inhabitants per square mile (2.59 square kilometers) to more than 90 inhabitants per square mile. The most densely populated parts of the country are in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest. The West is for the most part sparsely populated, although already by this time ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Thomas Jefferson, Head-and-Shoulders Portrait, Facing Right
Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States of America and one of the founding fathers of the republic. With the nation still in the process of solidifying its identity, political figures became a popular subject for contemporary artists, much as kings, aristocracy, and religious figures had been in the past. Portrait painters also hoped to earn money by painting politically important individuals, either from the subject himself or from enthusiasts in his entourage. The French artist Charles Balthazar Julien Fevret de Saint-Mémin (1770-1852) did two engravings of ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Marjory Stoneman Douglas World War I Service Card
Marjory Stoneman Douglas, best known as an environmentalist and author of The River of Grass (1947), served in the United States Navy during World War I, from April 1917 to May 1918. Frank Bryant Stoneman, Marjory’s father and editor-in-chief of the Miami Herald, sent his daughter to cover the story of the first woman in the Miami area to enlist in the armed forces during World War I. Douglas was the first to arrive at the recruiting office, and became the very woman she was sent to report on ...
Unidentified African American Soldier in Union Uniform with Wife and Two Daughters
In May 1863, U.S. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton issued General Order Number 143 creating the Bureau of U. S. Colored Troops. This photograph shows an unidentified African American soldier in a Union uniform, with his wife in dress and hat, and two daughters wearing matching coats and hats. The image was found in Cecil County, Maryland, making it likely that this soldier belonged to one of the seven United States Colored Troop regiments raised in Maryland. The photograph is from the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Unidentified Girl in Mourning Dress Holding Framed Photograph of Her Father
This photograph shows a girl holding a framed image of her father. Judging from her necklace, mourning ribbons, and dress, it is likely that her father was killed in the war. The man in the portrait is recognizable as a Union cavalryman with a sword, wearing a Hardee hat (the regulation hat for enlisted men). The photograph is from the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs at the Library of Congress. The collection includes more than 1,000 special portrait photographs, called ambrotypes and tintypes, representing both Union and ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Private Henry Augustus Moore of Company F, 15th Mississippi Infantry Regiment
This photograph shows a Confederate soldier during the American Civil War (1861−65). He is identified as Private Henry Augustus Moore of Company F, 15th Mississippi Infantry Regiment. Moore is wearing a grey coat with short, one-inch wide bars across the chest, a uniform based in part on regulations prescribed by the state of Mississippi. He holds a short artillery sword and a sign that reads “Jeff Davis and the South!” Jefferson Davis was a former senator from Mississippi who was inaugurated president of the Confederate States of America on ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Abigail Fillmore
Abigail Fillmore (1798‒1853) was the wife of Millard Fillmore (1800‒74), the 13th president of the United States. She was first lady during Fillmore’s one term in office, from 1850 to 1853. Born in upstate New York, she was by profession a public school teacher. She had two children. The image is from an album of mostly Civil War-era portraits by the famous American photographer Matthew Brady (circa 1823‒96) that belonged to Emperor Pedro II of Brazil (1825‒91), a collector of photography as well as a ...
Varina Howell Davis
Varina Howell Davis (1826‒1906) was the second wife of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America, and thus the only first lady of the Confederacy. Born in rural Louisiana to a family with roots in both the North and the South, she was educated at a boarding school in Philadelphia. She married Davis, a widower, in 1845. She is known to have been skeptical about the South’s ability to win a war with the North and about her husband’s suitability as a national leader, but ...
Brigadier General Henry Washington Benham
Henry Washington Benham (1813–84) was a Union general in the American Civil War. Born in Connecticut, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1837. Benham served in the Army Corps of Engineers developing fortifications along the Eastern seaboard and was wounded in the Mexican War (1846–48). During the Civil War, he led the troops which defeated Confederate General Robert S. Garnett at Corrick’s Ford, resulting in the death of the first general officer of the war and his own promotion to brigadier ...
Brigadier General George Washington Cullum
George Washington Cullum (1809–92) was a Union general in the American Civil War. Born in New York City, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1833 and served in the Army Corps of Engineers developing fortifications along the New England coast and in the Mexican War (1846–48). Prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and aide-de-camp to Commanding General of the Army Winfield Scott. In 1861 he became a member of the U.S. Sanitation Commission ...
Brigadier General Joseph Hooker
Joseph Hooker (1814‒79) was a Union general in the American Civil War. Born in Hadley, Massachusetts, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and served in the Mexican War (1846‒48). During the Civil War, he commanded a division in the Peninsular Campaign of 1862 and as a corps commander led the initial Union attacks at the Battle of Antietam. In January 1863 he replaced Ambrose Everett Burnside as commander of the Army of the Potomac, but he was relieved of his command by President ...
Major General William Rosecrans
William Rosecrans (1819‒98) was a general on the Union side in the American Civil War. Born in Kingston, Ohio, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1842. After serving in the Engineer Corps and as assistant professor at West Point, he left the army in 1854 to take up a career in architecture and civil engineering. Upon the outbreak of the Civil War, he rejoined the army, commanded the Department of Western Virginia, and later commanded the Army of the Mississippi and the Army ...
Captain David Farragut
David Farragut (1801‒70) was a Union naval officer in the American Civil War. He entered the U.S. Navy in 1810, at the age of nine, and fought against the British in the War of 1812 and later against pirates in the Caribbean. During the Civil War, he led the Union forces that captured New Orleans in April 1862, and worked closely with the army of General Ulysses S. Grant in the siege and capture of Vicksburg in July 1863. He was promoted to admiral in 1866 and remained ...
Vice President Alexander H. Stephens, Confederate States of America
Alexander H. Stephens (1812‒83) was vice president of the Confederate States of America. Born on a small farm in the Georgia Piedmont, he studied law, was admitted to the bar, and soon was elected to the Georgia state assembly. In 1843 he was elected to the U.S. Congress as a member of the Whig Party. Unusually for a southern politician, he had reservations about the annexation of Texas and opposed the Mexican War and President James K. Polk’s vast program of territorial expansion, all of which he ...
President George Washington
George Washington (1732‒99) was the first president of the United States, a founding father and national hero revered by both North and South during the American Civil War. He had limited formal education, but he learned surveying and served in the French and Indian War with the Virginia militia under General Edward Braddock of the British army. He rose to the rank of colonel, and was the logical choice to command the Continental Army in the American War of Independence. Washington wished to return to private life after the ...
President Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln (1809‒65) was the 16th president of the United States. He was born in a log cabin near Hodgenville, Kentucky, and grew up in southwestern Indiana. He had little formal schooling. Largely self-educated, he became a lawyer in Springfield, Illinois, and was elected to the Illinois State Assembly in 1836 and in 1846 to a single term in the U.S. Congress. In the 1850s he became a leader in the new Republican Party and a national spokesman against the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which opened up the ...
Vice President Hannibal Hamlin
Hannibal Hamlin (1809‒91) of Maine served as vice president to President Abraham Lincoln in 1861‒65 and was the first U.S. vice president from the Republican Party. He served in the U.S. Senate as a Democrat from 1848 to 1857, but broke with his party over the issue of slavery. He was replaced by Andrew Johnson on the Republican ticket for the election of 1864, and thus did not become president when Lincoln was assassinated in April 1865. After the war, Hamlin returned to the Senate (1869 ...
William H. Seward
William H. Seward (1801‒72) was a prominent New York politician who served as secretary of state to Abraham Lincoln and emerged as Lincoln’s closest cabinet adviser. A graduate of Union College, he studied law and was admitted to the bar but soon entered politics, serving first in the New York state senate. A member of the Whig Party, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, in which he served 1849‒61. By the late 1850s, he was the most prominent figure in the newly formed Republican Party ...
Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase
Salmon P. Chase (1808‒73) was secretary of the treasury in the administration of President Abraham Lincoln. Born in New Hampshire, as a child he was sent to live with an uncle in Ohio after the death of his father. Chase was a deeply religious man who throughout his life sought to reconcile his personal and political ambitions with his faith and sense of obligation to society. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1826, he studied law in Washington, DC, but then returned to Ohio where he developed a successful ...
Secretary of War Edwin Stanton
Edwin McMasters Stanton (1814‒69) was secretary of war from 1862 to 1868. Born in Steubenville, Ohio, he completed one year at Kenyon College before being forced to leave for financial reasons. He studied law with a local attorney and became a successful lawyer, practicing in Steubenville, Pittsburgh, and eventually Washington, DC, where he served for a time as attorney general in the administration of President James Buchanan. Following the resignation of Lincoln’s first secretary of war, Simon Cameron, Stanton was appointed to the post. He proved to be ...
Secretary of the Interior Caleb B. Smith
Caleb B. Smith (1808‒64) was President Abraham Lincoln’s first secretary of the interior. He was born in Boston but at a young age moved with his parents to Cincinnati. After studying law in Ohio, as a young man he left the state for Indiana, where he was admitted to the bar, practiced law, and became active in politics. He was elected to five terms in the Indiana House of Representatives (1833‒42), followed by four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives (1843‒49). A member of ...
Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles
Gideon Welles (1802‒78) was secretary of the navy in the cabinet of President Abraham Lincoln.  Born in Glastonbury, Connecticut, the son of a merchant and shipbuilder, Welles studied law but never practiced.  He worked as a journalist for the Hartford Times and Weekly Advertizer and in 1825 he was elected to the Connecticut General Assembly. A longtime Democrat, he broke with his party over the issue of slavery and helped to found the Hartford Evening Press to promote the Republican Party and its principles.  When Welles took office in ...
Postmaster General Montgomery Blair
Montgomery Blair (1813‒83) was postmaster general in the cabinet of President Abraham Lincoln. Born and educated in Kentucky, he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1836 but soon left the army to study law. He moved to Saint Louis, Missouri, where he practiced law with his brother and where his father was an influential newspaper editor. In 1842‒43 he served as the mayor of Saint Louis. In 1853 he moved to Washington, DC, where he and his large family lived for a time ...
President Millard Fillmore
Millard Fillmore (1800‒74) was the 13th president of the United States. The son of a poor tenant farmer from western New York, Fillmore received only a very limited education. After being apprenticed to a clothier, he read law with a local judge and was admitted to the New York state bar in 1823. A member of the Whig Party, he served three terms in the New York state legislature and four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before being chosen as the vice-presidential running mate of Zachary ...
William H. Prescott
William Hickling Prescott (1796‒1859) was a prominent American historian, best known for his major works History of the Conquest of Mexico (1843) and History of the Conquest of Peru (1847). From a prosperous New England family, he graduated from Harvard in 1814. He suffered poor health, including near-blindness, throughout his life, but he was able to carry out his research with the help of his wife, Susan Amory Prescott, and others who read for him. For his meticulous use of archival documents and rare books as original sources, he ...
Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois
Stephen A. Douglas (1813‒61) was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1843 and to the Senate in 1846, where he emerged as a nationally prominent spokesman for the Democratic Party. He is best known for the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858. Running for his third term in the Senate, Douglas was challenged by Abraham Lincoln, a lawyer from Springfield who had served one term in the House. Between August 21 and October 15 the two men debated seven times before audiences in different cities and towns in ...
Washington Irving
Washington Irving (1783‒1859) was one of the most widely read American authors of his day, and one of the first to be recognized in Europe for his works of fiction. Born in New York City of Scottish and Cornish ancestry, Irving frequently wrote about old New York (New Amsterdam) and the Hudson Valley under the original Dutch settlers, at first by creating a literary persona, the fictional Dutchman “Diedrich Knickerbocker.” His most famous work, The Sketch-Bookof Geoffrey Crayon (1819‒20), purportedly by another persona, contained the famous “Rip ...
Governor Sam Houston of Texas
Sam Houston (1793‒1863) was born in Virginia. As a teenager he lived for three years among the Cherokee Indians, whose language and culture he learned. He enlisted in the army in 1813 and fought in the War of 1812. After studying law and being elected to Congress and then as governor of Tennessee, he moved to Texas, where he played a large role in the uprising of American settlers against Mexican rule. He served for two terms as president of the independent Republic of Texas. After Texas was annexed ...
William Cullen Bryant
William Cullen Bryant (1794‒1878) was an American poet and journalist. Born in western Massachusetts of New England Puritan stock, he practiced law in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, for a short time before achieving literary fame with the publication in 1817 of “Thanatopsis,” his best known poem. Bryant’s poems of nature, in which he found moral lessons in the natural beauties of the local landscape, earned him the appellation the “American Wordsworth,” after the English poet William Wordsworth (1770‒1850). He also worked as a journalist, editing The New York ...
George Bancroft
George Bancroft (1800‒91) was one of the most important American historians of the 19th century. After graduating from Harvard, he became one of the first Americans to gain a doctorate in Germany, where he studied at the University of Göttingen. The first volume of his monumental History of the United States of America was published in 1834; the tenth and final volume appeared in 1874. Bancroft was also active in politics and diplomacy. A Jacksonian Democrat, he served as secretary of the navy in 1845‒46 under President James ...
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803‒82) was the most prominent American essayist and philosopher of the 19th century. Born in Boston, he was educated at the Boston Latin School and at Harvard College. He studied divinity and served for a time as a Unitarian minister but left the ministry in 1832, after the death of his first wife. He then settled in Concord, Massachusetts, and spent the remainder of his life writing and lecturing. He made several trips to Europe, where he met such poets and thinkers as Walter Savage Landor ...
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807‒82) was an American poet, translator, and educator, whose poems were immensely popular with the reading public of his day. A graduate of Bowdoin College in his native Maine, he served as professor of modern European languages first at Bowdoin and later at Harvard. In his long career he managed to combine the writing of poems on American subjects with translation of works by many of the great European poets. His narrative poems on American historical subjects include Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie (1847), The Song ...
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804‒64) was an American novelist and short-story writer. Descended from an early Puritan family, he was born in Salem, Massachusetts, and educated at Bowdoin College. His works, many of which are set in colonial New England, explore moral and spiritual conflicts and the power of the past over the present. His best-known works include Twice-Told Tales (1837), Mosses from an Old Manse (1846), The Scarlet Letter (1850), The House of the Seven Gables (1851), and The Blithedale Romance (1852). He served as American consul at Liverpool in ...
John James Audubon
John-James Audubon (1785‒1851) was a self-taught artist and ornithologist known for his magnificent Birds in America, with its 435 folio engravings. The illegitimate son of a French sea captain, Audubon was born in Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti) and grew up in France, where he learned to draw local birds. He immigrated to the United States at age 18. He published Birds of America by subscription over an 11-year period, beginning in 1827. About 175 sets of the work were sold in Europe and the United States. In 1840‒44 he ...
Elisha Kane
Elisha Kent Kane (1820–57) was an American Arctic explorer. He studied medicine in his native Philadelphia and in 1843 entered the U.S. Navy as a surgeon. In 1850 he sailed as the senior medical officer and naturalist on an expedition in search of Sir John Franklin (1786–1847), the British naval officer and explorer who had been missing in the Canadian Arctic since 1845. Funded by New York merchant Henry Grinnell and carried out by the U.S. Navy, the expedition explored Lancaster Sound and Wellington Channel and ...
Young America
“Young America” is a print, copyrighted by Edward Anthony (1818‒88) in 1862, that was intended as a commentary on slavery, the major cause of the American Civil War (1861‒65) then raging. A counterpart print, “Young Africa: Or, The Bone of Contention”, also copyrighted by Anthony in 1862, shows an African-American child (presumably a slave) of similar age. Both prints were included in an album of mostly Civil War-era portraits by the famous American photographer Matthew Brady (circa 1823‒96) that belonged to Emperor Pedro II of Brazil (1825 ...