[in the Sangamon Journal Index Series, the Assistant writes up about entries of note from the Sangamon Journal Index, which can be found through the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library website.]
Brooks, Preston Smith: assault on Sumner, My24/56-2:3
If you have ever taken an United States…
I’m not reblogging the whole thing, because it’s long, but the beating of Charles Sumner is a horrific incidence in the history of the United States. It tends to get laughed at in the classroom, I’ve found, for reasons I can’t comprehend, but it is serious shit.
|hir:||ugh HOW CAN OUR COUNTRY BE SO WEIRD AND MESSED UP BUT I LOVE IT SO MUCH AND WANT TO WEAR NATIONALISTIC T-SHIRTS ALL THE TIME BUT REALLY MY NATIONALISM LESS "MURIKKA" AND MORE "GONE OFF TO LOOK FOR AMERICA"|
|me:||welcome to american studies|
We will more than compensate with spirit, deleted scene
ugh the line about knowing how important what they were doing in the Congress
I can’t even. too many feelings
um okay but
the REASON it’s “lost” is the (frankly Western/European supremacist) assumption that all history is rooted in the written word. It’s not. Oral histories are a perfectly legitimate form of history. Archeology, too, fills in gaps. Written history also privileges those that, you know, CAN WRITE, as well as those who have enough TIME to write. If we are counting “history” merely as written record, I’d put forward that much more than 97% of history is “lost”; more like 99.99%.
There is nothing wrong with wanted to document your life. As someone aspiring to be a historian, my number one life problem often is a lack of historical documentation, or rather, a lack of readily available documentation. So many voices have been lost because we haven’t valued ways of sharing stories before, because it wasn’t recorded following the dominant fashion. There is a reason you learn about dead white dudes in history class up until college- because they have enough privilege to have their stories preserved in such a way that it has lasted.
There is still privilege involved in the history-documenting process, yes, but a larger group of people are doing it, and that larger group is expanding rapidly. Some day your blog or mine might be a primary source that offers insight into what the culture was like during the turn of the 21st century, what people did, what they were worried about, how the educational system worked (or didn’t), what they cared enough about to put on this space that is (in a sense) representative of who they are, or the very least how they represent themselves. Hell, even your goddamn Instagram’d (Instagrammed?) photos of your food at a restaurant have historic value.
In short: you don’t have to document your life if you don’t want to. That’s a-okay. Go ahead! But if you want to, keep tweeting those pictures of the cookies you baked with your friends, writing about the day you had on your blog, changing your Facebook status. Because they matter too.
I miss how easy it was for me to show teachers how much I appreciate them, and how many ways there were in a single day to let them now how much I care about them
like literally I am sitting here crying in the dark because I am 500 miles from these people who cared for me during some of the darkest times of my life, and because I can’t let them know tomorrow that I care about them and that I love them.
I mean, I’m gonna try anyway, because that’s why email is awesome, but.
because all I want to do is lay in a pool of history feelings and like not move for hours. Literally like I’ll just be sitting here and then suddenly BAM
like historiography feelings like “UGH UNDERSTANDING THE WAY WE HAVE INTERPRETED HISTORY IN THE PAST IS SO FUCKING IMPORTANT TO OUR CURRENT INTERPRETATION”
or like “UGH HE PLAYS THE VIOLIN IS TOTALLY AN EXAMPLE OF THE INFLATED CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE WE GIVE TO THOMAS JEFFERSON’S ‘RENAISSANCE MAN’ IMAGE”
or um “GEORGE WASHINGTON WAS NOT A NEUTRAL THIRD PARTY IN THE AMERICAN POLITICAL PICTURE AND DOESN’T THAT INTERPRETATION HEAVILY COLOR THE WAY WE READ THE FAREWELL ADDRESS UGH”
or “ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S CABINET WAS SO FASCINATING AND WHY HAS NO ONE DONE A BIOGRAPHY OF EDWIN STANTON IN LIKE EVER”
and then I’m distracted thinking of papers to write about these topics like ugh I have ideas and feelings about Carl Sandburg and historiography and ;djfa;sdfkskskfj;fjad there is not enough time in a single lifetime to do everything I want to do
except mine should be for how many days it has been since my last email to a certain former teacher
(for the record, we’re back to zero; and it had been almost two weeks! I seriously have a problem.)
all I want to do is roll around on my bed and scream about dead white guys and all my stupid feelings about their political impact and what it means
and GEORGE FUCKING WASHINGTON
a;dldkfas it is a good thing I am alone in the room because ;ADFKJSA; I CAN’T WITH MY FEELINGS RIGHT NOW GODDAMMIT DEAD WHITE DUDES GODDAMMIT
is it time to send an email yet i’m not sure
March 16, 1751: President James Madison is Born
On this day in 1751, the fourth president of the United States, James Madison, was born in Virginia. Madison was part of the Democratic-Republican party and served as president from 1809-1817.
James Madison will always be remembered as the “Father of the Constitution,” contributor for framing the Bill of Rights, author of the Federalist papers, participant of the Constitutional Convention, and as president of the United States.
Learn more with American Experience’s biography of James Madison.
Image: James Madison, 1828, half-length portrait, seated, facing right, with documents in hand (Library of Congress).
I HAVEX MIXED EMOTIONS ABOUT CELEBRATING THIS