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The Sears, Roebuck and Company catalog dates back to 1888, when Richard Sears first used a mailer to sell watches and jewelry. The U.S. Post Office provided a boon to the mail order business by allowing mail order publications to be classified as [...]
Runaway slave advertisements offer a wealth of information about the movements and motivations of escaped slaves. This advertisement offers a reward for the capture and return of Sam MacKall, a Maryland slave who ran away from his master in Prince [...]
In this handbill from 1854, a Virginia slaveowner advertises a large reward for the return of a 33 year-old enslaved man. Historians have noted the use of woodprint images, such as the one seen here, as evidence of the frequency of runaway [...]
After emancipation, many former slaves immediately searched for family members who had been sold away during slavery. They used whatever scant information they had and frequently placed advertisements like this in southern newspapers.
As in the southern colonies, New York newspapers were filled with slave advertisements that provide many details about the life and labor of enslaved New Yorkers. Historian Jill Lepore calculates that 253 advertisements for runaway slaves and [...]
While immigrants have long been portrayed as representing unfair competition for American-born workers and maligned as a burden on social services, data shows that their presence is beneficial, even essential, to the economy. As these statistics [...]
Langston Hughes (1902-1967) is commonly recognized as a leading writer of the Harlem Renaissance (1919-1929). In "Hughes's Life and Career," Arnold Rampersad, professor of humanities at Stanford University, provides a biographical essay that [...]
Jim Zwick is an American Studies scholar and author of Confronting Imperialism: Essays on Mark Twain and the Anti-Imperialist League and Mark Twain's Weapons of Satire: Anti-Imperialist Writings on the Philippine-American War, as well as numerous [...]
The ratification of the United States Constitution was the subject of intense debate between 1787 and 1789. One particularly controversial issue was the Three Fifths Compromise, which settled how enslaved people would be counted for purposes of [...]
Clara Lemlich ignited the 1909 walkout of shirtwaist makers with her call for a general strike. This piece was first published in the New York Evening Journal, November 28, 1909.