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Herb - social history for every classroom

menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Item Type > Newspaper/Magazine (x)
  • Historical Eras > Antebellum America (1816-1860) (x)

We found 24 items that match your search

A Newspaperman Reports on Election Day in the "Bloody Sixth"

This 1855 newspaper account of election day in lower Manhattan is filled with the reporter's assumptions about the Five Points immigrant neighborhood and its residents. Irish immigrants had by this time garnered a reputation for disorderliness and [...]

Traitorous Scoundrels, with White Faces

Many Americans, including those in the North, were not opposed to slavery and saw no reason for the federal government to interfere with the expansion of slavery into western territories. After John Brown's attack on Harpers Ferry, people expressed [...]

Slavery is Guaranteed by the Constitutional Compact

To counter abolitionist attacks in the antebellum era, Southern slaveowners and politicians found it necessary to justify the institution--both morally and politically. On the moral front they argued that enslaved African Americans were inferior to [...]

A Love of Freedom and Right

Depending on where they stood on the slavery question, Americans viewed John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry as either a brilliant, if aborted, act of martyrdom for a noble cause, or a horrifying reminder of the potential for a slave uprising and an [...]

A Letter to the Editor Attempts to Explain Crime in Five Points

This letter to the New-York Daily Times, published on June 14, 1854, attempts to explain the high rate of criminality among Irish immigrants in terms of environment rather than temperment. The Irish-surnamed writer argues that the Irish are not [...]

A Protestant Missionary Describes Sabbath in Five Points

Troubled by evidence of extreme poverty in the nation's industrializing cities, many Protestant reformers set up mission houses in poor, immigrant neighborhoods to minister to the needs of the largely Catholic residents. But a cultural abyss divided [...]

An Engraving Depicts the Eviction of an Irish Tenant Family

Some half a million Irish were evicted during the Great Famine, especially following the Poor Law Extension Act of 1847 which shifted the burden of famine relief to the landlords. Rather than support poor tenants on their estates, many landlords [...]

A Brooklyn Newspaper Warns of "Trouble in the South-West"

In this editorial, published on May 2nd, 1846, Brooklyn Eagle editor and poet Walt Whitman notes the growing "war-fever" that had gripped the nation in recent months. In fact, the "lighted match" which sparked the U.S. to wage war against Mexico had [...]

A Suffragist Satirizes July 4th Celebrations

Fannie Fern (1811-1872) was the pen name of Sara Willis Parton, a New England writer whose ridicule of antebellum gender expectations won her wide popularity. This short sketch uses humor to point out the many ways that nineteenth-century women [...]

A Southern Newspaper Lashes out against the Fugitive Slave Law

With the Compromise of 1850, the North and South avoided - or more accurately, delayed - a struggle that threatened to rip the Union apart. The Compromise included a Fugitive Slave Law, which empowered the federal government to prosecute northern [...]