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Inspired by History

History Articles
Frederick Douglass at the Cooper Institute, Responding to the Emancipation Proclamation    
The Proclamation and a Negro Army.

A very large audience assembled last evening in the great hall of the Cooper Institute, to listen to perhaps the most eloquent black man in America, on the great question of the day and of his race, the President’s Proclamation of Emancipation and the arming of the black man.



Harper’s Weekly Original 19th Century Newspapers    

These are authentic Harper’s Weekly newspapers printed in New York during the Civil War. Harper’s was founded by Fletcher Harper in 1857. It covered the developments of the Civil War, presidential elections, foreign wars, sports, and many other topics. Harper’s pages are also filled with political cartoons, editorial essays, “Humors of the Day,” advertisements, and beautiful woodcut engravings. Each issue contains approximately ten engravings, with a full page centerfold illustration. Harper’s are printed on rag paper – higher quality than the pulp paper used for today’s news.

Harper’s became famous for the cartoons of Thomas Nast, who began contributing soon after the newspaper’s founding in 1857 and became its staff artist in 1862. By the end of the war, and through the 1880s, Nast was one of the most influential journalists in America. In addition to his scathing cartoons that brought an end to the notoriously corrupt New York “Tweed Ring” in 1872, he also created the Democratic Donkey, the Republican Elephant, and the modern images of Santa Claus and Uncle Sam.  Winslow Homer also contributed to Harper’s, beginning in 1858. Homer’s The Sharpshooter is arguably the most famous image of the war, illustrating the first war in which the technology of impersonal killing became effective.  Homer continued to contribute drawings to Harper’s until 1875. Harper’s images continue to shape our visual interpretation of nineteenth century America.


The Authorship of The Night Before Christmas    

Though long acknowledged as the author of A Visit from St. Nicholas (The Night Before Christmas), author Clement C. Moore’s claim to immortality has been questioned by partisans who believe that Henry Livingston, Jr. should be credited for the classic Christmas verse. A careful look at the evidence clearly supports Moore’s authorship, and completely discredits the Livingston camp.

Note that Seth Kaller formerly owned the only Moore manuscript of A Visit which is now in private hands (three other Moore manuscripts are in museums).