". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Frederic Bancroft's Unpublished Manuscript

This delighted me so much yesterday reading along in the unpublished yet complete book, I laughed out loud in the Archives' workroom -- the tart conclusion with which Bancroft ends Book Two's Chap. 8: “Longings for Manufactures & Commerce”

“…. In comparison with the constant enthusiasm for planting, the enthusiasm for diversified industries could only be ephemeral. The South was comparatively indifferent, rather than actually so, as Gregg charged, in regard to the very things she had so loudly called for.” ((29 De Bow, 624. ))

[C.'s notation -- here he means DeBow's Southern Review, published, starting in 1847 (or 1846, depending on how you classify the earliest volumes) through 1863, the leading statistical and commercial journal in the south, indeed the only one. DeBow moved north after the War, and continued publishing a version of the Review from there, with more or less success.  He died in New Jersey. Throughout the citations, Bancroft spells his name sometimes with and sometimes without a space between De and Bow, though in general usage there is no space.]

F. Bancroft's dry commentary on that cited passage is what made me laugh:

“The real contrast in interest was apparently increased tenfold by the fondness of planters and lawyer-politicians for conventions and their still greater fondness for highly-colored speeches."

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