". . . 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

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Maryland Gazette - Annapolis

The entire years' issue runs, from 1810 - 1815 has had its microfilm digitized and there they are, week by week, month by month, year by year, thanks to the Maryland Historical Society. All accessible from this chair right here in which my ass is planted.

Everytime I go there I fill with awe and gratitude.  With luck, meaning particularly no flu, I might have a good 15,000 words on the Era of Good Feeling by the end of January.  BTW, the front page of every issue contains either an advert to buy slaves for cash or a reward for a runaway slave.

On another subject, but one to which I am very close: Dayem! it's cold! The wind, she's gusting like 40 50 mph.


K. said...

This sounds like a treasure trove! Does it cover the War of 1812?

We lived in Baltimore in the mid-60s, and took regular family excursions to Ft McHenry. I returned in the 80s, and the place was still great -- a little boy's Mecca: Cannons to climb on, walls to hide behind or gaze out from. You could just about see the rocket's red glare.

Foxessa said...

O yes. I began with 1811 a couple of months ago, reading some issues most days. I'm in April 1812 now. The debates in both state and national legislatures, bill proposals, and so on are covered right there.

Also, the calling up of and financing new Kentucky militia due to the British supported Indian attacks and so on.

The news and discussion of the day. I keep hoping to find discussion of slave uprising and the impact the war is having on the domestic trade and so on. But these official publications are very reticent in terms of their choice of vocabulary.

Just as in the papers of merchants shipping their merchandise. "Merchandise" covers everything, including slaves, which word they really don't want to use.

Love, C.

K. said...

The few adverts I've seen touted "Negroes from Africa."

Foxessa said...

In the 18th century prior to the Independence era, the merchants, almost all Tories, with very close ties to family businesses in England, were involved deeply in the African slave trade.

Though mostly African slaves already were coming here, to North America's Englishs colonies, via the Caribbean, particularly in the later part of the 18th century -- Africa to Havana, and then to Florida. The merchants though, the owners of these ships, the insurers and the investors and underwriters, were North American colonists, many of whom lived in Annapolis.

In the those days still, most merchants also owned land, vast tracts of it, that they stocked with large numbers of slave to do the work of growing tobacco.

Love, c.