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19th-century American Children and What They Read

Review
19th-century American Children and What They Read is a website born of a passion for exactly that—material written for children, and occasionally by children, in the 19th century.
Title page of A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison

A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison

Source

In 1753, 15 year old Mary Jemison was captured by Indians along the Pennsylvania frontier during the Seven Years' War between the French, English, and Indian peoples of North America. She was adopted and incorporated into the Senecas, a familiar practice among Iroquois and other Indian peoples seeking to replace a lost sibling or spouse. Mary married and raised a family in the decades before... Read More »

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A New Development in the Scout Movement in South Africa

Source

This article by Baden Powell in a 1936 issue of the Journal of the Royal African Society refers to the compromise in South Africa that split scouting into four racially based "sections": European, Coloured, Indian, and African. Bringing the African Pathfinders into scouting as an affiliated organization allowed white scout officials to control this potentially subversive and embarrassing youth... Read More »

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A Rover Scout "Journey"

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Rover scouting was a branch of the movement for young men in their late teens and early twenties who were too old for regular scout troops but wished to maintain their ties to scouting. It stressed service and leadership while offering a measure of vocational training. South Africa was the only English-speaking African territory in the colonial era to support African rover "crews."... Read More »

A Royal History

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This 1790 article from the Journal Universel, a leading radical newspaper, recounts the long desperate history of the monarchy that ironically led the revolution.

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

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The English writer Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–97) argued against both Burke and Rousseau, defending the notion of natural rights, particularly rights for women, such as equal education. She insisted that women could not become virtuous, even as mothers, unless they won the right to participate in economic and political life on an equal basis with men. Although she did not specifically demand... Read More »

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Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi's Autobiography

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In medieval times, education was a key factor of Islamic society. It was considered the purpose for which God created man. As such, belief and education were not separated from one another. The first revealed verse of the Qur'an is "Read," demonstrating the value placed on knowledge and learning. Islamic civilization created a golden age of education during the European dark ages. For example... Read More »

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Adolescent Sexual Experimentation Should Not Be a Crime

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Morris Ploscowe was a graduate of Harvard law school who served as chief clerk of the Court of Special Sessions, and later as magistrate, in New York City. Ploscowe also served on the staff of the Wickersham Commission that investigated Prohibition and a variety of other crimes in the U.S. By the 1950s, he was an influential commentator on criminal and family law.

The book from which... Read More »

Advice of an Aztec Mother to Her Daughter

Advice of an Aztec Mother to Her Daughter

Source

Franciscan friar Bernardino de Sahagún recorded this text in the mid-16th century as part of an effort to gather information about native Aztec history and customs. Sahagún went to Mexico in 1529 as one of the first missionaries assigned to the newly conquered territory of New Spain. He remained there until his death, preaching and instructing youth in Spanish, Latin, science, religion, and... Read More »

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African American Women Writers of the 19th Century

Review
Students might examine how the inclusion of African American women's perspectives alters more standardized narratives of American history.

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