Thursday, December 11, 2008

Additional study terms from Gordon-Reed book & accompanying lecture

Students may remember there was no hand-out on the day we had our discussion of Annette Gordon-Reed's Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy and mini-lecture on African-Americans in the Early Republic. Here are some terms to use in studying this material for the test.


gradual abolition
manumission laws
growth of free black communities: occupations, AME Church
George Washington's slaves
American Colonization Society
slave trade, changes in
Jefferson, Thomas: attitudes toward race and slavery
"diffusion" argument
Hemings, Sally
Hemings, James
Hemings, Madison
Wayles, John
Jefferson, Martha Wayles
Carr brothers
Randolph, Thomas J.
Randolph, Martha Jefferson
Coolidge, Ellen Randolph
Callender, James
Historians' arguments against a Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings relationship

Friday, December 05, 2008

Jefferson gets blamed for everything!

If students are looking for something to comment on, check out this interesting/frightening article on "The Creation Museum" in northern Kentucky near Cincinnati. The place is an expensive, high-tech send-up of modern scientific thought about natural history, devoted to presenting the text of the Bible as literal scientific fact. Yet guess who gets named by the article's author (Joseph Clarke) as one of the museum's intellectual progenitors? Poor Thomas Jefferson. He clipped up the Gospels for nothing, apparently.
But while the Creation Museum undoubtedly reflects these recent trends, moralistic distrust of city life has a rich history in America. When, in 1925, John Scopes was tried for teaching Darwinism to a high school science class in violation of Tennessee law, the case against him was argued by William Jennings Bryan, a luminary of the young fundamentalist movement and a staunch agrarian. In Bryan’s view, urban industrial capitalism was inextricable from the social Darwinist credo of survival of the fittest and the cultural ills to which it gave rise. Before Bryan, Thomas Jefferson argued against Alexander Hamilton that the cold rationality of economic development would lead to social waywardness unless held in check by a thriving agrarian culture: “Corruption of the mark set upon those, who, not looking up to heaven, to their own soil and industry, as does the husbandman, for their subsistence, depend for it on casualties and caprice of customers.” Jefferson’s proposed design for the Great Seal of the United States depicted the nation of Israel journeying through the wilderness in search of the Promised Land.
There is a lot more to this article than this little attack on Jefferson, but still. Read the whole thing, and comment on Clarke's view of Jefferson, or the article or Creation Museum in general.

[You can also comment on the more elaborate version of this post on my main blog.]

Now playing: The National - Fake Empire

Fun with citations, part 2 (including citation guide)

This should have been part 1! Here is a very nice brief guide to the Turabian citation style from the University of Georgia libraries. I would greatly prefer it if students would try use this style rather than the parenthetical reference/reference list style (like APA & APSA) many of you may have picked up from social science classes. Those are not compatible with extensive primary research. Bibliographies are appreciated but will not be necessary if you use full citations in your notes.

Now playing: Waco Brothers - See Willy Fly By

Turabian Style

Format for Bibliographies

Based upon Kate Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 6th ed., 1996.
(Copies available at Main and Science Library Reference and Reserve Desks call number LB2369 .T8 1996)

Type of Entry Note Form (first note)* Bibliographic Form
Book--single author
1. Neil Sheehan, A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam (New York: Random House, 1988), 425.
Sheehan, Neil. A Bright Shining Lie:
John Paul Vann and America
in Vietnam. New York:
Random House, 1988.
Book--multiple authors
2. John E. Schwarz and Thomas J. Volgy, The Forgotten American (New York: Norton, 1992), 42.
Schwarz, John E., and Thomas J.
Volgy. The Forgotten
American. New York:
Norton, 1992.
Encyclopedia article
3. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed., s.v. "cold war."
None: "Well-known reference books are generally not listed in bibliographies" (8.112).
Newspaper article
4. "The Wrong Issue in Bosnia," New York Times, 22 March 1996, sec. A, p. 26.
None: "News items from daily papers are rarely listed separately in a bibliography... If a newspaper is cited only once or twice, a sufficient" (11.44).
Magazine Article
5. David Ansen, "Spielberg's Obsession," Newsweek, 20 December 1993, 112.
Ansen, David. "Spielberg's Obsession."
Newsweek, 20 December 1993,
Journal article
6. Christopher Policano, "Dueling Colas," Public Relations Journal41, no. 11 (1985): 16.
Policano, Christopher. "Dueling Colas."
Public Relations Journal 41,
no. 11 (1985): 16-17.
Article from online database
7. Patrick O'Driscoll, "Baggage Conveyor Takes Suitcase Taste Test," Denver Post, 20 February 1994, B3, in LEXIS/NEXIS [database on-line], NEWS library, DPOST file; accessed May 13, 1996.
None: "News items from daily papers are rarely listed separately in a bibliography... If a newspaper is cited only once or twice, a sufficient" (11.44).
Article from online database
8. John R. McRae, "Buddhism," Journal of Asian Studies 54, no. 2 (1995), in Periodical Abstracts Research [database on-line], UMI- Proquest, GALILEO; accessed May 13, 1996.
McRae, John R. "Buddhism." Journal
of Asian Studies 54, no. 2
(1995): 354-371. Periodical
Abstracts Research. Database
on-line. UMI-Proquest,
GALILEO; accessed May
13, 1996.
Document from CD-ROM
9. United Parcel Service, "1994 Report to Shareowners," 31 December 1994, in LaserD [CD-ROM] (Bethesda, MD: Disclosure, 1995).
United Parcel Service. "1994 Report
to Shareowners," 31 December
1994. LaserD. CD-ROM.
Bethesda, MD: Disclosure, 1995.
Internet/World WideWeb site
10. Federal Election Commission,"Receipts of 1996 Presidential Pre-Nomination Campaigns"; available from pres1b.jpg; Internet; accessed 13 May 1996.
Federal Election Commission. "Receipts
of 1996 Presidential Pre-
Nomination Campaigns."
Available from http://www.fec.
gov.pres96/pres1b.jpg. Internet;
accessed 13 May 1996.

*"The place in the text where a note is introduced, whether footnote or endnote, is marked with an arabic numeral typed slightly above the line (superscript)" (8.7). "Note numbers preceding the footnotes themselves are preferably typed on the line, followed by a period. If the computer system used generates footnotes with superscript numbers, however, that is also acceptable" (8.10).

Format for Additional Note References

"Once a work has been cited in complete form, later references to it are shortened. For this, either short titles or the Latin abbreviation ibid. (for ibidem, "in the same place") should be used" (8.84).
Use this form after the first full reference when there are no intervening references: 2. Ibid.
Use this form when there are no intervening references and the reference is to a different page in the same work: 3. Ibid., 68.
Use this form when there are intervening references between the first full reference and this one (book and article titles may be shortened): 12. Sheehan, Bright Shining Lie, 425.

13. Ansen, "Spielberg's Obsession," 116.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Fun with citations, part 1

I suspect most upper-level history students are quite capable of following the Turabian or Chicago styles themselves they put their minds to it, but I will provide here a little capsule summary of the style I use, which basically follows Turabian. I will try emphasize the particular types of sources most of you are using. These examples are in the style you would in a footnote or endnote. The best way to learn a citation style is to follow the pattern another scholar has used. If you need a very large number of detailed practical examples, covering many different types of sources, you could do a lot worse than studying the endnotes of my book chapter on lobbying, which you should already have read.

DOCUMENTS IN PRIMARY SOURCE COLLECTIONS -- you should always be citing the individual documents, rather than the whole volume or series

The format for a letter is:

Author to Recipient, date, Lead or first editor of collection, ed., Title of collection (Place of publication: Publisher, Date or date range of publication), Volume:Page numbers

James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, 10 Jan. 1796, Julian P. Boyd et al, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950-), 28:577.

John Beckley to James Madison, 10 Sept. 1795, William T. Hutchinson et al, eds., The Papers of James Madison (Vols. 1-10, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962-1977; vols. 11-17, Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1977-1991), 16:86.For other sorts of documents in the collections, you will need to list the author and title of the document instead of the sender and recipient, then the date and the other information.

You can cite more than one item in a note by separating the references with semi-colons. You should also shorten the references if you have to re-use them later in your paper. So the first example above could be shortened to: Madison to Jefferson, 10 Jan. 1796, Boyd, ed., Papers of Jefferson, 28:577. You have some freedom about how you shorten references. The main thing is to do it consistently.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE -- don't worry about what database it came from; the publication information is what is important. Give an author or title if available, but know they often will not be. You can also use the pseudonym as the author or title, depending on the circumstances.

"From a George-Town Paper," Newark Centinel of Freedom, 25 January 1797.More later . . .
Now playing: Love As Laughter - Paul Revere

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Term paper due date clarified

As we discussed in class this morning, the term papers are going to be due in the last class period, 11 December 2008. There was an inconsistency in the syllabus, and the later date seemed to be more popular. See you Thursday!

P.S. A term sheet for the Jefferson-Hemings discussion day and lecture will be coming soon.

Now playing: The Action - Brain

Monday, December 01, 2008

Course website access [UPDATED]

I am having some issues with the domain thanks to an "upgrade" at my hosting service. The main course site URL now works again, but the Virtual Reader links are messed up. It can be reached at:

[NOTE: Post updated to reflect the current state of the site.]

Now playing: The Capstan Shafts - Use The Poets As Barricades

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Question for students: Just how evil was Thomas Jefferson?

It's not me asking, but it was more or less what Irish writer Conor Cruise O'Brien asked in his 1996 article, "Thomas Jefferson: Radical or Racist?" Now that have read (or once you have read) Jefferson's letters on the French Revolution -- see the Virtual Reader -- and about his relations with the Hemings family in Annette Gordon-Reed's book, give your response to O'Brien's screed. (These passages from Jefferson's writings on race and slavery may also be informative. You have probably seen them already.) Most present-day historians and commentators would not be as harsh as O'Brien, but many make some basically similar points that, like O'Brien, follow some of the Federalist attacks on Jefferson in his own time. Do you think Gordon-Reed would agree them?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dr. Benjamin Rush, medical genius of the Early Republic

In answer to some of the student questions raised by my discussion of the state of medical practice in the 1790s, specifically as employed by Philadelphia physician Benjamin Rush, here are some answers.

I found an extensive discussion of the "explosively powerful" purgatives Rush used, and a picture of his medicine chest here. Calomel (a.k.a. mercury chloride) was apparently his favorite purgative. It used to be used in certain cosmetics as well as medicines, but that is illegal now. One source says it was also used for insecticides, but I imagine that is illegal now too, at least for household use.

On the amount of blood that might be drained from a patient, graduate student Roger Robinson found the following:
One typical course of medical treatment began the morning of 13 July 1824. A French sergeant was stabbed through the chest while engaged in single combat; within minutes he fainted from loss of blood. Arriving at the local hospital he was immediately bled twenty ounces (570 ml) "to prevent inflammation". During the night he was bled another 24 ounces (680 ml). Early next morning the chief surgeon bled the patient another 10 ounces (285 ml); during the next 14 hours he was bled five more times. Medical attendants thus intentionally removed more than half of the patient's normal blood supply - in addition to the initial blood loss which caused the sergeant to faint. Bleedings continued over the next several days. By 29 July the wound had become inflamed. The physician applied 32 leeches to the most sensitive part of the wound. Over the next three days there were more bleedings and a total of 40 more leeches. The sergeant recovered and was discharged on 3 October. His physician wrote that "by the large quantity of blood lost, amounting to 170 ounces [nearly eleven pints] (4.8 liters), besides that drawn by the application of leeches [perhaps another two pints] (1.1 liter), the life of the patient was preserved". By nineteenth-century standards, thirteen pints of blood taken over the space of a month was a large but not an exceptional quantity. The medical literature of the period contains many similar accounts-some successful, some not.

Delpech, M (1825). "Case of a Wound of the Right Carotid Artery". Lancet 6: 210-213.