Tag Archives: American History

Mary Katherine Goddard and the Declaration of Independence

Hello my friends! If you’re stateside – or an expat, you know that today is a holiday in the … [god, I want to write “good old US of A but … these days…] anyway. I’m trying to be adult and discuss something obscure, and cool, not “manly firmness.” (Which yes is in the Declaration.)

I wrote this post two years ago … so I won’t repeat. But if you’d like to re-read the text of the Declaration of Independence, it’s all there.

I first learned of Mary Katherine Goddard from a RT on twitter from Loretta Chase & Susan Holloway Scott, sharing this article from the Washington Post. (Which actually annoyed me because some of the attempts at … snark? Modern day relatability? … Felt like it was trying too hard to desperately engage middle school mean girls. … Of course I’m one to judge, me using “relatability.” Whatever.)

But then! I found this from Harvard!

The Goddard Broadside was the first printed version of the Declaration of Independence specifically intended for preservation. It was the first printed broadside to use the title “The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America”. It was the first version of the Declaration to list the names of (most of) the signers. And, it is the only “official” version of the Declaration of Independence to be printed by a woman. Mary Katherine Goddard’s imprint at the bottom of her broadside proudly presents not only her full name, but also the city where Congress met for two crucial months, and where she lived and worked for over forty years.

So today, we celebrate America, the Founding Fathers, and Mary Katherine Goddard, who we should all know about but don’t. Because beyond this printing, she did a lot of amazing things. (Which you should read about from Harvard, WaPo, or heck even Wiki.)

I’ve included an image of the Goddard Broadside, which I got from the Library of Congress.*

*Unfortunately the version you can save makes it hard to see Mary Katherine Goddard’s name at the bottom, but if you click through to the LoC it’s there and you can zoom. 🙂

SAPAHM: Chinese Massacre of 1871 in L.A.

“The largest incident of mass lynching in American history.

So … I’m not really sure how to go about writing this post. I know most (all) of the Heritage Month posts that I’ve put up are celebratory. And basically all the posts here generally. I’m not posting an image because the only ~relevant one I can find is a group of the corpses which … no. I’m not really going to say much more because I just want to put the information out there. I might add my thoughts later … I might not.

Despite going against the grain, I think this is a really important topic, and it speaks to an area of Heritage. And little known history. I learned about the incident some time last year while researching a different Heritage topic/group. I was … shocked. I mean, I knew of course that Asian [Pacific] Americans experience racism just like any other minority group in America. I also knew a little bit about the horrible conditions of railroad workers and the like – The Chinese Exclusion Acts … (America really hated Asians…) but … I had no idea that the victims of [one of] the largest mass lynching in American history was a group of Chinese Americans. If you’re like me, I think you’d have assumed that dubious title would be attributed to some atrocity in the south against African Americans. But no. Continue reading

SAIHM: Some Obscure History on Native Americans

I think this is something we all know … but not really. As in if you really think about it, you’ll be like “oh, well, duh.” And then you’ll feel sad … because it’s horrible. What am I talking about? Slavery. I know, it’s ugly and horrible … but it’s important to remember. After all, it’s American Indian/Native American Heritage Month … and a big part of history – for the States, and I’d say for the world.

In South Carolina, and to a lesser extent in North Carolina, Virginia, and Louisiana, Indian slavery was a central means by which early colonists funded economic expansion.

Earlier in the article, it says this

The African “role” encompasses the transportation, exploitation, and suffering of many millions in New World slavery, while Indians are described in terms of their succumbing in large numbers to disease, with the survivors facing dispossession of their land. This paradigm—a basic one in the history of colonialism—omits a crucial aspect of the story: the indigenous peoples of the Americas were enslaved in large numbers. This exclusion distorts not only what happened to American Indians under colonialism, but also points to the need for a reassessment of the foundation and nature of European overseas expansion.

So yeah.

Many other Indians were moved hundreds or thousands of miles within the Americas. Sioux Indians from the Minnesota region could be found enslaved in Quebec, and Choctaws from Mississippi in New England. A longstanding line of transportation of Indian slaves led from modern-day Utah and Colorado south into Mexico.

Lastly, this.

The paradigm of “what happened” to American Indians under European colonialism must be revised. Instead of viewing victimization of Africans and Indians as two entirely separate processes, they should be compared and contrasted. This will shed more light on the consequences of colonialism in the Americas, and how racism became one of the dominant ideologies of the modern world. It is time to assess the impact of slave trading and slavery on American Indian peoples, slave and free.

All those quotes were taken from Indian Slavery in the Americas by Alan Gallay. Which of course I understand is just one article, but I think it’s really thought provoking. You can also read the “About” article but I found that one really basic. Or even the Wikipedia article which… you know. Mixed bag there.

And of course if you want more general knowledge, The History Channel appears to have a great page on Native American Cultures.

I wanted to write this post because, well, social justice is important to me, but also, I heard a blip on NPR this week, that really made me think. How something so huge and so important in history just … isn’t talked about. It matters. It matters as to how we think about our history, and it matters because there is so much going on with the various tribes that are still [“relatively intact”] today. I don’t want to discuss that now because I haven’t done enough research but … it’s important. And if you feel so inclined as to do more research or have other questions, I’d love to hear it and help with what I can.