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African American Passages Episode 3: Robert Pinn’s Left Hand

In the third episode of our African American Passages podcast, John W. Kluge Center Distinguished Visiting Scholar and Georgetown University history professor Adam Rothman tells the story of Robert Pinn, Medal of Honor winner and sergeant in the 5th United States Colored Troops. Like many soldiers in the Civil War, Pinn lost the use of his right arm during battle. In 1866 he submitted an autobiographical essay to a left-handed penmanship contest organized by a newspaper editor to promote the cause of disabled veterans.

Rothman discusses Pinn’s life story and the double discrimination he faced as a disabled African American with Library of Congress Manuscript Division historian Michelle Krowl, and Civil War historian Chandra Manning.

Rothman will be discussing 19th century black lives at the Library of Congress today at 4pm with award-winning journalist and novelist Jesse J. Holland. Holland is the author of “Black Men Built The Capitol: Discovering African American History in and Around Washington, D.C.” as well as the first novel featuring comics’ most popular black superhero: “Black Panther: Who Is The Black Panther?” Get your free tickets and more information here.

African American Passages Episode 2: The Long Journey of Omar Ibn Said

In the second episode of African American Passages: Black Lives in the 19th Century, John W. Kluge Center Distinguished Visiting Scholar and Georgetown University history professor Adam Rothman looks at the story of Omar Ibn Said. Rothman is joined on the podcast by Mary-Jane Deeb, the Chief of the Library of Congress’s African and Middle […]

Introducing African-American Passages: Black Lives in the 19th Century

During his time as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar here at the John W. Kluge Center, Georgetown University history professor Adam Rothman recorded an extraordinary series of podcasts. In the podcasts, Rothman examines documents from the Library of Congress’ manuscript collection relating to the lives of African-Americans in the 19th century. He found a number of […]

How to Think About Data: A Conversation with Christine Borgman

Members of the Scholars Council are appointed by the Librarian of Congress to advise on matters related to scholarship at the Library, with special attention to the Kluge Center and the Kluge Prize. The Council includes scholars, writers, researchers, and scientists. “Insights” is featuring some of the work of this group of thinkers. Dan Turello […]

“My Dear Master”: An Enslaved Blacksmith’s Letters to a President

An unusual letter arrived in the mail for the Tennessee planter James K. Polk shortly after he won the 1844 presidential election. Written from Carrollton, Mississippi, and dated November 28, 1844, the letter began “My Dear Master” and was signed by “Blacksmith Harry.” Here’s what Harry wrote: Suffer your faithful survant Harry to say a […]

February 2019 Arrivals at Kluge

February 2019 is here, and the State of the Kluge Center is strong. This month, in addition to 16 interns, the Kluge Center welcomed several new scholars into residence. Here are the projects they will be working on: Robin Bates, an incoming Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Fellow, arrived from the University of Cambridge. […]