Descendants of Solomon Northup encounter a record of his enslavement at the National Archives:
Solomon Northup was a free man when he was abducted and sold into slavery in 1841. He survived to recount his story in a memoir, 12 Years A Slave, which is now a motion picture. Yesterday, a few of his descendants viewed the document that marks the beginning of Northup’s journey into slavery—a slave manifest from the brig Orleans. Number 33 on the list of slaves bound for New Orleans is Plat Hamilton, the alias chosen for Northup by his kidnappers.
The descendants of Solomon Northup say they were aware of his story as they grew up, but seeing the actual documentation was an emotional experience. Today’s Washington Post has a story about their visit: http://t.co/b1Pz534rTS
The slave manifest is on display at the National Archives through March 30.
One of the descendants, Vera Williams, works at the National Archives. You can read her personal story (http://go.usa.gov/B68G) or learn how she and Clayton Adams walked in the footsteps of her great-great-great-grandfather Solomon Northup (http://go.usa.gov/B68z).
Photo: Northup descendants Clayton Adams and Vera Williams find his name on the slave manifest at the National Archives. (Photo by Jeff Reed)
This slave manifest for the brig Orleans, which includes Solomon Northup listed as Plat Hamilton on line 33, is now on display at the National Archives.
In 1841, Solomon Northup, a free-born African American from New York, was kidnapped by two white men and enslaved for 12 years in the deep South before he could prove his legal right to freedom. He later wrote about his ordeal in his book “12 Years A Slave” which was made into a movie.
Abducting free blacks for sale into slavery was outlawed in most of the United States. However uneven law enforcement, the marginal rights of free blacks, and mounting demand for slaves after the end of the transatlantic slave trade made kidnapping an attractive and potentially profitable prospect that encouraged the creation of a reverse underground railroad.
Kidnappers gave their victims aliases to hide their true identities. Northup recounted that he first heard the name he would be known by as a slave, “Plat Hamilton,” in New Orleans when it was called from this slave manifest (line 33) for the brig Orleans. Victims who insisted that they were free often faced severe beatings or even death. Northup accepted his identity as “Plat” because “[He] was too costly a chattel to be lost … [and] knew well enough the slightest knowledge of [his] real character would consign [him] at once to the remotest depths of Slavery.”
Vera Williams, a direct descendent of Solomon Northup works at the National Archives. You can read her personal story or learn how she walked in the footsteps of her great-great-great-grandfather.
Are you into genealogy? Because I’d like to grow our family tree together.
Today marks the 178th anniversary of Charles Ingalls’s birth!
A simple farmer born in Cuba, New York, Ingalls would have likely languished in obscurity had not his second-born daughter Laura taken her childhood recollections and parried them into a timeless and award-winning series of children books.
In this page from a register of homestead receipts from the Dakota Territory we see the line entry for the Ingalls homestead in DeSmet, South Dakota, the family’s final stop in a long series of homes that stretched across present-day Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, and Minnesota.
Several years after proving up on his claim, Ingalls moved into town where he worked a variety of jobs before passing away in 1902. The DeSmet News ended his obituary with this description: “As a citizen he held high esteem, being honest and upright in his dealings and associations with his fellows. As a friend and neighbor he was always kind and courteous, and a faithful and loving husband and father.”
For those fans of the “Little House on the Prairie,” Pa’s DeSmet homestead today is a tourist attraction, still featuring the original cabin Charles Ingalls built for his family over 120 years ago.
The National Archives also holds the papers of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, at the Hoover Presidential Library.
(Post originally published on the National Archives at Denver Facebook page. Image source; RG 049 Records of the Bureau of Land Management, Entry 97, “Register of Final Homestead Receipts, December 9, 1871-May 21, 1891,” NARA identifier 7385822)
Watching the Sound of Music Live? Read up on the real Maria von Trapp!
When the von Trapp family fled the Nazi regime in Austria, they traveled to America. Eventually, the entire family—except for the husband, Georg—-became American citizens.In the early 1940s the family settled in Stowe, Vermont, where they bought a farm. They ran a music camp on the property when they were not on tour. In 1944, Maria and her stepdaughters Johanna, Martina, Maria, Hedwig, and Agathe applied for U.S. citizenship by filing declarations of intention at the U.S. District Court in Burlington, Vermont. Georg apparently never filed to become a citizen; Rupert and Werner were naturalized while serving in the U.S. armed forces during World War II; Rosmarie and Eleonore derived citizenship from their mother; and Johannes was born in the United States and was a citizen in his own right.
If you are planning on watching the new version of the Sound of Music this week, make sure you brush up on all your von Trapp trivia here: http://go.usa.gov/WFbh
THE “VON TRAPP” FAMILY, STARS IN THE “SOUND OF MUSIC” THEATRICAL OUTSIDE THE THEATER HELEN IN HELEN, GEORGIA, NEAR ROBERTSTOWN. IT IS THE THIRD YEAR OF ITS SUMMER PERFORMANCE WITH A CAST THAT INCLUDES PROFESSIONAL ACTORS AND ACTRESSES FROM NEW YORK CITY AS WELL AS ACTING STUDENTS FROM COLLEGES IN THE SOUTH AND FOUR CHILDREN WHO LIVE IN HELEN. THE THEATER WAS BEGUN FOLLOWING RENOVATION OF THE SMALL MOUNTAIN COMMUNITY OF LESS THAN 300 PEOPLE WITH AN ALPINE BUSINESS DISTRICT, 07/1975
Comes from Environmental Protection Agency
“Doe a deer a female deer, ray a drop of golden sun…”
The story of the Von Trapp family from the Sound of Music is rooted in fact, but like any Hollywood movie there is some fiction. For instance, there were 10 children instead of 7 and all the names of each child was changed. Also Maria did not marry Georg Von Trapp because she loved him but because she fell in love with the children.
Sound of Music fan? We have the real Von Trapps in the holdings of the National Archives as well: Movie vs. Reality: The Real Story of the von Trapp Family via Prologue Magazine →
Thinking about your own family history? There’s still time to catch the usnatarchives Virtual Genealogy Fair!
- Tune into the live Ustream feed starting at 10 am EST for free lectures on all things genealogy.
- Phone lines are open! Call with your genealogy questions. National Archives staff will be available from 1 to 4 p.m. eastern daylight time (EDT) on September 4. Toll Free at 1-855-309-8404
- Follow along on twitter at "#genfair2013"
Day 2 of the National Archives’ Virtual Genealogy Fair kicks off at 10am EST!
- Tune into the live Ustream feed starting at 10 am EST for free lectures on all things genealogy.
- Follow along on twitter at "#genfair2013"
Today’s topics are:
10 a.m.: Genealogy and the Freedman’s Bank: Records of the Freedman’s Savings & Trust Company
11 a.m.: Military and Civilian Personnel Records: The National Archives at St. Louis
NOON: Union Civil War Pension Files
1 p.m.: Federal Penitentiary Records
2 p.m.: Finding U.S. Colored Troops at the National Archives
3 p.m.: Genealogy Through Navy Deck Logs
4 p.m.: Oh, The Stories They Tell: Chinese Exclusion Acts Case Files at the National Archives & Records
And our phone lines will be open! Call with your genealogy questions. National Archives staff will be available from 1 to 4 p.m. eastern daylight time (EDT) on September 4.
Toll Free at 1-855-309-8404
The phone lines are open for the National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair!
Call with your genealogy questions during the virtual Genealogy Fair on our special hot lines. National Archives staff will be available from 1 to 4 p.m. eastern daylight time (EDT) on September 3 and 4.
Wherever you are, you can attend our virtual Genealogy Fair!
Join us September 3 and 4 for expert speakers from the National Archives and a chance to ask your questions through a live chat box on our Ustream channel.
You can also tweet your questions to @usnatarchives #genfair2013.
We’ll be discussing Native American and African American history, immigration, Civil War pensions, U.S. Colored Troops, and Navy Deck logs.
Details here: http://go.usa.gov/j7hQ
George Washington’s Family Tree
Pedigree of the Most Illustrious General George Washington, first President of the United States of America, 08/01/1873
This illustrated lineage chart was presented by genealogist James Phillippe of London, England to President Ulysses S. Grant in 1873.
Want to research your own ancestry? Check out the National Archives’ Genealogy resources →
What illustrious personalities are hiding in your family tree?
During their presidencies, both Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis suffered the death of a child—a not uncommon event for most American parents in the 19th century. Starting with the death of Willie Lincoln in 1862 and the tragic accident that befell Joseph Davis in 1864, Catherine Clinton explores Victorian mourning and the embrace of rituals of grief and symbols of remembrance during the Civil War.
Join us at noon on March 29 in the McGowan Theater at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, or watch online at our Ustream channel.
Image: Abraham Lincoln and his youngest son Tad (ARC 52628). While Lincoln was President, Tad’s older brother Willie—the middle child—died of typhoid fever while living in the White House. Tad himself died at age 18 in Chicago in 1871. Only the oldest son, Robert, lived to adulthood.
How did we detect the forged date on the Lincoln Pardon? How did we conserve records from a WW II shipwreck? How will you preserve your family archives? Learn the answers and (much) more at Preservation EXPOsed! Join Preservation Programs for this free event on Thursday, March 14th from 11 am to 2 pm at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Browse display booths and talk with our knowledgeable staff. Attend free lectures on special preservation projects. Make an appointment for a consultation on your favorite family treasure. For more information, see http://www.archives.gov/preservation/exposed-2013.html
Preserving Family Papers and Photos
Want more preservation tips? Be sure to follow PreserveArchives on Tumblr!
This Thursday the National Archives holds its Preservation EXPO in Washington DC so you can learn more about how to preserve a whole range of media that document family history as well as our national history.
We would love to have you come. But maybe you can’t be in Washington DC March 14th to visit the National Archives Building for the Preservation EXPO. If not, here are tips to help your papers and photos last as long as possible.
How do I preserve my family papers and photos?
Proper storage and safe handling practices are key to preserving paper and photographs. Your personal documents last longer when stored in a stable environment similar to what you find comfortable yourself: 60-70 degrees F; 40-50% relative humidity (RH); with clean air and good circulation.
High heat and moisture accelerate the chemical processes that make paper brittle and discolored, and that deteriorate photos. Damp environments may cause mold growth or encourage pests that use the documents for food or nesting material.
So the central part of your home provides a safer storage environment than a hot attic, a damp basement, or a garage.
Light also damages paper and photographs, especially light with abundant ultraviolet such as fluorescent fixtures and daylight. Light exposure has cumulative and irreversible effects; they promote chemical degradation and fade inks and dyes. Permanent display of valuable documents is not recommended. Photocopies, digital images or photos of documents can be substituted for display.
Store personal papers in appropriate sized enclosures, a folder, box, portfolio, etc., that provide physical protection as well as protection from light and dust.
Use an enclosure made of stable permanent quality materials that will not contribute to the document’s deterioration. See Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler’s “Preservation of Archival Records: Holdings Maintenance at the National Archives” for information on storage and handling.
How can I safely mount my documents, memorabilia, and photos into albums or scrapbooks?
The method you use to assemble scrapbooks, photograph albums or memory books can enhance the preservation of the items or can cause irreversible damage.
Avoid mounting with the following materials: white glue, rubber cement, pressure-sensitive tapes and films, staples, or hot glue gun adhesives. These materials do not age well and can physically damage and discolor paper and photographs.
Avoid albums with self-stick pages (“magnetic pages”) because the adhesive used on the mounting page is poor quality.
There are several safe alternatives for mounting. Valuable items such as birth certificates, family letters, and photographs should be mounted without use of glue or other adhesives. Use clear envelopes and sleeves made of stable plastics such as polyester and polypropylene to hold the materials and as album pages. Another good mounting method uses corners made from stable plastics (such as polypropylene and polyester) or from stable paper.
Plastic and paper corners used to mount photos should be made of a material that has passed the Photographic Activity Test (PAT). The PAT test determines if a storage material will cause fading or staining of photographs.
The PAT test, developed by the American National Standards Institute, appears in a national standard named ANSI IT9.16, Photographic Activity Test. Many manufacturers test their products with the PAT and advertise storage materials that have passed the PAT.
Paper corners to be used with paper memorabilia need to meet the standard for permanent paper ANSI/NISO Z39.48, Permanence of Paper for Publication of Documents in Libraries and Archives. This standard specifies the characteristics of paper that is long lasting and that will not harm documents with which it is in contact.
How should I frame and display my photographs and documents?
Decorative frames, available at many stores, are appropriate for everyday snapshots. Often these frames lack a mat or spacers to keep the document or photograph from contact with the glass, or have a poor quality acidic paper mat.
Unfortunately, many unmatted photos have been damaged or permanently stuck to glass when fluid seeped between the glass and photo. This fluid may come from liquid cleaner sprayed on frame glass or beverages spilled near the frame.
Never use liquid cleaners around photographs and artwork. Many cleaners are corrosive and can cause immediate fading and staining if they, or their vapors, come in contact with a photo or a document.
Mat important personal photographs or photographic artworks with museum quality mat board for the window mat and the backboard. Mat board for photos should have passed the ANSI IT9.16 Photographic Activity Test (PAT).
Photo corners work well to secure a photo to a backboard when the window mat will cover the photo edges and hide the photo corner. But do not use photo corners on unmounted prints larger than 20 x 24 inches, or very fragile photos.
Large or fragile photos should be attached to the backboard with stable paper hinges adhered to the back top edge of the photo and then secured to the backboard. Hinging should be left to a qualified framer or conservator.
Once a treasured photograph or document is properly matted and framed, do not display it in direct sunlight, or under bright lamps, near heat sources or in damp locations such as basements, kitchens or bathrooms. Typical diffuse home lighting is not harmful over the short term, but display in rooms that receive direct sunlight can cause rapid fading.
Light will cause fading and other irreversible damage that may become objectionable over time. So avoid extensive display of treasured documents and photographs that you want to pass on to future generations. Instead, make and display a duplicate copy while the original is stored safely in a storage container with other valued papers and keepsakes.
You can find more information on preservation on the National Archives website at www.archives.gov/preservation.
Have you ever wanted professional guidance on how to care for your family archives? Here’s your chance! Join us for Preservation EXPOsed!, a free event on Thursday, March 14th from 11 am to 2 pm at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Browse display booths at the preservation fair and talk with our knowledgeable staff. Attend free lectures for a behind-the-scenes look at special preservation projects. If you make an appointment, you can even bring in your favorite family treasure for a consultation with a National Archives conservator. For more information, see http://www.archives.gov/preservation/exposed-2013.html.
The National Archives at New York just reopened at a new location earlier this month:
Congratulations to the National Archives at New York!Our colleagues in New York City officially opened their new location to the public today. They are now at the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House at One Bowling Green.Researchers and visitors are welcome from Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as the first Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.Please go visit them in this new beautiful space!To learn more about the records available for research, exhibits, and educational programs, visit http://www.archives.gov/nyc/