Dispatches to Henry Raymond’s New York Times: Whitman on Trauma in Civil War Washington

Writing from Washington, where he spent the war years as a devoted hospital visitor or nurse, Whitman deployed his considerable skill as a journalist to introduce readers everywhere to the suffering of the hospitalized soldiers, focusing particularly on syndromes that, he claimed, were not well understood: trauma and its intersection with a wide range of disabilities.

Whitman’s Wandering Mind

Wandering too is a technique of not looking, a practice of studied indirection. In that way it’s like revising—whether a poem or an entire collection—which is also a way of denying one’s loss of a past through an attempt to re-experience the sensations that accompany originary composition.

Parenting for the “Rough Places” in Antebellum America

Sedgwick’s evolving ideas about her children’s natures and her ability to shape them reflected an emerging American skepticism of the perfectibility of the individual and society at large, and an increasing emphasis on the determining power of innate characteristics.

Arthur Mervyn, Bankrupt

An eighteenth-century novel explores how American society handles the collateral damage of capitalism—and who deserves a second chance.

Jane Clark: A Newly Available Slave Narrative

Penned in 1897 by Julia C. Ferris, a white teacher and local educational leader, the manuscript narrates portions of the life of Jane Clark, an enslaved woman who escaped to Auburn in 1859. This narrative, rich with information about the Underground Railroad, has never been available to scholars, teachers, and lay readers—until now.

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