Facial Hair Friday: Joseph Rainey the first African American in the House

  Joseph Rainey was distinguished in many ways—he was the first African American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, the first African American to preside over the House of Representatives, and the longest–serving African American during Reconstruction. He also had pretty nice mutton chops. Rainey was born into slavery in 1832 in Georgetown, … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: Joseph Rainey the first African American in the House

African American History at the National Archives

February is African American History Month! Visit the National Archives website to learn more about our many events and activities celebrating African American History. In the late 1960s the National Archives began hosting conferences for researchers and scholars. These were held on a variety of subjects, but all related to records held by the institution. The … Continue reading African American History at the National Archives

Poets for Every Age: American Poets and Writers

April is National Poetry Month, which celebrates the importance of poets and poetry. Today’s post comes from Thomas Richardson, an archives technician at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The United States has a rich literary history with some of the most prolific poets of the 19th and 20th centuries. Their writings … Continue reading Poets for Every Age: American Poets and Writers

Asian/Pacific American History: Learning our Legacy

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Visit the National Archives website to learn more about related records and resources. APA Heritage Month is an opportunity to…contribute to the wider understanding of what it means to be an American. – Alex Villaseran, archives technician and APA Unity co-chair Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month was … Continue reading Asian/Pacific American History: Learning our Legacy

“Forgotten Soldier” at American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

The exhibition Forgotten Soldier at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, Virginia features the “Inspection Roll of Negroes” from the holdings of the National Archives. Today’s post comes from Jim Zeender, senior registrar in the National Archives Exhibits Office. Mary Perth, Boston King, Moses Wilkinson, David George, and Harry Washington were among the thousands of … Continue reading “Forgotten Soldier” at American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

Caribbean American Heritage Month: Marcus Garvey

June is Caribbean American Heritage Month. Visit the National Archives website for more information on related holdings. Today’s post comes from Vincent Bartholomew from the National Archives History Office. Marcus Garvey envisioned a Pan-African and Black Nationalist movement and used the Black Star Line, a shipping corporation, to unite Africans in the U.S. and the … Continue reading Caribbean American Heritage Month: Marcus Garvey

Facial Hair Friday: Hiram Revels

Today’s Facial Hair Friday is about Hiram Rhodes Revels, the first African American to serve in Congress and the first African American Senator. It’s from Rachel Bartgis, conservator technician at the National Archives at College Park, MD. Hiram Revels was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in either 1822 or 1827. His parents were both freemen, … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: Hiram Revels

Enslaved Women of the Confederate Nitre Works

Today’s post comes from Rachel Bartgis, conservator technician at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland. During the U.S. Civil War, the manufacture of gunpowder became a serious concern for the Confederacy. While there were several powder mills located in the country, the United States had imported most of the wood ash, sulfur, and saltpeter … Continue reading Enslaved Women of the Confederate Nitre Works

Confederate Slave Payrolls

Today’s post comes from Rachel Bartgis, conservator technician at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland. During the U.S. Civil War, the Confederate Army required enslavers to loan their enslaved people to the military. Throughout the Confederacy from Florida to Virginia, these enslaved people served as cooks and laundresses, labored in deadly conditions to mine … Continue reading Confederate Slave Payrolls

Madam C. J. Walker’s Rags-to-Riches Story Found in the Holdings of the National Archives

Today’s post comes from Missy McNatt, Education Specialist at the National Archives in Washington, DC.   I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. I was promoted from there to the washtub. Then I was promoted to the cook kitchen, and from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair … Continue reading Madam C. J. Walker’s Rags-to-Riches Story Found in the Holdings of the National Archives