I must admit, it is my favorite season.
Top: chapel and cemetery in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Bottom: Sheepfold Cemetery outside of Fort Drum, N.Y.
Terminology Tuesday: soul effigy
A stylized carving of a face that was very commonly used to decorate grave stones in colonial America.
For the full-size coloring page, click here or on the source link of this post!
Terminology Tuesday: fire screen
A decorative screen, often featuring embroidery, to protect a lady’s face from the heat of the fire.
To download the full-size coloring page, click here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/127533650@N07/15226904589/sizes/o/in/photostream/
and select “Download original size”.
This blog has been light on the illustrations lately; to amend that, I am starting a new feature. Tuesdays are now Terminology Tuesday, and I will be posting a colonial term and a little illustration to go with it.
Hope you enjoy!
International Coffee Day
Today is International Coffee Day! There are plenty of coffee places participating in the festivities that are offering discounts and even free stuff all day.
While tea was one of the primary drinks of choice for honorable colonial Americans, coffee has a long history here as well. Coffee houses were especially known to be hotbeds for intellectualism in the 18th century, perfect for the Age of Enlightenment.
(Photo source: Colonial Williamsburg’s website; check out the source link for more about one of Williamsburg’s coffee houses, as well as coffee’s place in colonial America in general.)
The Amistad: a slave ship in New England
Many people don’t realize just how far slavery crept; as a European institution, it began in the Spanish colonies of South America, and went as far north as French Canada. When I was an archaeologist in the backwoods of northern New York, I saw firsthand remnants of it buried in the history of the wealthy French LeRay family. And now, as a Connecticut transplant, almost every 300-year-old house I visit, I hear stories of the slaves who once lived and toiled under New England slaveowners.
The story of the Amistad is different, however. In 1839, more than 50 Africans — who had been seized and sent to the Americas to become slaves — rioted against the ship’s Spanish crew. They tried to force the crew to bring them back to Africa, but the crew secretly sailed up the coast of the United States instead.
The U.S. government seized the ship when it grounded off Long Island. The Africans were hauled away and placed into the care of U.S. marshals, and the Amistad was then towed here to New London, Connecticut.
What followed was one of the most important court cases in abolitionism’s history. The Africans fought their captors in the U.S. justice system — and won, securing not only their freedom but their passage back to Africa.
Today, the Amistad case is held up as an example of early black rights in the Americas. The ship in the picture is a replica of that infamous Spanish schooner. When it is not in its home port of New London, it sails along the coast carrying its lessons about black history and freedom.