Friday, September 27, 2019

In the News

Ticket to Andrew Johnson Impeachment hearingRecent happenings in the news made us remember an odd little relic in the collections: a ticket to Andrew Johnson's impeachment hearing in the U.S. Senate on April 29th, 1868. The blue printed ticket seems like it may not have been used; the stub is detached, but still present. We are not sure if the owner of ticket 729 bothered to show up or if the bearer managed to keep both portions of the ticket.

Letter from Harvey to Churchill, June 29, 1912
It is accompanied by a letter from James G. Harvey, an attorney in White River Junction, to Colonel F. C. Churchill of Lebanon dated June 29, 1912. The letter starts out simply enough with Harvey telling the Colonel that he is happy to give him the ticket for his collection--he says he has been carrying it around in his pocket but keeps forgetting about it when he sees him. Then, after some niceties, Harvey exclaims: "What a mix up in politics. What is the country coming to I wonder."

Close up "What a mix up in politics"
Well, that sent us back into the news from that era to see how politics could ever be mixed up and just what was imperiling the country. The front page of the seemingly flourishing New York Times for June 29, 1912, tells the story. The Democratic convention was in its 10th ballot and still no nominee had been chosen. The convention was in Baltimore in the summer and it was blisteringly hot. Eventually Woodrow Wilson won the nomination on, get this, the 46th ballot! Wilson went on to win the Presidency later that year.

If you are interested in seeing the Johnson impeachment ticket and accompanying letter, ask for MS868279

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

The Wine Hills of New Hampshire

Title page of Hubbard's "Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians"
This week, Rauner Special Collections Library's reading room is abuzz with independent student explorations of numerous and various maps of the American continent from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Tasked by Professor Paul Musselwhite to identify a location of interest and then track how its representation changes over time, the Dartmouth students have been poring over musty old tomes in the hopes of finding a small portion of the world that captures their interest enough to write a paper about it. Some of these students have even ventured beyond the cart of curated materials and have requested books that extend their knowledge of the Americas beyond what was shown to them in an earlier class session here in Special Collections.

One such book is William Hubbard's Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians. Printed in 1677, this handsome little volume is the locus for a puzzling map mystery that has
confounded scholars for centuries. Little did the student know when she requested it that she would open a can of cartographic worms. Hubbard's book was printed in New England and in London, and each edition contains a map of New England. Here is where the trouble begins, for the American map is the first known to have been published of the English colonies of North America, and lists the "White Hills" of New Hampshire, now known to us as the White Mountains. However, the English map, while very similar, refers instead to the "Wine Hills." While perhaps a supernatural premonition of the sorts of activities that have happened far too often on campus, this designation is an obvious factual error. The enigma for map scholars, however, is whether or not these two maps were made by the same engraver and which of them was made first.

To see one of the earliest perspectives of New England, come to Special Collections and ask to peruse McGregor 79.