Author Archives: Michael Weisenburg

The Last Carolina Parakeet

Incas, the last captive Carolina Parakeet, died at the Cincinnati Zoo 100 years ago today.  Only a few decades prior, the Carolina Parakeet had numbered in the millions, with a range from Florida to New England.  The parakeet was especially … Continue reading

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Frederick Douglass & American Autobiography

Born into slavery in Talbot County, Maryland, probably some time in February of 1818, Frederick Douglass (c. 1818–1895) escaped to freedom on 3 September 1838. After his escape, Douglass became involved in the abolitionist movement, began giving public recounts of … Continue reading

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Phillis Wheatley & Early African-American Literature

Phillis Wheatley’s (1753-1784) Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (London, 1773) is the first book published by an African-American author, and the frontispiece portrait of Wheatley is the only surviving work by the African-American slave artist Scipio Moorhead (born … Continue reading

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Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Corrected Proofs for “The American Scholar”

On 26 January 1838, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his journal: “Today I send the Oration to press again.” The oration that Emerson refers to was the published text of a speech that he had given at Harvard. On 31 … Continue reading

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