Browse Exhibits (9 total)

Murders in Mississippi

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Examining cases of murder that occured in mid-19th Century Mississippi. 

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The Boston Draft Riot

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The Boston Draft Riot occured over about a 24 hour period on July 14th of 1863.  It began during the second day of the New York City draft riot.  It started when a draft officer was assaulted by a crowd.  A crowd demonstrated for several hours in front of the District Two police station.  It was concentrated mostly in the North End and Downtown neighborhoods.  About eight people were killed and several were wounded when rioters attempted to break into the Cooper Street Armory that was being guarded by the military.  In the evening, several attempts were made by various groups of rioters to break into downtown stores and steal firearms.  The military and police stopped most of these attempts.   Overnight, there were attempts at arson, looting and clashes between rioters and authorities.  By the morning of July 14th, the riot became subdued and the city returned to normal.

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The Troy Draft Riot

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The draft riot in Troy, New York erupted on the second day of the New York City draft riot, on Tuesday, July 14th of 1863.  Workers from iron and nail factories went on strike and marched across town in a workers protest.  The offices of the Republican Troy Daily Times newspaper were demolished.  Eighty-eight white prisoners were released from jail when rioters staged a jailbreak.  Three black prisoners were not released by the rioters.  Over the course of the evening and overnight, various groups of rioters vandalized the homes of prominent Republicans.  They also vandalized the homes of and assaulted & terrorized blacks and German immigrants.  Police and the military restored order in Troy by 5 AM that morning.  Fortunately, no one was killed duirng the Troy draft riot.  

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Civil War Draft Riots

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The massive draft riot in New York City "rippled out and spread" to other cities.  Some of the riots were in neighboring cities, such as numerous towns on Staten Island, as well as Jersey City and Newark, New Jersey.  Some erupted in cities some distance away from New York City.  Drafts riots erupted 160 miles to the north in Troy, New York, 220 miles to the east in Boston, Massachusetts, and 270 miles to the northeast in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  It is interesting to observe that some cities, like Philadelphia, with a history of rioting and where you might expect a draft riot to occur, no riots occured over the four years of the Civil War.  There was even "fake news" about riots that never happened, such as what was reported about Hartford, Connecticut.  There were draft riots in the midwestern states, including Illinois, Wisconsin and in Holmes County, Ohio.  

Race, class, political and religious affiliations were underlying causative issues in these riots triggered by the draft. 

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19th Century workers in Salem, Massachusetts

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One way to develop a picture of what historic Salem, Massachusetts was like is to examine the workers and the kinds of work that they did.  In this exhibit, I examine in detail the 1837 City Directory of Salem.  This gives us a glimpse into the everyday lives of Salem's 19th Century residents.  It also gives us a pulse on the economy of historic Salem.  

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Historic Ropemaking in Salem, Massachusetts

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Ropemaking has a long and integral history in the small northeastern port city of Salem, Massachusetts.  Ropes were a necessary commodity for the construction, functioning and upkeep of the fleets of hundreds of cargo vessels.  Ropes, and similar products such as jute bags for holding cotton bales, were commodities manufactured and exported abroad from Salem.  This exhibit provides a glimpse into the people, places and economy of historic ropemaking in Salem, Massachusetts.  

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Unionism in the Confederacy and Vicksburg’s Shirley Family during the American Civil War


This brief exhibit discusses the nature of Unionism that was present in the Confederacy during the Civil War. Southern Unionists often maintained their loyalty to the Union despite the risk of potential trouble with the Confederate-allied majority. Many Unionists were not opposed to owning enslaved persons. This exhibit focuses on an excellent case study of Southern Unionism - the Shirley family of Vicksburg, Mississippi.  

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The Port Washington Draft Riot, November 10th, 1862

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This is an early draft version of a dissertation chapter, part of a research project that explores multiple riots triggered by the military draft across the Union during the American Civil War. The dissertation seeks to understand the multiple pressures behind violent dissent that is all too often assumed to be isolated to New York City in the summer of 1863. This exhibit focuses on one of those riots that took place in Port Washington, Wisconsin in the fall of 1862.

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A Civil War Time Capsule - The U.S.S. Cairo

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This is a digital exhibit that encompasses two projects I worked on during the spring of 2022. The first project is a case exhibit I prepared for the McCain Special Collections and Archives, University of Southern Mississippi. The second project I undertook is the inventory of artifact collections in the U.S.S. Cairo Museum collection at Vicksburg National Military Park. 

Catastrophically sunk in 1862, the U.S.S. Cairo was rediscovered and salvaged one hundred years later. This digital exhibit contains a series of black-and-white photographs which document the history, rediscovery, raising and preservation of the only surviving Civil War era gunboat. This exhibit also contains images of the materials that were preserved and recovered from the sunken U.S.S. Cairo. These objects are on display at the Cairo Museum at the Vicksburg NMP.

The U.S.S. Cairo and its contents represent a significant historical resource encapsulating the heritage of both Mississippi and the United States.