Monday, April 11, 2011

Treasures of the Hanson Collection

More work has been done with the Hanson collection and it is time for an update. The collection seems to include many documents from the late 18th and early 19th century and some interesting documents have surfaced. I have selected a few that I found particularly interesting or unique within the collection to highlight now.
The first interesting document was Samuel Jackson’s application to be a citizen of the US “that the said Samuel Jackson is as this deponent verily believes attached to the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the same; and that he has ever since he has known him behaved as a man of good moral character.” I thought this document was particularly interesting because of the way it is worded. I cannot image anyone today considering themselves “attached to the Constitution.”
The second document that I want to mention made me laugh a bit. It was a letter to Brigadier general Henry Fonda from a court-martialed soldier. This soldier is writing to convince Fonda that he was unjustly charged because the order that he ignored was given to him on the Sabbath, the day of rest for all Christians. He even goes so far as to quote a specific law to the general. Someday I would like to see if I could find out more about this particular soldier and what became of his case.
The  last interesting document from the collection is a letter written in 1812 by a federalist. He spends the whole three pages of his letter writing philosophically about American politics, about the two different parties and about the future of politics in the State of New York. I think this letter would prove an amazing source for historians interested in early American politics.
I am sure to come across more interesting pieces to his immense collection, so I will provide you with another update soon!
Library Assistant Heather Cunningham, reading through the Hanson Collection to create a detailed listing of the materials

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