Archives and History

From the Archives: African American History in our Archives

Since delegates at our Diocesan Convention passed Resolution 2019-06 regarding racial reconciliation and reparations, there has been renewed interest in finding records of enslaved persons and other African Americans with ties to the Diocese of Maryland. As noted in a recent issue of Smithsonian Magazine, several new data bases are being launched to add to our knowledge of the lives of enslaved people in North America, including Enslaved: Peoples of the Historic Slave Trade and Freedom Narratives. Investigations are also ongoing concerning post-Civil War narratives, including segregation, Jim Crow laws and unfair practices in housing, education and hiring. Although our archives is small, we possess many documents which can enhance our knowledge of African American life in Maryland over the past 400 years.

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From the Archives: Thanksgiving

But the person who pushed hardest and longest for Thanksgiving to become a national holiday is unknown to most Americans. Sarah Josepha Hale, the editor of Godey’s Ladies’ Book, and author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, began her one-woman crusade in 1827, saying, “We have too few holidays. Thanksgiving, like the Fourth of July, should be considered a national festival and observed by all our people.”

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