Hist298

Heathcott “Reading the Accidental Archive”

Heathcott begins by discussing the artifacts found within the Aufderheide collection (239).  He notes how “researchers in material culture typically triangulate sources in order to develop robust interpretive frameworks and strategies” (240).  Heathcott then states how the artifacts left by the Aufderheide family does not represent a higher-class home, but rather a middle-class identity (241).  Then, Heathcott discusses embedded artifacts by discussing how the Aufderheide property “becomes place through the accumulation of ‘improvements’ over time, such as sewers, grading, house, garage, utilities, retaining walls, fences . . .” which traces lives, various fashions and customs used (241).  Next, Heathcott discusses the “Urban, Civic, and Neighborhood Landscapes of St. Louis” (243).  He notes the division of the German Immigrants prior, during, and post the Civil War (243).  Even thought the city became industrialized fast and became wealthy, their was uneven distribution among the people – tenements, middle class, high class housing (243).  Heathcott then notes the “social frameworks of an urban public culture” by noting how “the dwellings around Tower Grove Park contained small, ethnically diverse families, with the exception that no African Americans resided in the neighborhood” (247).  Furthermore, he notes the most important character of the community – “the occupations of the heads of the household and their working dependents” (248).  He describes that surrounding Tower Grove Park, most individuals were self-employed, “middle managers and supervisors in business concerns, and educated professionals” (248).  Some earned income by “offering services from their home,” but mostly, individuals “were white-collar professionals, managers, and staff employed by larger business operations” (248).  Next, Heathcott discusses “architecture and the petite Bourgeoisie” by describing how the house and its surrounding neighbors are in a “clearly demarcated status in the urban hierarchic” (249).  A very important note that Heathcott mentions is that the “democratic character of the middling housing stock around Tower Grove Park unfolded in tension with nearby elite neighborhoods” and notes how “the building and the paper fragments form a mutually constitutive archive, one that revels the elated yet anxious world that the petite bourgeoisie carved out for itself in the early twentieth-century city” (251).  Next, Heathcott discusses the “forging identity and connectivity in daily urban life” by discussing how the urban experience of these middle-class families was their effort to “pursue their cherished individualism through connection to broader civic and commercial networks” (257).  Heathcott then discusses the social effect of clothing on the society at this time and how “clothes constituted a system of meaning for middle-class men and women” (258).  Also, Heathcott notes the impact of advertisements on class and gender (258).  In his conclusion, Heathcott notes how the architecture and material artifacts discovered “suggest profound inner conflicts and contradictory impulses” by lead to a “thick network of civil, religious, and commercial institutions” (267).

Matthew Liebmann, “Rebuilding the Pueblo World”

Liebmann begins Chapter 5 discussing “Conflagration and Migration” (83).  A Pueblo messenger come to Jemez and announced that the Revolt began two days earlier than planned and stated to “take up arms and kill these Spaniards and friars who are here” (83-84).  The Jemez, according to a 1689 account, humiliated and killed priest Fray Juan (84).  Po’pay began to encourage the Jemez to destroy Christianity which happened to also be destroying their own land (84-85).  Liebmann then discusses “Patokwa: Village of the Turquoise Moiety” by starting with describing that the Jemez went north to “start their lives over again” and built a new pueblo known as Patokwa (85).  Liebmann then discusses the look of the Patokwa by describing it as having “two large rectangular plazas, surrounded by mounded roomblocks in all four of the cardinal directions” (87).  Next, Liebmann notes the mapping of Patokwa and discussed how they used a primary tool in mapping the Patokwa called “total station” which is “an electronic surveying instrument that records the precise location of points across the landscape (88).  After, Liebmann discusses the process of the construction by noting the “ladder-type” construction of the building of Patokwa.  Because of this, Liebmann notes that the “ladder construction requires coordination and control of labor above the household level because it is typically undertaken by cooperative communal work groups rather than individual family unites” (90).  Liebmann then discusses how to estimate the people at Patokwa by considering “the estimated number of occupied rooms at a site” to determine the past Pueblo population (93).  After that, Liebmann discusses “raids and factionalism” in 1681 through 1683 and notes that “defensibility was probably a major factor in the architectural planning of the village” (95).  Continuing with factionalism in the early 1680s, Liebmann note show factionalism was quite common and frequent within the Pueblo societies.    Next, Liebmann discusses “Boletsakwa: Pueblo of the Abalone Shell” (100).  Boletsakwa is a mesa that it higher in elevation and has much more vegetation compared to Patokwa (101).  Liebmann then discusses the mapping of Boletsakwa by using similar techniques used when mapping Patokwa such as tge total station technique (103).  Liebmann notes that the “major difference between the two sites is the significantly higher visibility of many of the rooms and walls at Boletsakwa (103).  Liebmann then discusses the rooms at Boletsakwa and noted that their “investigations documented 168 ground-floor rooms at the Revolt-era component of Boletsakwa” (105).  Lastly discussed by Liebmann was the population at Boletsakwa in which he mentions that “there are no known historical records regarding the population of Boletsakwa,” but they calculated that their “is an estimated population of 451 inhabitants” gathered by their research (108).

Stephen P. Hanna, “Cartographic Memories of Slavery and Freedom”

This article describes a slave from Fredericksburg, VA named John Washington.  John Washington was taught how to read and write, and was given experiences that was not typical for a slave such as working around Fredericksburg and gaining the experience of the world around him (50).  Then, Hanna explains how John left his ‘home’ and went over to a Union army camp to finally gain his freedom (51).  In 1873, Washington because a house and sign painter in Washington, D.C. and decided to write a memoir about his time in Fredericksburg, which included maps (51).  Washington’s map was not a normal map, but instead was a map that represented his personal experiences while in Fredericksburg (51).  Hanna notes that historians would interpret the meaning behind Washington’s memoir, but would disregard the map (51).  Hanna notes that because Washington drew this map without accuracy or the technology, it is often disregarded even though it still contains important information (52).  Hanna notes that indeed, this map was not created to help someone navigate around Fredericksburg, but it is important because it helps historians understand Washington’s perspectives and experiences as a slave.  Hanna further notes that historians need to see maps as both textual representations and material practices (53).  Hanna then discusses how maps (planter landscapes) were made in order to show poor whites and slaves what the elite white individuals did not know (54).  Slaves were controlled by whites throughout their whole life.  As Hanna states, “In contrast to the anger and sadness expressed in his description of these systems of control, Washington takes great delight in detailing the moments and spaces he took to escape this control (55).  Washington created this map to illustrate his happiness, his freedom, his enjoyment.  Hanna then discusses how Washington gained access as a slave to the insight of being a cartographer.  Hanna notes, “While Reconstruction did not lead to the full citizenship that the newly emancipated sought, educational and economic opportunities for men like Washington expanded greatly” (56).  Even though he gained access and experience, his memory was still a very important aspect to his map making (58).  For 134 years, this map was never publicly displayed due to the passing down of the map through generations, but as Hanna notes, “Since its publication in 2007, however, Washington’s map and the experiences of slavery, resistance, and emancipation it represents are open to new subjects performing the map within new contexts” (60).

Alejandro “The Port: Shipping and Trade” and “Notes”

The author discusses the movements of ships and how even though it may have seemed chaotic and unorganized, it was a rather “complex system” (11).  The integrated system consisted of commercial circuits, specifically mentioning the transoceanic circuit (11).  The author then goes into detail discussing how importance Havana is as a shipping port because it “was one of the few places in the Americas where these circuits converged and the only port where all the returning vessels came together before sailing back to Europe” (12).  Next, the author discusses how the sources available helped reshape the shipping movement in Havana (12).  as noted, in the mid 1580s, the Havana shipping movement grew and continued for the next ten years (13).  Due to all of this, Havana served the role “as a regional trading center” specializing “in the reexportation of colonial commodities” (14).  Soon after, the author notes how these colonial commodities reflect colonial territories (17).

Various colonial commodities were then mentioned such as silver, indigo, dye, and logwood (17-19).  Furthermore, the author discusses how the largest transatlantic import to Havana is wine (22).  Competition arose from Havana because Mexico came into the industry with silk fabrics that were being produced in New Spain or were made out of Chinese silks (28).  Other than fabrics, the textiles being produced in Havana at this time were “ribbons, galloons, trimmings, laces, and decorative accessories” (31).

The Atlantic Slave Trade is then discussed how the “system of asientos was beneficial to Havana’s economy” because “slave imports in the city grew significantly in the late sixteenth century” (37).  Then, difficulties with the slabe trade were discussed such as trying to trace slaves through the inter-colonial slave trade, illegal transactions, etc. (39-40).  Intercolonial trade was then discussed and how the intercolonial exchanges benefited and boosted trade in Havana, both locally and nationally (44).  Next, the author talked about insular trade and how food was the priority in the interior of Havana (47).

Extra Credit – Oral History

Today, I went to the Talking History discussion of “Oral History on the Rappahannock, from the Mountains to the Bay,” by Dr. Sellers and Mr. Walker.  The discussed how the Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR) use history to connect the community and history to the Rappahannock River.  The goal is to help people gain a better understanding of the river and to hopefully open the eyes of our locals about the importance.

Both Sellers and Walker described that they started their independent with the focus of the Embrey Dam Removal, which was built in 1910 and taken down in 2004.  They discussed the benefits of taking this dam down since it allowed migratory fish to move into their traditional spawning areas for the first time since 1910.  They also noted the increase in environmental activism and eco-tourism (people are now coming here to paddle).  Sellers and Walker also said that the Rappahannock is now the longest free-flowing river on the east coast.

Next, Sellers and Walker discussed the interviewing process that they went to in order to get research for this independent study.  For instance, Walker noted that interviewing has a lot of issues such as: interviewee’s age, health, and availability, their comfort and willingness.  Also, they had an issue with gatekeepers – having to go through one person to get information from another.  On the positive note, Sellers noted how this is new historical knowledge – new primary information.

Furthermore, Walker discussed other challenges they faced when retrieving their information.  Walker noted how transcripts was an issue because the transcriber did not know how to transcribe the language from the Chief of the Rappahannock River because she used Indian names for locations.  Also, linguistics is an issue because Walker wanted the removal or “um” and “you know” from the transcript, but he noted that it could be an issue because it could take away from the linguistics at this time.  Walker did further note that he does want to try to save vernacular of the individuals he interviewed.

Overall, this talk was very interesting and really opened my eyes to how little I know about the Rappahannock River, and I have lived around here since 2001.  The Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR) should be discussed more often so that the community knows that individuals can make a difference.

Pilcher, “Food History”

The “The Embodied Imagination in Recent Writings on Food History”, written by Jeffrey Pilcher, discusses the increase of the historical research of food and the cultural history that has risen from this.  Pilcher discusses the term “embodied imagination” which “offers a useful means for conceptualizing the connections between sensory perceptions of food such as flavor, warmth, and satiety; the material work of preparing and consuming food; and cultural and social abstractions” (862).  This term is very important because now historians can use food as a social and cultural means in order to gain a completely different perspective on history.  Next, Pilcher discusses three recurring themes which are “social distinction, industrial transformation, and food politics” which “are often expressed through the embodied imagination of taste, purity, and hunger” (863).  Once again, by using food as another outlet for history, historians can dive into these three distinct themes.  Next, Pilcher discusses the where the study of changing tastes started, which was in Europe, within the elite class because of their wide array of opportunities and options provided (865).  Within Europe, the French Culinary Revolution has been the most studied (865).  Furthermore, Pilcher discusses how historians are going beyond the pure taste sensations of individuals, but they are now looking at the linguistic vocabulary used to describe food (868).  Also, sensory experiences around food can also be documented for research (869).  And through the sensory tastes of an individual, apparently race also plays a factor (871).  Pilcher notes how “Periodization has become an important question in the historiography on the food industry, as scholars debate exactly when and how an industrial diet of sugars and fats came to replace the carbohydrate-centered peasant diets of the premodern world” (878).  First of all, this is so cool!  I would have never thought about this, but I can completely see how by looking at this through a historical lens, the findings a historian could find!  The physical experience of hunger as a study for research is noted in this article because of the manipulation of food on people’s body, social standing, culture, etc. (882).  Overall, this article covered main focuses of food history and how it can help historians see different perspectives of the past.  I absolutely loved this read and as a historian, find this very necessary to focus on while studying the past.

Howell and Prevenier “Source Criticism” and “Historical Interpretation”

To start off with the excerpt, Howell and Prevenier discuss the genealogy of a document.  They get into detail about documents being copied and not being the original.  They state that copies often have faults in them and how historians can trace these copies back to the original (61).  Next, they discuss the genesis of a document by looking at when the document was created and by who (62).  They state that historians have to look at the reason behind the document which can help them analyze the time period (diaries, legal documents, etc.) (63).  Then, Howell and Prevenier discuss the originality of the document.  They state that when historians look at the document, they note that “most of the documents that come from the past . . . are products of an intellectual tradition” (63).  Historians have to break codes, read other documents from that time period, or just have to analyze the document in order to understand why it was written (64).  Next, they discuss the interpretation of a document by stating that trying to find the meaning of a document can be very tricky for historians.  Authorial authority is discussed next in which the authors note that historians must figure out who wrote the document; was it someone from that time period or was it passed down to them? (65).  Which relates directly with the competence of the observer – how were they mentally or physically when the document was written? (66).  Lastly, that leads historians to the trustworthiness of the observer – if they are not trustworthy, historians must analyze the documents very carefully (68).

The next reading, the Historical Interpretation, Howell and Prevenier discuss three ways in which to interpret historical documents.  The first way they note is that historians must compare sources in order to confirm their sources, or even contradict their findings (which is also very beneficial) (69).  Next, Howell and Prevenier note that historians must have enough information on their study in order to correctly understand their findings (79).  For some instances, more information is needed then others, and also sometimes not many documents are produced in a specific time period, so less information is okay.  Lastly, they discuss that not all facts matter to the historian.  Yes, they can be taken into consideration, but historians do not need to use them all, only the important ones that relate to their research (84-85).

The Source – the Basis of Our Knowledge

First off, the authors begin discussing what exactly a source is and discusses the various kinds.  First, they note “relics or remains” that “offer the researcher a clue about the past simply by virtue of their existence” (17).  The second source they note are testimonies which are oral and/or written accounts of an event that occurred in the past (17).   Both are noted that they were created at that time for an important meaning or a specific purpose (18).  Later, the authors note how historians use these sources/artifacts in order to gain an understanding of what happened/occurred during the time period (19).  In part B of the article, the authors discuss the source typologies such as narratives, memoirs, social documents, and diplomatic sources and get into detail regarding the individual importance of having these documents from a certain time period.  For example, they noted that having a memoir explains “the outcome of a life” and does not “record its process” (21).  Next, the authors discuss how historians do not solely rely on written evidence, but can look at oral such as stories, sound recordings, radio talks, computer files, etc. (24-25).  Also, it is important to understand that oral records “can complement the written” (26).  Lastly, the authors discuss how historians store their information in archives.  They discuss the issues with archives being destroyed in the past, but also note how beneficial archives are; they store important documents that historians have access too for research.