The American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers. — James Monroe in his annual message to Congress on December 2, 1823. This would later become known as the Monroe Doctrine, an landmark moment in US foreign policy.
Just because No-Shave November ended doesn’t mean that this Civil War officer’s chops and stache are any less impressive!
This 1863 portrait of Christopher C. Augur is from the publication, The Portrait Monthly, “containing sketches of departed heroes, and prominent personages of the present time, interesting stories, etc.”
Newberry Library, folio E 4834 .7 vol. 1 no. 2, p. 23
Looks like the tradition of the loosening your belt after Thanksgiving Dinner goes all the way back to the Civil War! This comic sketch is from an issue of Harper’s Weekly, published on December 3, 1864 issue.
Newberry Library, folio A 5 .392 (1864), p. 784
The problem lay buried, unspoken, for many years in the midst of American women. It was stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning that woman suffered in the middle of the twentieth century in the United States. Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover materical, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffered Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night—she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question—‘Is this all?’ — Opening paragraph of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, published 50 years ago.
What do a group of academics, anarchists, writers, socialists, panhandlers, prostitutes, and religious zealots have in common?
In the early days of the twentieth century you could find them all gathered at the Dill Pickle Club, a bohemian hub for free expression founded in 1915 by a small group of Industrial Workers of the World members, including club manager Jack Johnson. The Dill Pickle opened in a dilapidated barn on Tooker Alley, just southeast of Washington Square Park and the Newberry. The commandment on the door to “step high stoop low and leave your dignity outside” conveyed to visitors what awaited them inside the club.
The club evolved from a venue for weekly forums on social concerns to a stage for mock debates, lectures, theatrical performances, and jazz dances. Visitors might have rubbed elbows or shared a coffee with Clarence Darrow, Carl Sandburg, Ben Hecht, Lucy Parsons, William Carlos Williams, Sherwood Anderson, Ben Reitman, Emma Goldman, and Upton Sinclair.
Many Dill Pickle regulars also spoke at Washington Square Park, which had achieved status in the early twentieth century as Chicago’s hotbed of free speech. Speakers mounted soapboxes to air political opinions, discuss social grievances, and share art, eliciting responses from the rambunctious audiences. The park became popularly known as “Bughouse Square” because of its reputation for attracting oddballs, radicals, and bohemians, whom more conventional Chicagoans considered slightly crazy. Although the club permanently closed its doors during the Great Depression and soapbox activity in Washington Square Park dwindled during the 1960s, the Newberry created the Bughouse Square Debates in 1986 as an annual event in the park. The contemporary program commemorates the Dill Pickle Club’s open forum by honoring the best soapbox speaker with the Dill Pickle Award. Join us Saturday, July 27 for an afternoon of rollicking free speech and this year’s Main Debate: “How much is it worth to the city to keep the Chicago Cubs?”
Book Fair opens tomorrow, stocked with more than 120,000 incredible items like “The Book of Cats,” a volume published by Andy Warhol that features drawings and lettering by his mother. Book Fair is open from Noon to 8 pm Thursday and Friday, July 25 and 26, and from 10 am to 6 pm Saturday and Sunday, July 27 and 28.
This year commemorates the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s beloved novel, Pride and Prejudice. Fifteen years after its initial rejection, publisher Thomas Egerton printed Pride and Prejudice on January 18, 1813. Austen eventually created six novels, and was writing a seventh when she died on July 18, 1817.
Of the 1,500 first-edition volumes Egerton printed, only a few complete versions are known to exist, including this copy from the Newberry’s collection. The first-edition Pride and Prejudice, pictured above, was printed in 1813 in London as a set of three volumes. Austen is identified on the title page only as “the author of Sense and Sensibility.” The name “Abby Tallmadge” is inscribed inside the front cover, indicating the book was likely donated to the Newberry in 1957 by Abby Louise Tallmadge, who wrote her dissertation on Austen.
The story of the Bennet family’s romantic mishaps continues to engage modern readers, but it is Austen’s depictions of human nature, generous doses of humor, and exploration of moral and social themes that have earned this classic “marriage plot” its distinguished position in the Western literary canon.
Celebrate Austen’s most popular novel by signing up for the Newberry’s upcoming fall seminar, “200 Years of Pride and Prejudice: An Exploration of Jane Austen’s Novel,” or join us for this year’s Book Fair, July 25 – 28, and pick up your own set of Austen’s works.