This month is the 150th anniversary of the issuing of this proclamation, which marked a significant turning point in American history. It was issued during the American Civil War
by the President of the United States of America, rendering every slave in the opposing Confederate States of America permanently free, to be enforced by Union armed forces as territory was taken. It followed the earlier Proclamation 93
, or Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation
, and together they are known as the Emancipation Proclamation
. It did not apply to the United States, in which slaves were not freed until the Thirteenth Amendment
to the Constitution of the United States.
Now, Therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:
Featured January 2013
Bidwill was one of the first Europeans to travel into the centre of the North Island of New Zealand. As a part of his travels he climbed Mount Ngauruhoe
. As the Māori regarded the mountain as tapu
he was quite possibly the first person ever to do so. Although primarily a botanist (he later became the first director of Sydney's botanic gardens), in this book he discusses philology, geology and anthropology of the pre-colonisation Māori.
February 6, 2013 is the 173rd anniversary of the foundation of the nation of New Zealand.
I arrived at Sydney in September 1838, and soon received the first of those useful lessons which disappointment teaches. I allude to the system observed in the sale of crown lands, which, instead of being surveyed and ready for auction, so that the emigrant may commence operations with undiminished capital, compels him to waste months in idleness and expense ill adapted to the cultivation and advancement of a new colony. As the spot I had selected was at a considerable distance from Sydney, and the time to be wasted between the application and sale proportionately long, I determined to render it as little irksome and unprofitable as possible by rambling in search of information.
Featured February 2013
Whitworth examines the art and career of the Russian ballet dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky, who has been described as the greatest male dancer of the early twentieth century. As part of its coverage of Nijinsky, the book also touches on Russian ballet in general. Whitworth himself was the founder of the British Drama League, a campaigner for a National Theatre in the UK and an important figure in his own right in the history of British theatre. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of this book.
The last edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, published in 1910, contains an excellent little essay on the Ballet, which ends, after bewailing the modern degeneracy of the art, with these ill-omened words:
"It seems unlikely that we shall see any revival of the best period and style of dancing until a higher standard of grace and manners becomes fashionable in society. Only in an atmosphere of ceremony, courtesy, and chivalry can the dance maintain itself in perfection."
Well, it is a dangerous thing to be a prophet; and that this particular prophet has proved most happily at fault will be plain to everyone. The passage is quoted here, however, not at all for the simple pleasure of refuting it, but rather because it aptly indicates some of those more than ordinary difficulties which lie in wait for any English critic of the Russian Ballet. For it must be remembered that our author of the Encyclopædia was hardly, if at all, behind the times in which he wrote. M. Diaghilew's company did not make its first appearance in London till the summer of 1911, and though before then there had been considerable evidence of a revival in individual dancing, concerted dancing on a definite theme (which we may take as a practical definition of the ballet) had seldom reached a lower stage of insignificance. In those days, few even of the best informed among the critics were aware of what was going on in Russia, and it is scarcely strange that London's first experience of the Russian Ballet took the majority of us utterly by surprise.
Featured March 2013
This book, subtitled "An attempt at a modern solution of the Jewish Question", is one of the most important texts of early Zionism; and popularised the term itself. Herzl proposed the creation of a Jewish State as a way to solve the widespread anti-Semitism encountered in Europe. He opposed the "gradual infiltration of Jews" into Palestine by immigration, which he felt would be resisted by the native population. Instead, he advocated a diplomatic agreement with either the Ottoman Empire, the colonial rulers of Palestine at that time, or the sparsely-populated republic of Argentina. Herzl's book does more than present the idea; it also sets out a practical method of accomplishing his goal, through the creation of a Society of Jews and a Jewish Company.
16th April 2013 marks the 65th Israeli Independence Day. This work demonstrates Wikisource's dynamic layout function.
It is astonishing how little insight many of the men who move in the midst of active life possess of the science of economics. Hence it is that even Jews faithfully repeat the cry of the Anti-Semites: "We depend for sustenance on the nations whose guests we are, and if we had not hosts to support us we should die of starvation." This is a point that shows how greatly unjust accusations may weaken our self-knowledge. But what are the true grounds for this statement concerning the nations which take us in? Where it is not based on limited physiocratic views it is founded on the childish error that commodities pass from hand to hand in continuous rotation. We need not wake from long slumber, like Rip van Winkle, to realize that the world is considerably altered by the production of new commodities. The technical progress made during this wonderful era enables even a man of most limited intelligence to note with his short-sighted eyes the appearance of innumerable new commodities. The spirit of enterprise has created them.
Featured April 2013
was the first magazine devoted solely to science fiction, or "scientifiction" as Gernsback called the genre. It helped define the field, launched an entirely new brand of pulp fiction, and led to the formation of science fiction fandom as a semi-formal association of people. This, the first issue of the magazine (published April 1926), collected reprints of fiction Gernsback deemed fit into his new category of fiction. This includes three reprints of ninteenth century scientific romances: Jules Verne
's "Off on a Comet" (the first part of a serialisation), H. G. Wells
' "The New Accelerator" and Edgar Allan Poe
's "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar" (both complete). Newer material was reprinted from other magazines. Austin Hall
's "The Man Who Saved the Earth" had been published in All-Story Weekly
, while G. Peyton Wertenbaker
's "The Man from the Atom" and George Allan England
's "The Thing from—'Outside'" had both previously appeared in Science and Invention
, one of Gernsback's existing magazines.
Another fiction magazine!
At first thought it does seem impossible that there could be room for another fiction magazine in this country. The reader may well wonder, "Aren't there enough already, with the several hundreds now being published?" True. But this is not "another fiction magazine," Amazing Stories is a new kind of fiction magazine! It is entirely new—entirely different—something that has never been done before in this country. Therefore, Amazing Stories deserves your attention and interest.
There is the usual fiction magazine, the love story and the sex-appeal type of magazine, the adventure type, and so on, but a magazine of "Scientifiction" is a pioneer in its field in America.
Featured May 2013
A short, early text on Laura Secord, heroine to Canadians of the War of 1812. After the Americans invaded the Niagara Peninsula in 1813, they planned further invasions into Upper Canada; Secord overheard their plans, and stole away on 23 June to British-controlled territories to warn them. The British won against the invading Americans at the Battle of Beaver Dams the next day. This month includes the 200th anniversary of Secord's historic walk.
Rev. Dr. Bryce was the guest of the Canadian Club at their luncheon yesterday afternoon, and delivered an address on the gallant deed of Laura Secord, the heroine of 1812. A personal touch, as Professor Osborne, the chairman, remarked, was lent to the occasion by the presence at the luncheon of Mrs. Cockburn, a grand-daughter of Laura Secord.
Like the Rhenish frontier of Alsace and Lorraine, the banks of the Niagara river have for several centuries been the debatable land—the scene of conflict in North America. Long before the coming of the White man, Iroquois and Hurons; Sioux and Ojibways; Eries and Caughnawagas regarded the Niagara peninsula as the march-land between east and west. Its backbone of Burlington heights, the great gorge of Niagara, and its contiguous lakes Erie and Ontario gave scope for strategic movements in war far exceeding the plains of Flanders.
Featured June 2013
Stanyon was one of Britain's finest sleight-of-hand exponents in the twentieth century. In this book he gives detailed instructions on how to perform well-known illusions, as well as many new ones of his own invention. There is also a chapter on Shadowgraphy.
There are one or two leading principles to be borne in mind by any one taking up the study of magic. The first and foremost is, Never tell the audience what you are going to do before you do it. If you do, the chances of detection are increased tenfold, as the spectators, knowing what to expect, will the more readily arrive at the true method of bringing about the result.
It follows as a natural consequence that you must never perform the same trick twice in the same evening. It is very unpleasant to have to refuse an encore; and should you be called upon to repeat a trick study to vary it as much as possible, and to bring it to a different conclusion. There will generally be found more ways than one of working a particular trick. It is an axiom in conjuring that the best trick loses half its effect on repetition.
Featured July 2013
Davis was part of the South Australian Burke Relief Expedition of 1861, led by John McKinlay, a search party sent by the government to find the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition. Davis was in charge of the four camels taken along with the party due to his experience in India. After discovering the fate of the prior expedition, McKinlay's party continued to explore. Meeting difficult terrain while attempting to transnavigate the continent, they diverted from the Northern Territory into Queensland and reached Port Denison (modern Bowen) almost exactly one year later. This book tells the story of the expedition based on Davis' journal of the events.
McKinlay's expedition set out from Adelaide on 16 August 1861—152 years ago this month—and left Port Denison by boat, to return to Adelaide, on 17 August 1862.
The present work records one of several successful expeditions that have lately resolved for us the long standing problem of Central Australia. "Who shall cross this great 'Terra Australis' from sea to sea?" was a question so long before our eyes, and so long unanswered, that we did not expect so overwhelming a response as the last three years have given. And yet, within that brief interval, this previously unattainable result has been accomplished no less than six times over, if we regard Stuart's first two journeys as a virtual crossing of the country; a distinction we can hardly withhold from them, although neither of them quite crosses Australia, as was the case with the third. So much for a bold pioneering, and the confidence that arises from some little experience of the way. So far these preliminaries may serve to show how imaginary are many difficulties, even those of a long standing, and how often the "will makes the way."
Featured August 2013
The story follows the narrator's descent into madness after her Doctor husband confines her to the upstairs bedroom of a rented house after diagnosing female hysteria. The title refers to her growing obsession with only source of stimulation in the room. This is an early piece of American feminist literature which condemns the treatment of women by the 19th century medical establishment.
This work was transcribed as part of a proofread-a-thon at the GLAM Boot Camp, which was held at the National Archives in Washington D.C. during April 2013. Prior to that it existed as only an unsupported import from Project Gutenberg. During the proofreading process it was discovered that the previous version contained numerous errors, including a missing line of text. The current and featured version is fully supported by page scans and has been validated as matching the text of the 1901 printed edition.
T is very seldom that mere ordinary people like John and myself secure ancestral halls for the summer.
A colonial mansion, a hereditary estate, I would say a haunted house, and reach the height of romantic felicity, — but that would be asking too much of fate!
Still I will proudly declare that there is something queer about it.
Else, why should it be let so cheaply? And why have stood so long untenanted?
John laughs at me, of course, but one expects that in marriage.
Featured September 2013
A humorous ghost story about an American family moving into a haunted British country house. Wilde uses the story to contrast British and American culture. The humour comes from the American family's complete lack of fear in the ghost and its increasing frustration at this. The roles become reversed and the ghost becomes the victim of the family. The story was very popular and has been adapted into plays, operas, television dramas and films.
WHEN Mr. Hiram B. Otis, the American Minister, bought Canterville Chase, every one told him he was doing a very foolish thing, as there was no doubt at all that the place was haunted. Indeed, Lord Canterville himself, who was a man of the most punctilious honour, had felt it his duty to mention the fact to Mr. Otis when they came to discuss terms.
"We have not cared to live in the place ourselves," said Lord Canterville, "since my grandaunt, the Dowager Duchess of Bolton, was frightened into a fit, from which she never really recovered, by two skeleton hands being placed on her shoulders as she was dressing for dinner, and I feel bound to tell you, Mr. Otis, that the ghost has been seen by several living members of my family, as well as by the rector of the parish, the Rev. Augustus Dampier, who is a Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. After the unfortunate accident to the Duchess, none of our younger servants would stay with us, and Lady Canterville often got very little sleep at night, in consequence of the mysterious noises that came from the corridor and the library."
One of two featured texts in October 2013
The story of a headless horseman chasing a schoolmaster is one of the earliest examples of enduringly popular American fiction. The nature of the horseman is left for the reader to decide. The story borrows elements from the folklore of several European countries and transplants them to late 18th century New York state. The story has been widely reprinted and adapted since its publication in 1820 in a collection called The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon
. This is a later, self contained, 1864 edition published by G. P. Putnam with additional illustrations.
ON the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, at that broad expansion of the river denominated by the ancient Dutch navigators the Tappan Zee, and where they always prudently shortened sail, and implored the protection of St. Nicholas when they crossed, there lies a small market-town or rural port, which by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry Town. This name was given, we are told, in former days, by the good housewives of the adjacent country, from the inveterate propensity of their husbands to linger about the village tavern on market-days. Be that as it may, I do not vouch for the fact, but merely advert to it, for the sake of being precise and authentic. Not far from this village, perhaps about two miles, there is a little valley, or rather lap of land, among high hills, which is one of the quietest places in the whole world. A small brook glides through it, with just murmur enough to lull one to repose; and the occasional whistle of a quail, or tapping of a woodpecker, is almost the only sound that ever breaks in upon the uniform tranquillity.
One of two featured texts in October 2013
This is the first translation of the Hammurabi's code made into English, and only the third to be made following the its discovery by modern archaeologists. Prior to Sommer's translation it only existed in French and German among modern languages. The Laws of Hammurabi were written circa 1772 BC, in the Middle Bronze Age. They are one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length in the world and the longest from the Old Babylonian period. The entire legal code is made up of 282 enumerated laws, here rendered into legal terminology by attorney William Earl Ambrose, almost half of which concerns contract law and a third concerns family law. It contains very early examples of familiar legal concepts, such as the presumption of innocence and both parties presenting evidence. This translation is accompanied by detailed photographs of the entire original Akkadian text of the laws for those who can read cuneiform.
The ruins of Susa now being excavated by the distinguished explorer M. de Morgan have already yielded important results. He was led to undertake the excavation of ancient Susa from inscriptions found in the ruins of Babylon, from which he learned that many of the most important monuments of the Babylonian kings had been carried, as trophies of war by the Elamite kings, to their capital, Susa. When he left Egypt in 1888 it was for the purpose of recovering from the ruins of Susa these monuments. He had not been long at work in Susa before he found the stele of Narâm-Sin c. 3,800 B.C., which showed a high state of art in the Tigro-Euphrates valley nearly 6,000 years ago. This discovery was rapidly followed by others. The most important of which is the stele of Hammurabi, upon which was engraved his code of laws, c. 2,250 B.C.
This code is the oldest collection of public laws that has yet been discovered. It is a reflection of the social conditions existing in Babylonia 4,000 years ago. The jurist of to-day will recognize in it most of the fundamental principles on which our social legislation is based.
Featured November 2013
Transcribed and proofread as part of a proofread of the month
collaboration earlier this year, this version of Thackeray's classic replaced an incomplete text partially copied from Project Gutenberg. In addition to finishing the abandoned work, Wikisource is now able to offer the previously missing illustrations, as well as page scans for reference.
Subtitled "A novel without a hero", the book is a satire of mid-nineteenth century British society. It was initially serialised in twenty monthly pamphlets before being published as a complete novel, as was customary at the time. The story was acclaimed by critics even before the last instalment was issued, although some criticised its bleakness and, eventually, the downbeat ending. It is now considered a classic of English literature.
This month is the 150th anniversary of Thackeray's death.
While the present century was in its teens, and on one sun-shiny morning in June, there drove up to the great iron gate of Miss Pinkerton's academy for young ladies, on Chiswick Mall, a large family coach, with two fat horses in blazing harness, driven by a fat coachman in a three-cornered hat and wig, at the rate of four miles an hour. A black servant, who reposed on the box beside the fat coachman, uncurled his bandy legs as soon as the equipage drew up opposite Miss Pinkerton's shining brass plate, and as he pulled the bell, at least a score of young heads were seen peering out of the narrow windows of the stately old brick house. Nay, the acute observer might have recognised the little red nose of good-natured Miss Jemima Pinkerton herself, rising over some geranium-pots in the window of that lady's own drawing-room.
Featured December 2013