Friday, September 07, 2007

Documentary History of the Construction of the Buildings at the University of Virginia, 1817-1828

This electronic database consists of 1,750 manuscript documents related to the construction of the original buildings of Thomas Jefferson's nineteenth-century architectural masterpiece, the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, Virginia. When completed, it will consist of transcriptions and annotations for the documents, nearly 3,000 digital images from microfilm and from originals for many of those documents, a book-length historical narrative based on those documents, and hundreds of digital photographs of the university's historic grounds. The analytical and textual components of the project are largely completed, and most of the material is already in a searchable electronic format, but the text encoding and hypertext links necessary to make this a fully integrated and searchable sgml database have not been completed. The database is now permanently maintained by the University of Virginia's Electronic Text Center. It can be found at

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

BBC Nation on Film: The Royal Family

BBC Nation on Film: The Royal Family. This is an archive of film clips of the British royal family, including footage of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation. The site describes itself, "Meet the Royal Family and celebrate important royal occasions. Watch the King opening the Tyne Bridge in 1928. Watch our present Queen unveiling ships and new buildings in the 1980s." This is a nice primary history resource.

Some clips include:

* Levens Goes Gay - Queen's Coronation (Not quite what the title suggests...)

* The Launch - I Name This Ship Invincible

* The Launch - Building the Big 'Un (Princess Anne in action)

* Crowds welcome the Queen - Queen's visit to Stockton

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Vermont Liberation Front!

The people of Vermont have long been oppressed by the evil machinations of the United States. Not only do American Presidents get elected contrary to the preferences of Vermont voters but (gasp!) Wal-Mart and McDonald's keep trying to establish footholds in the state. Enough is enough! A group of Vermonters has an idea that if they leave the American Union, and establish an independent Vermont Republic, the liberation of Vermont will be at hand.

The Second Vermont Republic is attempting to have Vermont secede from the Union. The site notes, "The Second Vermont Republic is a peaceful, democratic, grassroots voluntary association committed to the return of Vermont to its rightful status as an independent republic as was the case from 1777 to 1791, and to support Vermont's future development as a separate, sustainable nation-state."

Unfortunately for this group, the issue of secession was settled by the American Civil War and the United States Supreme Court. Christopher Ketcham in Long Live Secession! wrote, "Which brings us back to zealous Thomas Naylor and the modern-day secessionists. Unfortunately, they face a Supreme Court decision barring the path to disunion -- the 1868 case of Texas vs. White, in which Lincoln's ex-treasurer and court appointee Salmon P. Chase, who wrote the legislation that financed the Civil War, issued the judicial coup de grĂ¢ce to secession. Chase's justification in the highest court was fundamentally the same as Lincoln's on the brink of war, and almost identical in language. Chase said that despite Texas' having been an independent republic before joining the union in 1845, it had no right to secede. 'The Constitution,' Chase wrote, 'in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union, composed of indestructible States.'

And any secession of an American state is more than just a local decision impacting 600,000 people in Vermont. Even a single state leaving the Union would set the legal precedence for any state to leave. The eventual destruction of the United States would very likely eventually occur. Why would hundreds of millions of Americans in other states who have no desire to allow such local issues in Vermont such as a distaste of capitalism as expressed by Wal-Mart to threaten the existence of their nation?

"This is a call for nonviolent revolt against the world's global superpower by 608,000 people," Thomas Naylor said. "What will the superpower do? Will it burn off the sugar maple trees? Will it destroy all the black-and-white Holstein cows? Just imagine trying to enslave independent-minded Vermonters."

Um, yeah. Have you heard of Sherman's March to the Sea? Do you see how much of the American south was devastated by the American Civil War? How much military force would it really take to put down a "non-violent" revolt? Vermont would remain in the Union and the Web would have dozens of new sites claiming that Vermont was "illegally occupied" by the USA. And life would go on. No American President would ever allow any state to leave except under the most dire of circumstances. Unless Canada defeats the US in a war and demands Vermont independence as a condition of peace, it is not going to happen.

Free Vermont! Perhaps this can be done by throwing out the separatists?

Sunday, September 02, 2007

History Carnival LVI

The newest History Carnival is up! History Carnival LVI is now at Walking the Berkshires. It also has a very memorable carnival name with "Rocky Road Pistachio Mocha Chip Edition (with Cracker Jack® Topping!)." Well, it is a carnival...

The next History Carnival will be at Osprey Publishing Blog. Please submit the best history-related posts of September to Simone at or use the submission form.