Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Harper’s Ferry’ Category

One of many reasons why Steam at Harper’s Ferry opened was to offer an opportunity to learn about Harper’s Ferry in all its historic glory. Steam sells many historic newspapers from the Victorian Period, but the one especially loved is The Ladies’ Garland, published by John S. Gallagher. One recent acquisition is dated October 21, 1826, volume 3, no. 37.

Ladies Garland October 21, 1826

This particular edition contains an article on Female Education, reprinted from the Edinburg Review. Here is a sample:

“A great part of the objections made to the education of women, are rather objections made to human nature, than to the female sex ; for it is surely true, that knowledge, where it does produce any bad effects at all, does as much mischief to the one sex as to the other, and gives birth to fully as much arrogance, inattention to common affairs, and eccentricity among men, as it does among women. – But it by no means follows, that you get rid of vanity and self-conceit, because you get rid of learning. Self-complacency can never want an excuse ; and the best way to make it more tolerable, and more useful, is to give to it as high and as dignified an object as possible. But at all events, it is unfair, to bring forward against a part of the world, an objection which is equally powerful against the whole. When foolish women think they have any distinction, they are apt to be proud of it ; so are foolish men. But we appeal to any one who has lived with cultivated persons of either sex, whether he has not witnessed as much pendantry, as much wrong-headedness, as much arrogance, and certainly a great deal more rudeness, produced by learning, in men, than in women.  …

We are quite astonished on hearing men converse on such subjects, to find them attributing such beautiful effects to ignorance. It would appear from the tenor of such objections, that ignorance has been the greatest civilizer in the world. Women are delicate and refined, only because they are ignorant ; they attend to their children, only because they know no better ! Now, we must really confess we have all our lives been so ignorant as not to know the value of ignorance !  … Let any man reflect too upon the solitary situation in which women are placed, the ill treatment to which they are sometimes exposed, and which they must endure in silence, and without the power of complaining – and he must feel convinced, that the happiness of a woman will be materially increased, in proportion as education has given to her the habit and means of drawing her resources from herself.”

Purchase this and other limited editions of The Ladies’ Garland at Steam at Harper’s Ferry.

Read Full Post »

Leigh Anne Cassell’s Solo Exhibit – Through March 30, 2014

The Gallery’s theme for this exhibit is “Rêves et Rêveurs – Dreams and Dreamers” drawing inspiration from the book “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern.

Leigh Anne with Lizzie Lyra Performers (courtesy Leigh Anne w/ permission)

Leigh Anne with Lizzie Lyra Performers (courtesy Leigh Anne w/ permission)

Leigh Anne’s work covers a broad range of visual interest, from whimsical to contemplative. Her strongest and most commented upon works so far are the portraits, of which the Steampunk Dr. Who and her self-portrait are two examples. Leigh Anne will show her recent as well as earlier work, some of which will be on loan to the gallery for this solo show.

It was great to see so many people coming into the gallery in the theme colors  of black, white and red! Here is a photo of our first visitors of the day on Saturday, February 22!

Our very own Reveurs! Thank you for dropping by!

Our very own Reveurs! Thank you for dropping by!

 

What’s New at Steam

Please put April 26 on your calendar for Eric Holstine’s solo exhibit  opening! Here is a sneak peek of a new piece!

Can you guess what this is? Courtesy Eric Holstine with permission.

Can you guess what this is? Courtesy Eric Holstine with permission.

IMG_7011

We also have a new supply of Steam at Harper’s Ferry exclusive goggles and tiny top hats!

3rd Annual Bolivar-Harper’s Ferry Community Art Walk – April 26 and 27, 2014

The 3rd Annual Bolivar-Harper’s Ferry Community Art Walk is scheduled for April 26 and 27, 2014. Please keep up with developments on the facebook page. Steam is pleased to announce that the Bolivar-Harpers Ferry Public Library and stair-mate Waffle Buzz will provide some welcomed assistance with this year’s event.

Read Full Post »

Leigh Anne Cassell’s Solo Exhibit – February 22 – March 30, 2014

The Gallery’s theme for this exhibit is “Rêves et Rêveurs – Dreams and Dreamers” drawing inspiration from the book “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern.

Postcard_Front_Leigh_Anne_show

Leigh Anne’s work covers a broad range of visual interest, from whimsical to contemplative. Her strongest and most commented upon works so far are the portraits, of which the Steampunk Dr. Who and her self-portrait are two examples. Leigh Anne will show her recent as well as earlier work, some of which will be on loan to the gallery for this solo show. Visitors are encouraged to participate on opening day wearing theme colors white, red and black.

Read Full Post »

Leigh Anne Cassell’s Solo Exhibit – February 22 – March 30, 2014

The Gallery’s theme for this exhibit is “Rêves et Rêveurs – Dreams and Dreamers” drawing inspiration from the book “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern.

Postcard_Front_Leigh_Anne_show

Leigh Anne’s work covers a broad range of visual interest, from whimsical to contemplative. Her strongest and most commented upon works so far are the portraits, of which the Steampunk Dr. Who and her self-portrait are two examples. Leigh Anne will show her recent as well as earlier work, some of which will be on loan to the gallery for this solo show. Visitors are encouraged to participate on opening day wearing theme colors white, red and black. An artist’s reception is scheduled for February 22. Please contact Steam at Harper’s Ferry directly for an invitation.

What’s New at Steam

Please put April 26 on your calendar for Eric Holstine’s solo exhibit! He is sending along preliminary photos of his work – this promises to be a very exciting show!

With the heightened interest in the revitalization of the Hill Top House, Steam at Harper’s Ferry has a mini display of related historic postcards. This is also a good time to buy “Of Steam and Spring” the first  of a series (hopefully) which features Hill Top House and the B&O Island Park.

We are always looking for new folks to come in and show their work, so there will be a call to artists in early 2014 for our next open call exhibit. Over the course of the year, we will feature several local and regional artists.

3rd Annual Bolivar-Harper’s Ferry Community Art Walk – April 26 and 27, 2014

The 3rd Annual Bolivar-Harper’s Ferry Community Art Walk is scheduled for April 26 and 27, 2014. Please keep up with developments on the facebook page. Steam is pleased to announce that the Bolivar-Harpers Ferry Public Library and stair-mate Waffle Buzz will provide some welcomed assistance with this year’s event.

Read Full Post »

Another reason to love historical fiction!

The first work I read by Joyce Carol Oates was “The Poisoned Kiss and Other Stories from the Portuguese“. Then I read her Gothic novels, “Bellefleur,” “A Bloodsmore Romance,” and  “The Mysteries of Winterthurn.” I took a break from her work for a very long time, and recently picked up “The Accursed” which lead me to my post on Woodrow Wilson, who was a character in this story during the time when he was president of Princeton University (1902 – 1920).

This week, I finished reading the second book from an additional favorite  author, Lyndsay Faye, “Seven for a Secret,” the second of the Timothy Wilde series, the first being “Gods of Gotham“, both of which take place in 1840s New York.

Timothy Wilde, a “copper star,” learned about a particularly vile form of law enforcement, “blackbirders” who kidnapped free northern blacks and sold them into slavery. The book contains several quotes and, not surprisingly, quotes from “Twelve Years a Slave, Narrative of Solomon Northrup, a Citizen of New York, Kidnapped in Washington City and Rescued in 1853 from a Cotton Plantation near the Red River in Louisiana” which won a Golden Globe Award for Best Picture  – Drama and  has been nominated for nine Academy Awards.

A quote that Ms. Faye included in her book was one that struck me particularly. Here is the complete paragraph from pages 206 & 207 of the Narrative:

“There may be humane masters, as there certainly are inhuman ones—there may be slaves well-clothed, well-fed, and happy, as there surely are those half-clad, half-starved and miserable; nevertheless, the institution that tolerates such wrong and inhumanity as I have witnessed, is a cruel, unjust, and barbarous one. Men may write fictions portraying lowly life as it is, or as it is not—may expatiate with owlish gravity upon the bliss of ignorance—discourse flippantly from arm chairs of the pleasures of slave life; but let them toil with him in the field—sleep with him in the cabin—feed with him on husks; let them behold him scourged, hunted, trampled on, and they will come back with another story in their mouths. Let them know the heart of the poor slave—learn his secret thoughts—thoughts he dare not utter in the hearing of the white man; let them sit by him in the silent watches of the night—converse  in trustful confidence, of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and they will find that ninety-nine out of every hundred are intelligent enough to understand their situation, and to cherish in their bosoms the love of freedom, as passionately as themselves.” [emphasis added.]

This Narrative was published in 1853, one year after the publication of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,  or Life Among the Lowly.” Theodore Weld wrote “American Slavery As It Is: Testimony of A Thousand Witnesses” and it was published in 1839.  I can’t help but think that Solomon Northrup was directing this comment toward Harriet Beecher Stowe and Theodore Weld followers. These two authors fell from different branches on the abolitionist tree. Harriett Beecher Stowe was an abolitionist along the lines of gradual emancipation and “returning” the slaves to Africa, otherwise known as colonization. Theodore Weld, who attended Harriet Beecher Stowe’s father, Lyman Beecher’s school, the Lane Theological Seminary School located in Cincinnati, Ohio, was of the immediate emancipation branch. Weld broke away from the school in 1834 when the school’s trustees prohibited the discussion of slavery, and Weld held debates anyway for 14 days in February 1834, while Lyman Beecher was out of town. When Weld was kicked out of Lane, he took the financial backing of the Tappan brothers. Lewis and Arthur, with him to Oberlin College.

In 1850, the Fugitive Slave Act, part of the Compromise Act, was passed to strengthen the existing Fugitive Slave Act of 1783, which was also passed to enforce Article 4, Clause 3  of the United States, which stated:

No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.

This was the foundation upon which fugitive slaves were to be returned to their owners. Article 4 on the whole is fundamentally an article outlining the relationship between the states and the federal government. On the up side, it requires the states to recognize the laws of public acts, records and court proceedings of other states. This article is extremely important to civil rights in the United States, starting with slavery, to inter-racial marriage, violence against women and same-sex marriage.

Harriet Beecher Stowe often stated that it was the Fugitive Slave Act which compelled her to write Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Every once in a while, I have to remind myself that the federal government used slave labor (and was sometimes sued for non-payment for services), so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that congressional representatives at the time would, more likely than not, reflect the sentiments of that government. In the newspaper, Radical Abolitionist, dated July 1856, Dr. James C. Jackson, of Glen Haven, NY said:

What new thing is it with us, that a man like Charles Sumner is knocked down?

And if you don’t recall, Charles Sumner was nearly killed on the  Senate floor two days after giving his speech, The Crime Against Kansas: The Apologies for the Crime; The True Remedy, in May 1856, the same month John Brown and his volunteers killed five men associated with the pro-slavery Law and Order Party  in Pottawatomie, Kansas. So much for the other parts of the Constitution – the Second Amendment.

It was in this same  publication that the Radical Abolitionists nominated Gerrit Smith (one of John Brown’s Secret Six) for President of the United States. It was also reported that at the Republican Convention, Mr. Lincoln of Illinois received 110 votes for Vice President, second to Mr. William Dayton of New Jersey who received 259 votes in the informal ballot.

Dr. Beriah  Green, a close associate of Gerrit Smith, who made a speech at the Radical Abolitionist convention,  made what I think sums up the federal government’s complicity in slavery correctly.

It has been affirmed, more than once, by names making a prominent figure in the sphere of politics, and enjoying a large amount of the general confidence, that slavery, from the very commencement of our political history, has been especially,  prominently, and constantly, a cherished and petted  “institution” of what bears the name of Government.  … The thing has not only been endured by the Government – it has not only been cherished by the Government, but it has been regarded as pre-eminently, controllingly, the object to which, in the measures they might devise, they have been devoted. … I know it  is claimed that the people at large are deceived and devoted to freedom ; … There will always be found a striking correspondence between those who grant office and those who hold office. We have therefore to refer this to a majority of those who wield power in this republic. …. If we look a little more earnestly, we shall be constrained to admit, that slavery without us, has its origin in slavery within us. A man will give expression to his own appropriate character. What he may be, within himself, he will be … in the objects he may pursue. … The fetters, the chains and the whips – whatever belongs to slavery, as it presents itself to they eye, has its origin within the depths of the human spirit.

Readers are reminded that the Republican Party platform at the time did not propose the suppression of the slave trade between the states, it did not propose the prohibition of slavery in the District of Columbia (which was, and continues to be, in many ways, under the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress), and failed to propose a repeal of the Fugitive Slave bill.

Frederick Douglass was present at the convention and was reported to have made two speeches. The second one was directed at the Republican Party attendees who sympathized with the abolitionist cause:

You are called Black Republicans. What right have you to that name? Among all the Candidates you have selected, or talked of, I have not seen or heard of a single black one. (Laughter.) Nor have I seen one mentioned with any prospect of success, who is friendly to the black man in his sympathies, or an advocate for the restoration of is rights. … And then there is the man who was struck down in the Senate; and he is the man you would be  first to elevate, if acting on the tactics of Napoleon. … If you want to give us an example of your Black Republicanism – of your determination to resist and defy the Slave power, take Charles Sumner, and make him master at Washington.

to be continued …

The Radical Abolitionist, July 1856, Volume I, Number 12, edited by William Goodell, is available for purchase at Steam at Harper’s Ferry.

Read Full Post »

Steam at Harper’s Ferry is pleased to announce a solo exhibition featuring the works of Leigh Anne Cassell from February 22 through March 30. The Gallery’s theme for this exhibit is “Rêves et Rêveurs – Dreams and Dreamers” drawing inspiration from the book “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern. Visitors are encouraged to participate on opening day wearing theme colors white, red and black.

by Leigh Anne Cassell

by Leigh Anne Cassell

Read Full Post »

Exhibit “Winter Themes and Best of Steam – 2013” continues through February 2, 2014

On view through February 2, 2014 are the works of our most popular artists including Eric Holstine’s “Celestial Escape” and “Melton the Mechanical Marvel,”; Leigh Anne Cassell’s “Steampunk Dr. Who,” Jason Edwards’s “Captain Tomorrow Gives Chase in His Red Balloon,” and Christopher Loggie’s “Steampunk Nutcracker,” as well as our most popular 3D images and Steampunk Advent Calendar.

What’s New at Steam

Gil Narro Garcia’s steampunk-inspired pins are now available at Steam at Harper’s Ferry! You may have seen his sculpture at the Artomatic @ Jefferson event in October 2013. Come by and take a look!

Please put February 22 and April 26 on your calendars for 2014. Leigh Anne Cassell and Eric Holstine will have solo shows in the gallery on those dates, respectively. We are always looking for new folks to come in and show their work, so there will be a call to artists in early 2014 for our next open call exhibit. Over the course of the year, we will feature several local and regional artists.

3rd Annual Bolivar-Harper’s Ferry Community Art Walk – April 26 and 27, 2014

Getting ready for the 3rd Annual Bolivar-Harper’s Ferry Community Art Walk scheduled for April 26 and 27, 2014. Please keep up with developments on the facebook page.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: