Thursday, March 9, 2017

Struggle and Progress Content Now in Umbra Search


Content from the Struggle and Progress digital collection is now available in the Umbra Search project. Umbra Search brings together more than 500,000 digitized materials from over 1,000 libraries and archives across the country. Umbra Search is developed by the Givens Collection of African American Literature at the University of Minnesota Libraries' Archives and Special Collections, with Penumbra Theatre Company.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Digitization Event

The library will be digitizing materials related to African American history and culture in Galesburg on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017 at Allen Chapel AME Church, 153 W. Tompkins St. starting at about 1:00 pm. We hope to discover materials related to the history of Allen Chapel, among other things.

Allen Chapel was organized in 1857, principally by Susan Richardson (Allen), who, according to the church record, "... So great was her desire for Galesburg to have an African Methodist Episcopal Church that she sold her only hog to get railroad fare to the city. She went to the conference and the Bishop sent us our first pastor Rev. Woodfork."



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Collection Highlight: Joseph H. Barquet

   Joseph H. Barquet (or sometimes, Barquette) was a resident of Galesburg, having moved to Illinois some time in the 1850s from his place of birth, Charleston, South Carolina. Barquet lived in Chicago for a time, becoming active in political and human rights issues. He penned a letter to the Western Citizen in March, 1853 criticizing the Fugitive Slave Law. 

   Barquet was living in Galesburg by 1855. In February of that year he wrote to the Galesburg Free Democrat newspaper, beginning his thoughts with an acknowledgement of being “a stranger to your many readers.” In his letter advocating a rejection of colonization scheme proposed by the Colonization Society, Barquet makes a strong case for the ideal of America as a haven for those seeking freedom:
“We will not leave thee, no, never. When God led Columbus to pierce the seas of old Neptune to discover America, he meant this for an asylum—the political or religious altar for all—too long had this continent been hid from the oppressor’s eyes, and scarce had monarchy touched the virgin soil, when man proclaims life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness the birthright of all.”
   It is interesting to note that while Barquet did not favor colonization to Liberia in 1855, he favored exile to Hayti in 1859. On May 11, 1859 Barquet offered a motion at a meeting of the colored people of Abingdon, Knoxville and Galesburg expressing the sentiment that these citizens would accept the offer of asylum from the President of the Republic of Hayti, “deeming exile preferable to slavery.”

   Barquet is listed in the Galesburg city directory in 1861 living on Brooks Street, north side, first door west of Henderson. He was a mason by occupation; he was marred and had four children. Local newspapers reported on his activities, especially noting when he spoke on issues of the day. On Dec. 3, 1859 African Americans in Galesburg met at the AME Church to honor the memory of John Brown who was executed the previous day. The Galesburg Semi-Weekly Democrat gave notice that “Mr. J. Barquet fully sustained his reputation as an eloquent speaker.”

   Barquet enlisted in the Union Army in April, 1863 in the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, serving until August, 1865. He mustered out as a sergeant. Hermann Muelder recounts the lives of some of the 54th Massachusetts soldiers, including Joe Barquet, in his publication A Hero Home From the War. Barquet continued writing during his time in service, contributing regular letters to the Weekly Anglo-African newspaper about his experiences in, and progress of, the war.

   After the war, Barquet returned to Galesburg. He participated in politics and continued to speak out on issues important to the African American community such as integration of the public schools. He chaired the State Convention of Colored Men in 1866, which was held in Galesburg, and he attended the National Convention of Colored Men in St. Louis in 1871 as a delegate from Galesburg. Barquet died on March 15, 1880 and is buried in Davenport, Iowa.

   Please contact us (email lsauer@knox.edu) if you have any documents, especially photographs, that you would like to contribute to help us understand more about Joe Barquet. We'll make copies and let you keep the originals.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Upcoming Community Digitization Day


The Knox College Library invites you to a Community Digitization Day to be held Saturday, November 5, 2016 at the Galesburg Public Library (40 E. Simmons St.) from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm. Bring your materials related to African-American history in Galesburg and we can scan them and place the digital copies in the online collection (you keep the originals). 

Printed material such as letters and diaries, brochures from clubs and organizations, church programs are the kinds of materials rich in historical information. Photographs, especially ones dated pre-1950, are also valuable pieces of the historical record. We are especially looking for issues of The Illinois Star newspaper, a paper published in Galesburg for the African-American community in the 1930s and 1940s.

We will have samples of preservation materials on hand, and material explaining how to properly care for historical artifacts.  

The Struggle and Progress project has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.


Friday, June 3, 2016

Community Digitization Day: June 18

The Knox College Library invites you to a Community Digitization Day to be held Saturday, June 18, 2016 at the Galesburg Public Library (40 E. Simmons St.) from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm. Bring your materials related to African-American history in Galesburg and we can scan them and place the digital copies in the online collection (you keep the originals). 

Printed material such as letters and diaries, brochures from clubs and organizations, church programs are the kinds of materials rich in historical information. Photographs, especially ones dated pre-1950, are also valuable pieces of the historical record. 

We will have samples of preservation materials on hand, and material explaining how to properly care for historical artifacts.  

The Struggle and Progress project has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Upcoming Lecture: The Struggle for Equality in an Abolition City

The Knox College Library is pleased to present a lecture by historian Matthew Norman. He will discuss Galesburg’s African-American community and the abolitionist legacies of Galesburg and Knox College through the early 20th century. Dr. Norman will also discuss how various sources available shed light on these topics and why we need more material to enrich the story.

The lecture will be held on Wednesday, May 11 at 6:30 pm at the Galesburg Public Library in the Sanderson Room.

Matt Norman (Knox class of 1993) is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash.  He has taught at Gettysburg College and at Knox College and was formerly Project Director and Historian at Knox’s  Lincoln Studies Center.

This lecture is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and we thank the NEH for their support. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.



First Community Digitization Day

Our first Community Digitization Day was held on February 27 at the Carver Center. We had more materials contributed than we could digitize in the time we had available, but we were able to select some interesting items for inclusion in the project.

Church related items are a rich source of information about families and, of course, religious life in the community. Karen Ford-Kelley contributed the item depicted in the image to the left. It is an "Order of Service" program for a service at Allen Chapel. The event featured choirs from Wayman A.M.E. Church in Rock Island, Illinois, Allen Chapel and Second Baptist Church in Galesburg. Rev. J.J. Handy gave the sermon and benediction. Ms. Ford-Kelley also contributed the Mortgage Burning Program of the Second Baptist Church, and both of these items let us know that the black churches in the area worked closely together and celebrated one another from time to time.

Church programs, bulletins and reports usually list names, and sometimes include photographs, making these kinds of materials a treasure trove for genealogists.

This project is made possible in part with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this site do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.