The Huntington’s early American historical collections are important resources for the study of the Colonial and Revolutionary periods, the drafting of the Constitution, and the Civil War. Among the holdings are hundreds of autograph letters written by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, as well as the manuscript of Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography. The Huntington can also claim the largest collection of autograph manuscripts of Abraham Lincoln west of Illinois. In conferences, seminars, and lectures, curators and visiting scholars discuss their subjects in depth.
Golden: How California Made America
Acclaimed historian Louis Warren, professor of U.S. Western History at the University of California, Davis, explores how Californians remade American ideas of property and power between 1848 and the present in this Avery Lecture.
An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846–1873
Benjamin Madley, associate professor of history at UCLA, discusses the near-annihilation and survival of California's indigenous population under United States rule in this Billington Lecture
The Lady and George Washington
Mary Sarah Bilder, Founders Professor at Boston College Law School, discusses the responses of George Washington and Benjamin Rush to Eliza Harriot O'Connor's remarkable university lectures in 1787 and their implications for female political status under the Constitution. O'Connor was the first American female lecturer and principal of a female academy. This program is a Nevins Lecture.
Anton Roman: San Francisco’s Pioneering Bookseller & Publisher
John Crichton, proprietor of the Brick Row Book Shop in San Francisco, shares the story of pioneering entrepreneur Anton Roman (1828–1903), who came to California from Bavaria in 1849 to make his fortune in the gold fields, then converted his gold into books and became one of the most important booksellers in the West.
A Mormon Diarist in California, 1850–1858
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, the 300th Anniversary University Professor of History at Harvard University, shares stories from the remarkable diary of Caroline Crosby. The wife of a Mormon missionary, Crosby reached California with her husband in 1850 en route to a posting in the South Pacific, and later lived among “saints and strangers” in San Jose, San Francisco, and San Bernardino.
“The Theater of Many Deeds of Blood”: The Geography of Violence in Frontier Los Angeles
John Mack Faragher, the Howard R. Lamar Professor Emeritus of History and American Studies at Yale University, discusses the spatial pattern of homicide in Southern California in the 19th century. This talk is part of the Billington Lecture series at The Huntington.
Recorded Feb. 8, 2017.