This month’s issue features articles which take a look back at events of 100 years ago. This year the magazine will feature several articles looking back at 1919, a volatile and momentous year in American history. February is Black History Month and this issue features a guest article written by the descendant of a freed slave whose legacy still matters today. Two articles on manumission and free people of color owning slaves are of interest both historically and genealogically. Feature articles include:

  • The Boston Molasses Flood of 1919: could it have been an omen for the volatile year ahead for America?
  • Hell for Rent: A Nation Goes Dry: On January 16, 1919 Nebraska became the 36th state to ratify the 18th Amendment to the United States Consitition. One year later, King Alcohol would be dead – or would he? A bit of history on the temperance movement, including the outrageous tactics of one well-known “saloon smasher” who made a name for herself in the early twentieth century.
  • Edith, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner: Theodore Roosevelt unexpectedly became President of the United States in 1901, following the assassination attempt and death of President William McKinley. T.R. wasn’t too far into his presidency before a long-forgotten incident occurred. It seemed innocent enough at the time, but would generate a firestorm of criticism, especially from Southern Democrats who already didn’t trust him.
  • The Life of James Clemens – From Slavery to Unspoken Greatness: This issue features a guest submission from one of the descendants of James Clemens, a freed slave who went on to participate in the Underground Railroad movement. His story still matters even today.
  • Manumission: Free at Last (or perhaps not) – This extensive article explores the subject of manumission of slaves. A bit of history and stories of controversial manumissions (they all seemed to be controversial). Mathews v. Springer was a precedent-setting case in post-Civil War Mississippi.
  • Free to Enslave? is a look at a few incidences of free persons of color owning slaves. One of the featured characters, William “April” Ellison, was at one time the largest slave owner in South Carolina, and a cruel one at that. Milly Pierce’s story is a bit more hopeful, but it’s a piece of African American history that sometimes gets overlooked.
  • Jaybird-Woodpecker War: This long-running feud in Fort Bend County, Texas had nothing to do with birds of any feather – rather, it was an all-out race war which stretched into the 1950s.
  • What’s in a Name? Sometimes you just have to do a little digging when something piques your curiosity. Such was the case with an unusual name given (Seawillow) to a girl born in the middle of a torrential rain storm in 1855.
  • OK: Everything Has a History – even the word we use millions of times a day: O.K. It was part of a silly nineteenth century fad, but yet endured.
  • America Waldo Bogle: It wasn’t easy being a person of color in Oregon Territory. America Waldo Bogle’s story is a story of perservering and succeeding despite racial tensions.
  • Preview issue here