A new project between University of Kent and the University of East Anglia seeks to understand the role of the Native North American presence in Britain.
The project’s official website provides a great deal of information about the project, the research, and the potential impact that may come out of the findings.
From the About section:
“The main aim of the project is to generate an up-to-date picture of all forms of Native North American travel across the Atlantic, whether it resulted in return trips, onward movement into Europe, or even long-term residence in Britain. The project has an ambitious timeframe, covering the past five centuries, but its particular focus is on the last century and a half up to the present day, a period which has not fully been examined in any depth. In addition, the project will move away from the traditional focus on metropolitan centres, such as London, to examine how Native visitors travelled throughout Britain and established mutual relationships, economic exchanges, and cultural connections across the whole country.
Our objective is to look ‘beyond the spectacle’ in order to provide a more diverse and complete account of these fascinating interactions that includes Indigenous views. We aim to transform existing understandings of Native North American presence in Britain, offering fresh perspectives on a range of relevant issues such as colonialism, Indigenous identities, globalisation and the nature of ‘belonging’.”
If anyone has any information or is interested in learning more, please give the website a look and be in contact!
by Don Allen
Being a part of the Norfolk Libraries network definitely has its advantages, and I wanted to take a quick second or three to highlight one of our newest: access to the American National Biography Online.
ANB has over “19,000 biographies of significant, influential or notorious figures from American history written by prominent scholars”. This number includes over 1600 biographies of people who were armed forces and intelligence personnel, from Henry Larcom Abbot (1831-1927) , a union soldier and engineer, to Elmo Russell Zumwalt Jr. (1920-2000), an admiral in the US Navy. (See what I did there? A-Z. Ha. I slay me.) Other categories include politics, law and crime, and sports.
It is available to anyone with a Norfolk Library card, either in the library or from a home computer or mobile device. I’ve had a browse through some of the biographies, and they are quite good. While most are relatively short, they are packed with information. Some, like the article on Abraham Lincoln, are longer, but still, when compared to a full book, get to the highlights pretty quickly. Any fan of American history will surely love this site, and I highly recommend it.
Access American National Biography Online from home using your Norfolk library card. Enter NOR before the number when prompted (with no spaces).
By Danielle Prostrollo
East Anglia’s Norfolk connections to America are well documented, and the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library maintains a blog devoted to exactly that. Some of the most famous are facts such as, Thomas Paine was born in Thetford, Heacham’s John Rolfe married Native American Pocahontas, and Abraham Lincoln’s ancestral home is in Hingham. But these are only the start of Colonial America’s reliance on the area for its good… and bad!
In the book Uncle Sam’s Roots in Eastern England: From Colonial Times Onwards by Roger Pugh, many of the lesser-known connections are discussed including the following:
Ancestral home of President Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge’s ancestors John and Mary were from Cottonham, Cambridgeshire. John Coolidge employed an economy of words similar to that which his famous descendant, Calvin, is known for. In the book, Pugh says that John once replied to an invitation: “Dear Gentlemen. Can’t come. Thank you.” The Coolidges travelled to Massachusetts in 1630.
William S. Harley, one half of the famous motorcycle brand, was born to parents William and Mary of Littleport, Cambridgeshire. So while Milwaukee, Wisconsin lays claim to being the home of Harley-Davidson, it is from Littleport that the Harley family came!
The Girls from Great Yarmouth and the Witches of Salem
Mary and Rebecca Towne, born in Great Yarmouth to William and Joanna Towne, are two of the many women who were tried for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts. Their sister Sarah, also born to William and Joanna, was born in Salem and eventually tried for witchcraft. Mary and Rebecca would be found guilty and eventually executed while Sarah eventually gained her freedom after the guilty verdict.
To find out more about the East Anglia connection to America, check out Roger Pugh’s book at the Memorial Library or visit our (other) blog!
By Danielle Prostrollo
In addition to the collection of physical periodicals in our collection, Norfolk Library and Information Service subscribe to some digital editions of American magazines. Recently, they have added Newsweek and National Geographic subscriptions to the list.
To view both the most recent issue and back issues, you can visit the links below:
While everyone has become more comfortable with the idea of the eBook, the digital edition of print magazines remains less common, but digital editions are a great way to stay up to date on your favorite publications while on the go! You can access these on your PC or Mac, tablet, or smart phone. You can browse the whole collection here