Robert Smalls: From Slave to Senator

During Black History Month, we honor African Americans who made significant contributions to American society and impacted the course of American history. One such figure is Robert Smalls, who was born a slave in South Carolina, made a dramatic escape from slavery, and was later elected to Congress. With primary sources, Smalls’ remarkable life, achievements, and impact can be considered and understood through contemporary accounts.

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Happy Birthday Abe!

Posted on February 8, 2016

Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is February 12th! He was the 16th President of the United States, holding office during the Civil War, and proved to be one of the great figures in American history.

Did you know…

  • Lincoln lost five separate elections before being elected president.
  • Lincoln proclaimed all persons held as slaves in states of the rebellion “forever free.”
  • Abraham Lincoln is the only president in American history to hold a patent.

Let’s take a trip back in time to the years of his presidency. We’ve highlighted a few titles that can be found on Gale’s eBook platform, GVRL, to help you get started.

Abraham Lincoln, 1st Edition
April 2014
It may be little exaggeration to say that the figure of Abraham Lincoln embodies the American ideal more so than any other U.S. president. Although he came from humble beginnings and held several odd jobs before launching his career in politics, Lincoln’s determination and natural abilities brought him to the White House, where he led the struggle to preserve the union and emancipate the country’s slaves. Lincoln’s remarkable life—from his childhood to his role as Commander in Chief during the Civil War to his tragic death—is chronicled in this captivating volume.

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The Search Shouldn’t End with Twelve Years a Slave

By Robert Lisiecki

As February comes to an end and March nears, the Academy Awards loom on the horizon. It is appropriate, then, that we discuss Twelve Years a Slave. Not only is this movie nominated for numerous Oscars—including “Best Picture”—but the story is an important piece of our overall history.

Confession: I haven’t seen the movie.  I’m not much of a moviegoer, but I do intend to see it soon since I heard it was well done.   I did read the book, and if the movie is anywhere near as gut-wrenching and eye-opening, then I have no doubt it should take home many awards.

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