Salem, Massachusetts, 1820

We the undersigned, females of color, of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, being duly convinced of the importance of union and morality, have associated ourselves together for our natural improvement, and to promote the welfare of our color, as far as is consistent with the means of this Society; therefore we adopt the following resolutions.

Resolved, that as we believe the Boston Liberator to be the means of enlightening the minds of many, in regard to the ungenerous scheme of African colonization, and also removing the monster prejudice from the minds of many, in regard to the free people of color, by representing things in their true light, we are determined to support it and all anti-slavery publications.

Resolved, that this Society be supported by voluntary contributions, a part to be appropriated for the purchasing of books, etc.: the other to be reserved until a significant sum be accumulated, which shall then be deposited in a bank for the relief of the needy

Resolved, that the meetings of this society shall commence with prayer and singing.  Any member who wishes to speak is allowed the privilege: when any member speaks, there shall be no interruption.

Resolved, that this Society shall be governed by a President, Vice President, Corresponding Secretary, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, and Librarian who are hereafter to be instructed in the duties of their offices.

Resolved that persons not conforming to the rules of the Society shall be expelled, by receiving a note or card bearing the names of the President and Vice President, and signed by the Corresponding Secretary.

Mary A. Battys, President

E. A. Drew, Vice President

Charlotte Bell, Corresponding Secretary

Hannah B. Fowler, Recording Secretary

Eleanor C. Harvey, Treasurer

Dorothy C. Battys, Librarian


James Baldwin

James Baldwin, in full James Arthur Baldwin, (born August 2, 1924, New York, New York—died December 1, 1987, Saint-Paul, France), American essayist, novelist, and playwright whose eloquence and passion on the subject of race in America made him an important voice, particularly in the late 1950s and early 1960s, in the United States and, later, through much of western Europe.

The eldest of nine children, he grew up in poverty in the Black ghetto of Harlem in New York City. From age 14 to 16 he was active during out-of-school hours as a preacher in a small revivalist church, a period he wrote about in his semiautobiographical first and finest novelGo Tell It on the Mountain (1953), and in his play about a woman evangelist, The Amen Corner (performed in New York City, 1965).

After graduation from high school, he began a restless period of ill-paid jobs, self-study, and literary apprenticeship in Greenwich Village, the bohemian quarter of New York City. He left in 1948 for Paris, where he lived for the next eight years. (In later years, from 1969, he became a self-styled “transatlantic commuter,” living alternatively in the south of France and in New York and New England.) His second novel, Giovanni’s Room (1956), deals with the white world and concerns an American in Paris torn between his love for a man and his love for a woman. Between the two novels came a collection of essays, Notes of a Native Son (1955).

In 1957 he returned to the United States and became an active participant in the civil rights struggle that swept the nation. His book of essays, Nobody Knows My Name (1961), explores Black-white relations in the United States. This theme also was central to his novel Another Country (1962), which examines sexual as well as racial issues.

The New Yorker magazine gave over almost all of its November 17, 1962, issue to a long article by Baldwin on the Black Muslim separatist movement and other aspects of the civil rights struggle. The article became a best seller in book form as The Fire Next Time (1963). His bitter play about racist oppression, Blues for Mister Charlie (“Mister Charlie” being a Black term for a white man), played on Broadway to mixed reviews in 1964.

Though Baldwin continued to write until his death—publishing works including Going to Meet the Man (1965), a collection of short stories; the novels Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone (1968), If Beale Street Could Talk (1974), and Just Above My Head (1979); and The Price of the Ticket (1985), a collection of autobiographical writings—none of his later works achieved the popular and critical success of his early work.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica

on this day 11/17

1558 – Elizabeth I ascended the English throne upon the death of Queen Mary Tudor.

1603 – Sir Walter Raleigh went on trial for treason.

1796 – Catherine the Great of Russia died at the age of 67.

1798 – Irish nationalist leader Wolfe Tone committed suicide while in jail awaiting execution.

1800 – The U.S. Congress held its first session in Washington, DC, in the partially completed Capitol building.

1869 – The Suez Canal opened in Egypt, linking the Mediterranean and the Red seas.

1880 – The first three British female graduates received their Bachelor of Arts degrees from London University.

1903 – Russia’s Social Democrats officially split into two groups – Bolsheviks and Mensheviks.

1904 – The first underwater submarine journey was taken, from Southampton, England, to the Isle of Wight.

1913 – The steamship Louise became the first ship to travel through the Panama Canal.

1913 – In Germany, Kaiser Wilhelm banned the armed forces from dancing the tango.

1922 – Siberia voted for union with the U.S.S.R.

1962 – Washington’s Dulles International Airport was dedicated by U.S. President Kennedy.

1968 – NBC cut away from the final minutes of a New York Jets-Oakland Raiders game to begin a TV special, “Heidi,” on schedule. The Raiders came from behind to beat the Jets 43-32.

1970 – The Soviet Union landed an unmanned, remote-controlled vehicle on the moon, the Lunokhod 1. The vehicle was released by Luna 17.

1973 – U.S. President Nixon told an Associated Press managing editors meeting in Orlando, FL, “people have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook.”

1979 – Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini ordered the release of 13 female and black American hostages being held at the U.S.Embassy in Tehran.

1982 – The Empire State Building was added to the National Register of Historical Places.

1988 – Benazir Bhutto became the first woman leader of an Islamic country. She was elected in the first democratic elections in Pakistan in 11 years.

1990 – A mass grave was discovered by the bridge over the River Kwai in Thailand. The bodies were believed to be those of World War II prisoners of war.

1990 – The Soviet government agreed to change the country’s constitution.

1997 – 62 people were killed by 6 Islamic militants outside the Temple of Hatshepsut in Luxor, Egypt. The attackers were killed by police.

1997 – Mario Lemieux was voted into the NHL Hall of Fame.

2001 – “Toys “R” Us Times Square – The Center of the Toy Universe” opened in New York City.

2006 – Sony’s PlayStation 3 went on sale in the United States.

2010 – Reasearchers trapped 38 antihydrogen atoms. It was the first time humans had trapped antimatter.