147 Years Ago Today, the U.S. Outlawed Slavery
Happy birthday, 13th Amendment! In honor of the anniversary, here’s a collection of excellent stories from The Atlantic’s archives.
- Where Will It End? (Dec. 1857): In The Atlantic’s second issue, Edmund Quincy urges readers to take a stand against slavery. “It is only the statement of the truism in moral and in political economy,” he wrote, “that true prosperity can never grow up from wrong and wickedness.”
- American Civilization (Apr. 1862): Ralph Waldo Emerson’s vehement argument for the federal emancipation of slaves. “Morality,” above all else, he asserted, “is the object of government.”
- The President’s Proclamation (Nov. 1862): Seven months later, Emerson hails Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation as an act that would mean “the lives of our heroes have not been sacrificed in vain.”
- Reconstruction, and an Appeal to Impartial Suffrage (Dec. 1866): In the same month the 13th Amendment was adopted, Frederick Douglass pushed lawmakers to grant black Americans the vote: “Slavery is not abolished until the black man has the ballot.”
- The Death of Slavery (Jul. 1866): William Cullen Bryant’s stirring poem about the demise of the “cruel reign” of slavery.
This is a very, very incomplete collection of stories from the era about slavery. (We were, after all, an abolitionist magazine.) For more, take a look at the commemorative Civil War issue we published last year.
[Image: Wikimedia Commons/National Archives]
It is Friday night. The streets are quiet - ever quieter since rebels tried to take the capital in July. Some restaurants and shisha cafes still have clientele, but many shops are closed and impromptu checkpoints appear on previously unguarded corners.
They are manned by armed men in jeans and camouflage jackets. In one case, the man at the intersection wears a suit and tie, a Kalashnikov casually slung across his shoulder. I walk past a park in the up-scale Abu Rumanah neighbourhood, where a mortar fell earlier in the week, shattering the windows of two parked cars and spraying an adjacent van with shrapnel - the devastation left on display like a souvenir.
|—||IRIN reporter Heba Aly recently travelled to the Syrian capital, Damascus, to report on the humanitarian impact of nearly two years of conflict in the country.|
The body of a Syrian child is pulled from rubble after an aerial bombardment from goverment forces in the Ahad neighbourhood of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, Sept. 11, 2012. Sam Tarling.
The Sri Lankan civil war lasted for a quarter of a century, from 1983 to 2009, with an estimated hundred thousand people killed. In 2011, over eight hundred and fifty-five thousand tourists visited the island—an all-time record—and the government hopes to draw 2.6 million annual tourists by 2016.
The German photographer Yannik Willing has been documenting Sri Lanka’s post-war normalization. Click-through for a selection of Willing’s work, and for more from him on the rapid changes in Sri Lanka: http://nyr.kr/N1I5QV
The United Nations news agency IRIN reports that, in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, “the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has reported that about 4,000 residents are seeking protection as a result of fighting late last month in the northern Al-Hasaba district of the city between security forces loyal to President Ali Saleh and the armed opposition.”
Libya - War - Inside The Libyan Rebels’ Hidden Weapons Shops in MisurataA rebel technician works to build a hand trigger on a .50 cal machine gun, at a workshop in Misurata. Rebel forces in Misurata have been fighting for almost two months with whatever weapons they were able to loot or capture from Qadafi’s forces. As part of the war effort to defend their city against attack, a small industry of weapons workshops have sprung up in discreet locations around the city—modifying pickup trucks with armor, and welding crew serve weapons turrets into the flatbeds. Crews work long hours, evolving their craft through the machinations of war hoping to constantly improve the capabilities of the fighters on the frontlines.
IMAGE: © Bryan Denton/Corbis
European Pressphoto Agency
NATO warplanes pound targets in Tripoli, Libya, hitting Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s command compound.
(110501)—TRIPOLI, May 1,2011 (Xinhua) — This photo taken on May 1, 2011 shows the damage of the house of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi after an air raid during a tour organized by the Libyan government in the area of Gargur in Tripoli, Libya. Sayf al-Arab Kadhafi, embattled Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi’s youngest son, was killed in an airstrike on Saturday, a government spokesman said.
IMAGE: © Hamza Turkia/XinHua/Xinhua Press/Corbis
“The only way we’re able to eat is by our own hands, our own might. It’s not the president who’s going to manufacture food for us; it’s our machetes [which we use to work the land]. We have nothing to do with these politics.
“Peace is the only thing we seek. Just to be left alone to go about our lives. Imagine - I’m a simple farmer who goes to the field to find cassava or bananas, and I get shot dead, for nothing. I’m innocent - I’m not affiliated with this or that president - the land and my machete are my president.
Doh St. Michel, a farmer who fled his village near Duékoué in western Côte d’Ivoire after gunfire erupted and locals were killed on 28 November 2010, the day of the presidential run-off election.
“All I heard was gunfire, screaming and crying. People were begging for mercy. Those who were shooting said nothing - they just fired and fired. Those attacking us were Gbagbo’s militia and Liberians Gbagbo deployed in the country.”
— 18 year old Ivorian man to the UN’s IRIN news agency