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17, March 2010

Fighting the Good Fight—The Fenian Brotherhood

Looking at the calendar on March 17, many of us make a mental note to wear green in honor of St. Patrick. However, history remembers many more Irish heroes. In the mid-19th century (around 1858), the Fenian Brotherhood was formed in the United States by Irish immigrants to help liberate Ireland from British rule. The Fenians, as members were known, launched several raids into Canada (then British North America) from 1866 to 1871. Read more »

24, February 2010

The Civil War Digitization Project

Since the fall of 2008, MHM staff and a fleet of dedicated interns have been hard at work cataloging and digitizing all of our photographs and prints of the Civil War era in preparation for an upcoming exhibit on the history of the war in Missouri. So far we’ve cataloged over 2,000 images, including photographs of soldiers, lithographs of battle scenes, and engravings of St. Louis and Missouri events from national magazines like Harper’s Weekly. Read more »

15, February 2010

Charcoal Drawing of Corp. Elijah Madison, after 1864


Born into slavery in 1841 on a plantation near the present-day site of Babler State Park, Elijah Madison probably earned his freedom at the height of the Civil War when Federal recruiters announced that the U.S. Army would accept any able-bodied man of African descent into its ranks. Read more »

8, February 2010

Archives—No Wrong Answers in Love

Long before single people began searching for their love match through online dating services, data research companies existed to help the lovelorn weed through the masses. In particular, in the late 1960s, two companies in St. Louis—Data-Mate, Inc. and Computer Data Research Corporation—developed personality questionnaires to assist in locating "ideal" matches.

For $5, a man or woman would complete the Computer Data Research Group questionnaire, send it in, and then wait anxiously for the postman to deliver the important envelope containing a customized list of matches. Read more »

13, January 2010

From the Collections—Hand-crafted Brew Kettle, ca. 1840

One of St. Louis’s early beer brewers, J. Adam Lemp was the first to produce lager west of Philadelphia. In 1840, he established the Western Brewery at 37 South Second Street, between Walnut and Elm. Read more »

1, January 2010

Katherine Dunham's Haiti

In February 1992, Katherine Dunham—humanist, activist, anthropologist, dancer, and innovative teacher—was 82 years old. The year before, following a government coup, thousands of Haitians had attempted a perilous three-day, 600-mile crossing to the United States, only to be turned back or interned.  It was this treatment of the Haitian people that spurred Miss Dunham to undertake a hunger strike that would last 47 days and end only after personal pleas from ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Read more »

13, December 2009

From the Collections—Civil War Flag Conservation

The museum has recently undertaken a major conservation effort on several Civil War flags. Take a look at some of the dramatic changes seen to just one-- the Confederate First National 8-star flag of the 1st Missouri Infantry.

Regiments were required to bear two flags--regimental colors and a national flag. This flag was reputedly flown by the 1st Missouri Infantry, a unit that fought in the Vicksburg and Atlanta campaigns and sustained heavy losses during the war. Read more »

13, December 2009

From the Collections—Officer’s Uniform of Lt. William Harvey Smith, 1890-1898


African American soldiers made significant military contributions while fighting for the Union during the Civil War. After the war, the U.S. Army created four black regiments—the 24th and 25th Infantry and the 9th and 10th Cavalry—as part of the Regular Army. Read more »