Browse Exhibits (23 total)

The Indian Removal Act and its Role in the Second Seminole War

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The Indian Removal Act of 1830 was an example of too much power in the executive branch of the US government. While the act didn't go through congress, President Andrew Jackson would see that it did. Not only was this act forced, but the removal of indians was forced. Many tribes were relocated west of the Mississippi to new land, far away from where they had settled. At times, the land was not suitable for the conditions needed for the tribes to survive. This act lead to what is known as the Trail of Tears, many deaths, and two of the three Seminole Wars.

While many tribes gave in to removal, having no way to fight, the Seminole Tribe of Florida resisted, again and again. The purpose of this exhibit is to show how the Second Seminole War, and subsequently the Third Seminole War, were direct results of the Indian Removal Act. These wars were over land that had already been claimed by the Seminole Indians, and rightfully so. Due to the American idea of Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny, the Seminoles, and other tribes, were stripped of their homelands, and some stripped of their lives. 

The True Common Man: David Crockett's Politics

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Davy Crockett is perhaps one of the most recognizable legends in American history.  When one hears his name they usually picture a man wearing a coon-skin cap fighting off a bear or dying heroically at the Alamo.  However, Crockett was a politician.  He was a rugged frontiersmen with political savvy who knew the interests of his constituents and acted on them even when it isolated him from political allies.  

The Autumnal Fever: The Outbreak of the Yellow Fever in Savannah, Georgia in 1820

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The Yellow Fever outbreak in Savannah, Georgia in Autumn of 1820 took the lives of nearly 700 residents of Savannah. Two physicians lost their lives in the fight against the outbreak, their names are unknown. Characterized by the “ejection of black bile from the stomach” and an inflamed eye first struck Savannah in July of 1820 and lasted until the November months. Savannah had been ravaged by a first outbreak one year earlier, which was less deadly. 

This project attempts to understand how and why the outbreak occurred by looking at it from the perspective of two doctors who treated it, Dr.’s William Waring and W.C. Coffee. Each doctor authored a report that offers contemporary accounts of the outbreak and its effects. This project will also demonstrate the links between religion and medicine as Western medicine was still in its infancy and this helps to mark the period of rapid secularization of medical practices. It will also demonstrate what life was like before the outbreak by offering perspectives from elites, the middle class, as well as the poor and enslaved populations of Savannah. The initial outbreak of 1820 is one that is little studied in the history of medicine and epidemiology, but nonetheless it is important because it characterizes a shift from faith based medicine to the scientific reasoning that would define the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Transcendentalism and A New American Culture (1836-1860)

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This exhibit will focus on the Transcendentalist movement that began in the 1830’s in New England, as well as the shift into a national culture shaped by romanticist ideals with an emphasis on literature and new ways of thinking. What started primarily as not necessarily backlash, but dissatisfaction against ideas that populated the 18th and early 19th centuries such as rationalism and unitarianism. Transcendentalists were idealists, focused on becoming self-reliant and believing in the power of the individual. They believed that social structures prevents individuals from reaching the fullest versions of themselves. They believed that all beings had value and were all created equally, which is why they were fierce opponents of the institution of slavery as well as supporters of many social movements addressing social inequality.

The purpose of this exhibit is to not only showcase the influential people and ideas of the movement, but to explore the ways in which the core ideas of Transcendentalism spread throughout the United States well beyond the movement’s eventual decline in the 1850’s. Transcendentalism is well recognized as the first uniquely American philosophical and intellectual movement in the history of the United States, and previous scholars study in depth the words of key individuals from the movement including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller. But less frequently discussed are the ways in which America’s first philosophical movement was unlike any other movement before it, and essential in setting the course for a new generation of American writers, romantics, and philosophers.

Andrew Jackson and the $20 Bill

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A discussion of Jackson's presidency, early life, and legacy by analyzing arguments for Jackson's removal from the $20 bill and arguments for upholding his portrait on the bill. Also, a discussion and analysis of other U.S. presidents and figureheads on U.S. currency compared to Jackson. The discussion includes a comparison of Jackson's achievements with his shortcomings or failures. 

Women of the Anti-Slavery Movement

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Women have been deeply involved in the Abolitionist movement since the beginning.  Many of these female abolitionists went on to be a part of the growing women's sufferage movement.  While these women were highly active, this does not mean that they were welcomed with open arms into public society.  This exhibit exhamines notable figures, such as Angelina Grimke and Lucretia Mott, women led organizations, conventions, correspondence, and the backlash that they faced.  For many women the fight against slavery was a moral one.  Religion, as well as political beliefs, influenced them to end the enslavement of human beings.  Though many had different agendas and ideas of how things should be done, all female abolitionists risked their status in society by being a part of any abolitionist organization. 

"To plead for the miserable can never be unfeminine"-Elizabeth Margaret Chandler, abolitionist

The Cherokee Nation and the Fight Against Removal

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The narrative of American expansion is closely tied to the decline in the Native American population during the 1830’s. The Native Americans, like many minority groups throughout U.S. history, were at the mercy of the self-interested American people. The United States Government conveniently decided when it would treat Native American tribes as sovereign entities, and when it would limit or deny their rights. When the Indian Removal Act passed in 1830 and gave the federal government the power to relocate the Native American’s westward, there was opposition by many Indian tribes; most notably the Cherokee Indians. Petitions on behalf of the Cherokee people, as well as rulings by the U.S Supreme Court, were ignored by the U.S government. In 1836, the Cherokee Nation along with other Native American tribes, were forcibly removed from their lands.