Shirley Chisholm for President

On January 25, 1972, at the Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn, New York, Shirley Chisholm announced her candidacy for President of the United States, becoming the first African American to seek a major party’s nomination for President. She campaigned with the slogan “Unbought and Unbossed,” the title of her autobiography published in 1970.

Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm Announcing Her Candidacy for the Presidential Nomination. Thomas J. O’Halloran, photographer, January 25, 1972. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection. Prints & Photographs Division

Congresswoman Chisholm grew up in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York. The eldest of four girls, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Brooklyn College, and a Masters of Arts in Early Childhood Education from Columbia University. She worked as a nursery school teacher, child care center director, and educational consultant before seeking her first political office.

In 1964, Chisholm was elected to the New York State Assembly to represent the 55th District. She focused on the educational needs of her district and state.

In 1969, Chisholm was elected to the United States House of Representatives, and represented New York’s 12th congressional district. While serving in Congress, she fought for education, food security, civil rights, and women’s rights. Chisholm was the first African American woman to be elected to Congress. She was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Women’s Caucus.

Democratic National Convention, Miami Beach, Fla., 3rd Session; Shirley Chisholm Thanking Delegates. Thomas J. O’Halloran, photographer, July 12, 1972. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection. Prints & Photographs Division

In 1972, she announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States from Brooklyn, New York, and stressed that she was a candidate for all people despite being black and a woman. Congresswoman Chisholm was an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War. She sponsored or co-sponsored legislation on equal rights, day care centers, immigration, families, and Native Americans.

After serving seven terms and retiring from Congress, Chisholm continued to support women in politics by founding the National Political Caucus of Black Women and serving on the advisory council for the National Organization of Women (NOW). She passed away on January 1, 2005 in Ormond Beach, Florida.

President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Representative Shirley Chisholm the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.

Learn More

Globe Trotting

On January 25, 1890, police cleared a path through a cheering crowd for reporter Nellie Bly as she stepped off a train in New York just 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes, and 14 seconds after setting sail east to prove she could circle the globe in less than 80 days.

In the early hours of a smoky morning as we sat reading in the cabin of a ferry, a sudden shriek from our whistle, followed by a succession of piercing toots brought us to our feet to see what disaster was pending, when behold, close at hand lay the Japan steamer, Oceanic, with a tug at her side receiving on board a small piece of woman-hood which then sped away for the Oakland mole, where a special train awaited the arrival of Nelly [sic] Bly.

The Round Trip from the Hub to the Golden Gate, by Susie Champney Clark. Boston, Lee and Shepard, Publishers; New York, Charles T. Dillingham, 1890. p. 84+. California As I Saw It: First-Person Narratives of California’s Early Years, 1849 to 1900. General Collections

Distant View from Harbor Approach [Hong Kong]. William Henry Jackson, photographer, 1895. World’s Transportation Commission. Prints & Photographs Division

Bly, born Elizabeth Cochrane, challenged the fictional record of Phileas T. Fogg, hero of Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days, at the suggestion of her employer, the New York World. As Bly traveled via ship, train, jinricksha, sampan, horse, and burro, the World carried daily articles about her journey and offered a trip to Europe to the person who could come closest to guessing her finish time. The paper received nearly 1,000,000 entries and circulation boomed.

No stranger to fame, the daring Miss Bly had already made a name for herself by exposing the deplorable conditions of an insane asylum on New York’s Blackwell’s Island. Bly researched the story by feigning insanity and having herself committed for ten days. Her exposé on the asylum and later reports on slum life brought about needed reforms and helped pave the way for women in journalism.

Ladies Riding on Elephant [India]. William Henry Jackson, photographer, 1895. World’s Transportation Commission. Prints & Photographs Division

Four years after Nellie Bly’s sensational journey, railroad publicist Joseph Gladding Pangborn organized the World’s Transportation Commission to gather information about foreign transportation systems for the Field Columbian Museum in Chicago. In addition to Pangborn, the Commission included a railroad engineer, a graphic artist, and photographer William Henry Jackson. The World’s Transportation Commission collection contains some 900 images from the Commission’s three-year odyssey.

Digitized images from the World’s Transportation Commission photograph collection were reproduced from 584 lantern slides and from 297 silver gelatin prints made by the Library of Congress from the original film negatives. Lantern slides, which are glass positive transparencies, are the forerunner of today’s color slides. To make the lantern slides look more realistic, their creators colored them by hand with dyes and paints.

WTC [i.e.World Transportation Commission] Members Inside Their Private Railway Car [China]. William Henry Jackson, photographer, 1895. World’s Transportation Commission. Prints & Photographs Division

Learn More

Ezekiel Cheever, Latin Schoolmaster

Ezekiel Cheever was a Latin schoolmaster active in the British American colonies for seventy years. He taught Latin in many colonial schools across Connecticut and Massachusetts from 1638 until his death in 1708. He was born in London on January 25th in 1614 or 1615 and attended Christ’s Hospital School and later enrolled in Cambridge University’s Emmanuel College. He arrived in Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1637. Soon after, Cheever left Boston for New Haven, where he began teaching Latin and Greek at a small one-room school. In 1650 he left New Haven to teach at a grammar school in Ipswich, Massachusetts and in 1661 he left Ipswich to teach at another grammar school in Charlestown, Massachusetts. In 1670, he became the headmaster of the Boston Latin school which was founded 35 years earlier. He remained in this position until he died.

Novi Belgii Novaeque Angliae: nec non partis Virginiae tabula multis in locis emendata. Nicolaes Visscher; Amersterdam?, 1685. Discovery and Exploration. Geography & Map Division

No image of Cheever is known to exist. What is known about this schoolmaster can be inferred from references to him in various anecdotes of his former students and in records of colonial Boston and other towns. Ezra Stiles, the 7th president of Yale, wrote in his diary entry for April 25, 1772, that he met a certain Reverend Samuel Maxwell, who was a student of Cheever in the late seventeenth century. Maxwell described Cheever as sporting a white beard ending in a point, and when he would stroke his beard, it indicated he was becoming angry.

Cheever’s reputation as a prominent schoolteacher spread throughout the New England colonies. He managed to teach up to 100 boys in a school that was just 40 feet long and 25 feet wide- and this was the size of a new school building that was built towards the end of his life. As indicated in the town records of Boston, on July 24, 1704 the selectmen “Agreed with Mr. John Bernerd as followeth, he to build a new School House of forty foot Long, Twenty-five foot wide & Eleven foot Stud, with eight windows below & five in the Roofe with wooden Casements to the eight Windows…& to make three rows of benches for the boyes on each Side the room…” This new building still must have resulted in cramped conditions with so many schoolboys!

A Short Introduction to the Latin Tongue. By Ezekiel Cheever. Printed in Boston in N.E., by B. Green, for Benj. Eliot, at his shop in King street, 1724. Rare Book Selections. Rare Book & Special Collections Division

In addition to his fame as a Latin teacher, Cheever is remembered today as the author of a little manual of Latin grammar which bears his name, sometimes called A Short Introduction to the Latin Tongue, other times Accidence: An Elementary Grammar, for Beginners in the Study of the Latin Language. It is also colloquially referred to as “Cheever’s Accidence”. However, it turns out that Ezekiel’s assistant Nathaniel Williams, is the actual author of the book. He compiled it from Cheever’s teachings and notes, and published it in 1709. This book was wildly popular, appearing in over twenty editions and was last printed in 1838. Since the circumstances which led to this book’s creation were closely linked with Cheever and dependent upon his teachings, he has been designated as its author by default. A strong case for Williams’ authorship of the book was made by classicists John Latimer and Kenneth Murdock who published their findings in a 1951 article called “The Author of Cheever’s Accidence” in The Classical Journal.

Cheever taught many famous early New Englanders, some of whom attended Harvard and entered the ministry and sometimes public office. Among these are Jonathan Belcher, governor of the provinces of Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New Hampshire and Michael Wigglesworth, author of the poem Day of Doom. Another of his more famed students, the Puritan Cotton Mather, gave a eulogy at Cheever’s funeral and also wrote an epitaph in Latin for his departed teacher, which is included below with an English translation.

Cottonus Matherus S. theologiae doctor regia societatis Londonensis … Peter Pelham, artist; [Boston: 1728, restrike 1860]. Fine Prints. Prints & Photographs Division.

Ezekiel Cheeverus
Ludimagister; Primo Neoportensis; Deinde, Ipsuicensis; Postea, Carlotenensis; Postremo, Bostonensis: cuius Doctrinam ac Virtutem Nosti, si sis Nov-Anglus, Colis, si non Barbarus; GRAMMATICUS, a Quo non pure tantum, sed et pie, Loqui; RHETORICUS, a Quo non tantum ornate dicere coram Hominibus, sed et Orationes coram Deo fundere Efficacissimas; POETA, a Quo non tantum Carmina pangere, sed et Coelestes Hymnos Odasque Angelicas, canere, Didicerunt, Qui discere voluerunt; LUCERNA, ad Quam accensa sunt, Quis queat numerare, Quot Ecclesiarum Lumina? ET Qui secum Theologiae abstulit, Peritissimus THEOLOGUS, Corpus hic suum sibi minus charum, deposuit. Vixit Annos. XCIV. Docuit, Annos, LXX. Obiit, A.D. M. DCC. VIII. Et quod mori potuit, HEIC Expectat Exoptatque Primam Sanctorum Resurrectionem ad Immortalitem.

Corderius Americanus. An essay upon the good education of children…delivered at the funeral of Ezekiel Cheever, principal of the Latin school in Boston… Cotton Mather, author; Boston, Printed by Dutton & Wentworth, 1828. p. 22-23

English Translation:

Ezekiel Cheever
A schoolmaster – first at New Haven, next at Ipswich, then at Charlestown, finally at Boston – whose instruction and virtue you learn if you are a New Englander. You cherish them, if you are not uncivilized. A grammarian from whom those who wished to learn, learned not only to speak purely, but also piously. A rhetorician, from whom those who wished to learn, learned not only to speak ornately in the presence of men, but also to expound highly effective prayers in the presence of God. A poet, from whom those who wished to learn, learned not only to compose songs but also to sing divine hymns and angelic odes. A lamp, by which (who is able to count) how many lights of the churches were kindled? A very skillful theologian who carries with him the entire body of theology. Here he lays down his body, less dear in his estimation. He lived for 94 years. He taught for 70 years. He died in A.D. 1708, and because he was able to die, he awaits and longs for the first resurrection of the saints for immortality.

Andrew M. Gaudio, Classics, Medieval Studies, Linguistics specialist/Reference Librarian; Researcher & Reference Services Division. The Library of Congress

Learn More