Inside the Vault in July: The Declaration of Independence and the Fighting 54th
Posted by Gilder Lehrman Staff on Wednesday, 06/30/2021
This July on Inside the Vault, the online program that highlights unique primary sources from the Gilder Lehrman Collection, we will feature pivotal moments in American progress, from the Declaration of Independence to the brave charge of the African American soldiers of the Massachusetts 54th Volunteer Infantry on Battery Wagner during the Civil War.
On Thursday, July 1, we discover how the news of the Declaration of Independence was received and learn the history behind the William J. Stone printing of the Declaration.
Documents being discussed include
- William J. Stone’s printing of the Declaration of Independence
- William Whipple’s description of the reception of the Declaration in New York
- A German print with a fictitious view of pulling down King George’s statue
- A British pamphlet entitled An Answer to the Declaration of the American Congress (printed in London)
On July 18, 1863, we will examine the context and story of the battle featured in Glory, which demonstrated the bravery and fierce determination of African American soldiers even though they were paid less than White soldiers and were threatened with a policy of “no quarter” by the Confederates.
This session of Inside the Vault will explore
- A letter from Sergeant Francis Fletcher about equal pay for Black soldiers
- Documents about the Confederate policy of “no quarter”
- Depictions of the Charge on Battery Wagner
- The Massachusetts 54th Volunteer Infantry’s charge against Battery Wagner, as recorded in Black Phalanx; A History of the Negro Soldiers of the United States in the Wars of 1775–1812, 1861–’65