PBS documentary, The Abolitionists, and a headline from Vermont

The Abolitionists has been airing this month in three parts on PBS’ American Experience series – Tuesdays, January 8th, 15th, and 22nd, 2013 from 9-10.

The Abolitionists is a fascinating documentary that features extracts from many archives and yes, many newspaper headlines and articles. These primary resource materials from the nineteenth century figure prominently.

You can watch The Abolitionists on your local Public Television station.
The Vermont Public Television (VPT) schedule is listed here: http://www.vpt.org/show/19661/101

You can also view it online:
http://video.pbs.org/video/2323777396

The National Endowment for the Humanities provided major funding for The Abolitionists.  The Library of Congress and its Chronicling America website, and numerous other archival and cultural heritage organizations contributed to the development and creation of The Abolitionists.

In August 2012, the VTDNP was contacted by Tiffany Hagger – one of the researchers working on The Abolitionists.  She wrote to request a high resolution image of a page containing the newspaper article “California and Slavery”from the Burlington Free Press, Mar. 1, 1850 (p.2) to use in the documentary.  She had discovered the article on the Chronicling America website.  VTDNP was pleased to play a small role in contributing this image for inclusion in The Abolitionists.

If viewing The Abolitionists on the Internet or on the DVD, you can use the time or chapter index feature to see the Burlington Free Press “California and Slavery” headline that begins “Chapter 12 – The Great Compromise,” – at approximately 1:25 into the video.  The camera lingers on the Burlington Free Press banner and article headline “California and Slavery,” and then scrolls down to zoom in on the text, “the Union is not worth preserving” while a voice-over introduces the question of territories acquired after the Mexican-American War and the debate surrounding California joining the union as a free state, along with other circumstances leading to the “Great Compromise” of 1850.

BFP-1850-03-01-p2
You can read the complete full-text to the article on Chronicling America: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84023127/1850-03-01/ed-1/seq-2/

And don’t forget to watch The Abolitionists !
It is a compelling and well-done documentary, and part of our nation’s history.

– Birdie MacLennan

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