Building Nations

<em>To the King&rsquo;s Most Excellent Majesty</em>
Church of Scotland. General Assembly. Commission, To the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, 1642; 1643-1644.

Building Nations. Official sources tend to support the founding and development of nation states, while private ones can contain observations (sometimes visible only in hindsight) revealing a state’s imminent demise or revolutionary change. The former holds for the United States and Brazilian documents displayed here, which show young, developing nations establishing themselves. The latter applies to the seventeenth-century British pamphlets and twentieth-century correspondence from Berlin, which reveal tensions within the nations’ political fabric.


These two pamphlets illustrate why libraries collect near-duplicates. They give subtly different accounts of Charles I’s rejection the Scottish Church’s attempt to advise him on church government in England. [Essay 102]

General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and Charles I, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland
To the King’s Most Excellent Majesty. The Humble Petition of the Commissionerrs of the Generall Assembly . . . met at Edenborough . . . with His Maiesties Gratious Answer thereunto

Oxford (?): Leonard Lichfield, Printer to the University, 1642
General Fund, 1949; purchased from Ralph T. Howey, 1959
Case J 5453 .789; Case J 5453 .2669

<em>Geographia Historica da Capitania de Minas Geraes</em>
José Joaquim da Rocha, Geographia Historica da Capitania de Minas Geraes, ca. 1779.

A Portuguese military engineer and geographer created this account of native people’s courage in settling this region. It forms a vital part of modern Brazil’s national narrative. [Essay 86]

José Joachim de Rocha
Geographia Histórica da Capitania de Minas Gerais
[Historical geography of the captaincy of Minas Gerais]
Minas Gerais, Brazil: 1779
Greenlee Fund, 1989
VAULT folio Greenlee MS 425

<em>Supplement to the Independent Chronicle</em>
Supplement to the Independent Chronicle, January 31, 1788.

This rare broadside reports a terrible hurricane that struck Jamaica, and it also offers information on progress at the Federal Convention to form a new United States Constitution. It illustrates the Newberry’s collection of newspapers and journalism. [Essay 7]

Supplement to the Independent Chronicle
Boston: Powars & Willis, January 31, 1788
Ruggles Fund, 2006
VAULT folio Ruggles 452

<em>Mad-River Courant - Extra: President&rsquo;s Message - Concluded</em>
Mad-River Courant - ..., 1823 or 1824.

A local newspaper in Urbana, Ohio (west of Columbus) printed this broadside to convey an important message from President James Monroe about the United States’ proper “spheres of influence” in the western hemisphere—what we now know as the Monroe Doctrine. [Essay 8]

Mad-River Courant Extra. (President’s Message—Concluded.)
Urbana, Ohio: Evan Banes, Jr., c. late 1823/1824
Ruggles Fund, 2004
VAULT folio Ruggles 451

Ben Hecht&#039;s Berlin Photo Album
Ben Hecht, Berlin Photo Album, April-June, 1919.

Early in his storied career as a novelist and screenwriter, Ben Hecht was the Chicago Daily News’s foreign correspondent in Berlin. This dispatch describes the funeral of radical reformer Rosa Luxembourg, and several photographs illustrate Hecht’s life in Berlin. [Essay 40]

Ben Hecht
Photograph Album
April–June 1919
Bequest of Rose Caylor Hecht, 1979
Midwest MS Hecht, Box 113 Folder 2981

Ben Hecht&#039;s Berlin Dispatch
Ben Hecht, Berlin Dispatch, June 30, 1919.

Ben Hecht
News Dispatch
Berlin, June 30, 1919
Bequest of Rose Caylor Hecht, 1979
Midwest MS Hecht, Box 2 Folder 108