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The Power of Maps and the Politics of Borders: Papers from the conference held at the American Philosophical Society, October 2019: Transactions, APS (Vol. 110, Part 4) Benjamin Franklin, Swimmer: An Illustrated History (Transactions Vol 110, Part 1
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The Power of Maps and the Politics of Border Benjamin Franklin, Swimmer
Some papers include: Unpacking the Meaning of Maps, Power, and Boundaries; The Legacy of Major Sebastian Bauman’s Map of the Siege of Yorktown; Mapping Old and New Empires in the Early U.S.; Cherokee Boundaries Above, Below, and Beyond; Cherokee Territoriality, Anglo-American Surveying, and the Creation of Borders in the Early 19th-Century West; Chickasaw and Cherokee Resistance to American Colonization, 1785-1816; Hydrography, Natural History, and the Sea in the 19th Century; William Darby’s “A Map of the State of Louisiana” and the Extension of American Sovereignty over the “Neutral Ground” in the Louisiana-Texas Borderland, 1806-1819; Initiating the World’s Longest Unfortified Boundary; Mapping Inequality, Resistance, and Solutions in Early National Philadelphia. Illus.

The story of Benjamin Franklin’s lifelong delight in swimming and his influence in making swimming popular in the western world has never been told. This book uses Franklin’s love of swimming to examine the founder’s life, times, and strong, inventive personality through a lens that historians have previously overlooked. Franklin’s personality emerges through the lens of swimming. We see him clearly as a leader, an inventor, and a strong, proud man. As he was in many fields, he was self-taught. He interacted with family, friends, and acquaintances through swimming. Swimming also offered him an entrée into British society.

Franklin discusses swimming in his Letters and in his Autobiography. Friends and family also comment on his swimming. Primary sources for this book include Franklin’s writing, that of his contemporaries, and other artistic and archaeological sources. When Franklin’s grandson Benjamin Franklin Bache was in his care in France he swam in the Seine. Bache’s Journal constitutes another important primary source for this book. The escapades of this engaging literate teenager in France with his grandfather never before have been published.

In 1968 the International Swimming Hall of Fame honored Franklin with membership. The citation mentions his various inventions that made swimming more efficient and his own feats as a swimmer, but most of all his success in promoting swimming as an essential part of any education. Benjamin Franklin’s advice about water safety and his conviction that everyone should learn to swim because it promotes health, hygiene, and safety is still relevant. Swimming has always been “useful knowledge.”

Sarah B. Pomeroy is Distinguished Professor of Classics and History, Emerita, at Hunter College and the Graduate School, CUNY. She is also Lady Joan Reid Author in Residence at Benjamin Franklin House, London, and a Member of the American Philosophical Society. Widely recognized as a pioneer in the fields of women’s history and classical studies, she uses not only textual sources but also artistic and archaeological evidence in order to reconstruct the past. Her publications include Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity (1975, 1995); Women in Hellenistic Egypt from Alexander to Cleopatra (1984, 1990); Spartan Women (2002); The Murder of Regilla. a Case of Domestic Violence in Antiquity (2007); and Pythagorean Women: Their Lives and Their Writings (2013). Her most recent book is Maria Sibylla Merian, Artist, Scientist, Adventurer (2017). Her books have been translated into Italian, Spanish, German, and Chinese. Professor Pomeroy received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and she is an Honorary Fellow of St. Hilda’s College, the University of Oxford. Like Ben Franklin, she likes to play the harpsichord and to swim.

Optical Magic in the Late Renaissance: Giambattista Della Porta's De Refractione of 1593: Transactions, APS (Vol. 107, Part 1) Letters of Rowland Whyte (1595-1608) : Memoir 268
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Optical Magic in the Late Renaissance: Letters of Rowland Whyte (1595-1608)
Provides the first complete edition, annotated and with modernized spelling, of these important late-Elizabethan letters, written by Rowland Whyte as the personal agent and advisor at court of Robert Sidney, Viscount Lisle and first Earl of Leicester. His series of 292 surviving letters to Sidney, written between September 1595 and December 1602, were partly intended as intelligence documents, keeping Sidney fully briefed on court affairs and gossip. This edition also includes a shorter sequence of Whyte’s surviving letters to Gilbert Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, concerning the marriage of Talbot’s daughter, Lady Mary, to Robert Sidney’s rich and increasingly powerful nephew, William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke. A useful resource for the last years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. Illus.
Spreading the Word: Scottish Publishers and English Literature 1750-1900: Transactions, APS (Vol. 109, Part 2) The House of Barnes: The Man, The Collection, The Controversy (Memoir Vol. 266)
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Spreading the Word The House of Barnes
A disproportionate number of the great publishing houses of the English-speaking world - -Blackie, Blackwood, Collins, Constable, Macmillan, Millar, Murray, Nelson, Smith and Elder, Strahan -- were founded after the Treaty of Union in 1707, by men, often of humble origin, from “north of the border” (Scotland). Many of the now classic English writers of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries were personally encouraged by the men running these companies, nearly all of whom were also committed, for cultural as well as commercial reasons, to making literature in English accessible to all. This essay offers a comprehensive, yet short overview of this remarkable Scottish contribution to English literary history. Illus. The House of Barnes: The Man, The Collection, The Controversy is a beautifully written study of the extraordinary art collector and volatile personality Albert C. Barnes.  The book places him in the context of his own era, shedding new light on the ideas and movements (about art collecting, education, and aesthetics) that shaped so much of his thinking.

The Barnes’ major holdings of largely post-impressionist art include more than 800 paintings, with a strong focus on Renoir (181 canvases), Cézanne (69), Matisse (59), and Picasso (46 paintings and drawings). In its entirety, it is the greatest single collection of such art that has remained intact.  

The last chapters of the book address the controversial events surrounding the Barnes Foundation’s move to Philadelphia, including vehement opposition—as well as strong support. There is an analysis of the Foundation’s financial plight, a review of the major court cases over the decades, and a characterization of the fervent reactions following the court’s decision to allow the move to take place.

The monograph is recommended for a broad audience, including those interested in art and art collecting, the role of art in education, and the development of cultural institutions.



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Other Presidency: Thomas Jefferson

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Other Presidency: Thomas Jefferson
The Other Presidency: Thomas Jefferson and the American Philosophical Society, by Patrick Spero, With research assistance by Abigail Shelton and John Kenney.


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