An Election Observer in El Salvador Looks Back

Fall 2020 Reminds Me of 1994, When I Watched for Fraud and Intimidation as a War-Torn Nation Voted

In downtown San Miguel, long lines of voters snaked around the block in the pre-dawn darkness. It was still an hour before the open-air election booths on the sidewalks lining Avenida Roosevelt, the city’s main thoroughfare, would open. Many had walked long distances to get to the city; some were barefoot. Many were unsure if they were listed accurately on the voting rolls. Many were illiterate and would be depending on the pictorial symbols representing the political parties.

It was March 1994, and after 12 years of bloody civil war that …

Jefferson Davis’s Lesser-Known Nemesis | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Jefferson Davis’s Lesser-Known Nemesis

Henry Stuart Foote and the Confederate President Supported Slavery—But Loathed One Another

On Christmas morning, 1847, six important men assembled at a large boarding house in Washington, D.C., ostensibly for casual, after-breakfast conversation. In the parlance of the era, it was a …

How the ‘Yellow House’ Helped Make Washington, D.C., a Slavery Capital | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How the Yellow House Helped Make Washington, D.C., a Slavery Capital

The Notorious Jail Lent Institutional Support to Slavery Throughout the South

Washington, D.C., was a capital not just of the United States, but of slavery, serving as a major depot in the domestic slave trade. In the District, enslaved men, women, …

The Civil War Chaplains Who Shaped Modern American Patriotism | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Civil War Chaplains Who Shaped Modern American Patriotism

In Prisons and Hospitals, Clergy Tended to Fighters While Stoking Familiar Strains of Nationalism

Chaplain Henry S. White, of the Fifth Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, was a devout Christian—and so when he was captured by the Confederacy, he naturally led a service for his …

The Heartbreaking Love Letters That Spurred an Ohio Blacksmith to Join John Brown’s Raid | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Heartbreaking Love Letters That Spurred an Ohio Blacksmith to Join John Brown’s Raid

Dangerfield Newby’s Enslaved Wife Wrote Increasingly Desperate Missives That Inspired Her Husband to Join the Abolitionist Rebellion

Every October 16 marks the anniversary of John Brown’s historic raid on Harpers Ferry in West Virginia in 1859. Accompanied by 18 supporters, Brown, a radical abolitionist, hoped to …