The Beinecke Library has acquired the William Walker Whitehall Johnston Photograph Album of Wales, the West Indies, and the 1st West India Regiment (GEN MSS 887). This extraordinary photograph album documents people and the built landscape of the West Indies, circa 1859-1865, including enlisted men, non-commissioned officers, and officers in the 1st West India Regiment. The photographs of the regiment depict soldiers, officers, military exercises, and barracks. A group portrait shows officers involved in the Morant Bay Rebellion, including Johnston and generals Luke Smythe O’Connor and Alexander Abercromby Nelson.
Photographs of sites in the West Indies include buildings, markets, and streets. Many images depict sites in Nassau on New Providence, including Christ Church Cathedral, Fort Charlotte, Fort Fincastle, Market Street Arch, Old Fort of Nassau, Queen’s Staircase, and Vendue House, as well as the residence of the governor and an octoganal-shaped city jail. Images of sites in Kingston, Jamaica, include the Coke Memorial Methodist Church, Kingston Theatre, and Up-Park Camp. Several photographs show the settlement and barracks at Castries, Saint Lucia. Photographs of Port of Spain, Trinidad include views of Marine Square and Almond Walk. Photographs of Havana, Cuba depict the Plaza de Armas, including El Templete, the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, and a monument to Ferdinand VII of Spain. There are also photographs of the lighthouse at Great Isaac Cay, South Bimini Island. Photographs of sites include several panoramic photographs.
The album also includes photographs documenting a stay by Johnston with the Tennant family at Cadoxton Lodge Estate in Cadoxton-juxta-Neath, Wales. Images include portraits, including portraits of Johnston’s brothers, as well as several members of the Tennant family, such as Charles Tennant and Henry Tennant; views of the Cadoxton Lodge Estate, including the house and garden; and several views of the Neath Abbey ruins. Other images include views of iron and tin works, Aberdulais Falls, the Tennant Canal, and the beach at the Mumbles near Swansea. Several photographs depict sites in London, including workmen and boys gathered at the construction site of the Victoria Railway Bridge (later known as the Grosvenor Bridge) over the River Thames.
A detailed description of the album can be found online: William Walker Whitehall Johnston Photograph Album of Wales, the West Indies, and the 1st West India Regiment (GEN MSS 887).
William Walker Whitehall Johnston (1835-1886)
William Walker Whitehall Johnston was an officer in the British Army. He was born in Trinidad, where his father, Thomas Francis Johnston (circa 1808-1873) served as a Colonial Secretary. In the British Army, Johnston held ranks from ensign to lieutenant-colonel in the 1st West India Regiment. He commanded troops in Jamaica, British Honduras, and West Africa in the Ashanti War, 1873-1874. Johnston married Mary Elizabeth Farrington (circa 1835-circa 1884), circa 1860, and they had two children, Frances Maude Johnston Hilditch (circa 1862-1895) and William Charles Caley Johnston (1870-1918). In 1884, he married Matilda Ricketts (born circa 1856). Johnston died in London in 1886.
West India Regiment
The West India Regiment was an infantry unit of the British Army recruited from and normally stationed in the British colonies of the West Indies between 1795 and 1927. Intially the regiment sought to recruit both free blacks from the West Indian population together with purchased slaves from West Indian plantations. After the abolition of slavery, enlisted men in the regiment were black West Indian volunteers, with white officers and some senior non-commissioned officers from Great Britain.
Charles Tennant (1796-1873)
Charles Tennant was an English politician and landowner. From 1830 to 1831 Tennant was Member of Parliament for St Albans, and supported the Representation of the People Act 1832 (commonly known as the Reform Act 1832). In 1830 he was one of the founders of the National Colonisation Society, advocating emigration to British colonies. His political publications include The People’s Blue Book (1857) and The Bank of England and the Organization of Credit in England (1866). Tennant also owned Cadoxton Lodge Estate in Cadoxton-juxta-Neath, Wales.
CANCELLED: EVENT TO BE RESCHEDULED
Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, director of The New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, will be speaking at Beinecke Library, at 1pm Monday, October 29th, 2012. This event is co-sponsored by the Department of African American Studies’ Endeavors Colloquium Series.
Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad took over as director at the Schomburg Center in July of 2011. Dr. Muhammad graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in economics and received his doctorate in American history from Rutgers University. He also served as a fellow at the Vera Institute of Justice, a nonprofit criminal justice reform agency in New York City. Dr. Muhammad was formerly a history professor at Indiana University. His book, The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, Harvard University Press, 2010, won the John Hope Franklin Publication Prize for 2011. Dr. Muhammad has participated in a PBS documentary, “Slavery by Another Name,” based on Douglas Blackmon’s book of the same name, and has appeared with Tavis Smiley and Bill Moyers.
The talk will be held in Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, 121 Wall St., Rm 38/39 at 1:00pm on Monday, 29 October, 2012. This event is free and open to the public.
C. S. Giscombe, Poetry Reading
Thursday, October 18th, 4:00pm
Beinecke Library, 121 Wall Street
Yale Collection of American Literature Reading Series
C.S. Giscombe is the author of books including Prairie Style, Two Sections from Practical Geography, Giscome Road, Here, At Large, Postcards, and Into and Out of Dislocation. Prairie Style was awarded an American Book Award by the Before Columbus Foundation; Giscome Road won the Carl Sandburg Prize, given by the Chicago Public Library. In 2010, Giscombe received the Stephen Henderson Award in Poetry from the African American Literature and Culture Society; he has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Fund for Poetry. He is a member of the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley.
The James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection at the Beinecke Library is pleased to announce that the Richard Bruce Nugent Papers are now available for research. A detailed list of materials in the archive can be found here: Richard Bruce Nugent Papers (JWJ MSS 92).
Writer and artist Richard Bruce Nugent (1906-1987) was a member of the Harlem Renaissance arts community that included such luminaries as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Alain Locke, and Wallace Thurman. Nugent’s work appeared in little magazines, including Fire!!, Opportunity and Palms; he also appeared on Broadway in Porgy (1927) and Run, Little Chillun (1933). Nugent’s short story “Smoke, Lilies, and Jade,” which appeared in Fire!! in 1926, ranks him among the first African American writers to openly consider homosexuality in his work.
The Richard Bruce Nugent Papers consist of correspondence, writings, personal and financial papers, subject files, photographs, printed materials, and audiovisual materials. Bruce Nugent’s correspondence consists of family, professional, and personal correspondence, including letters from homosexual love interests. Writings include poetry, short non-fiction pieces, and various fiction pieces, including the novel Gentleman Jigger. Writings by others include drafts and papers relating to Gay Rebel of the Harlem Renaissance by Thomas H. Wirth. Photographs consist of portraits and snapshots of Nugent, his love interests, friends, and family. The bulk of the audiovisual materials consist of interviews with Nugent. Printed materials include books inscribed to Nugent as well as various clippings and ephemera.
Images: Opportunity: Journal of Negro Life, featuring cover drawing by Richard Bruce Nugent (Vol. 4, No. 39, 1926); Richard Bruce Nugent photographed by Carl Van Vechten, February 16, 1936 (Photographs by Carl Van Vechten are used with permission of the Van Vechten Trust; permission of the Trust is required to publish Van Vechten photographs in any format).
Welcome A. Bartlett Giamatti Fellow Nadia Nurhussein, University of Massachusetts, Boston. Fellowship project: Documenting Abyssinia: Imperial Ethiopia and African-American Literature.
Nadia Nurhussein is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where she has taught since 2005. She received her PhD in English in 2004 from UC Berkeley and, from 2004 to 2005, was a Visiting Assistant Professor and Postdoctoral Fellow in the English department at Mount Holyoke College. Her research focuses on African-American literature of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, especially poetry. Her first book, Rhetorics of Literacy: The Cultivation of American Dialect Poetry, is forthcoming from The Ohio State University Press in 2013. As a Beinecke Fellow, she will pursue research on a second book project about the idea of Ethiopia in African-American literature.