Journal of American History

Presidential Address

Black Professionals and Race Consciousness: Origins of the Civil Rights Movement, 1890–1950

Attorney William Henry Hastie, left, with Undersecretary of War Robert 
P. Patterson. Hastie served as civilian aide for Negro affairs to the secretary of war from November 1940 until January 1943. He fought for the integration of black nurses into the armed forces nurse corps and for the desegregation of the entire U.S. military.
Courtesy Library of Congress

From the late nineteenth century on, black professionals organized parallel institutions to further their class interests and to ensure the survival of the black community. Such professional institutions sustained an elite-driven black resistance to white supremacy until the eruption of a mass civil rights movement in the 1950s. In her presidential address to the Organization of American Historians, Darlene Clark Hine examines conflicts over the use of black physicians and nurses in the military during World War II. She identifies that struggle as the pivotal juncture when men and women of the black professional class shifted strategies, turning from a parallelism consistent with segregation to a demand for full inclusion that would doom segregation. (pp. 1279–94) Read online >


Beyond Freedom and Slavery: Autonomy, Virtue, and Resistance in Early American Political Discourse

Benson Lossing’s mid-nineteenth-century rendering of Benjamin Franklin’s seal for the United States, proposed in 1776. The seal shows pharaoh’s army foundering as the freed Israelites look on from safety, suggesting the power of slavery in shaping Americans’ national image. If the design here depicted freedom as the result of divine will, more often early national print culture made freedom a result of Americans’ own agency, their virtuous resistance to tyranny.
Courtesy Library of Congress.

Did the liberal and republican traditions of the United States subvert slavery? No, argues François Furstenberg; in the early republic they could justify slavery. Furstenberg shows that the narrative of the American Revolution presented in early national print culture grounded freedom and virtue in resistance. If those who resisted oppression earned their freedom, it followed that those who remained enslaved must be tacitly consenting to their own subjugation. The liberal-republican principle of consent thus legitimated slavery. Furstenberg suggests that the professional division between intellectual history and the historiography of slavery has led scholars to overemphasize the contributions of American liberal and republican traditions to the history of liberation and to neglect their equally significant contributions to the history of oppression. (pp. 1295–1331) Read online >

Whose “Barbarism”? Whose “Treachery”? Race and Civilization in the Unknown United States-Korea War of 1871

Soon after the U.S. fleet entered Korean waters in May 1871 on a mission to “open” Korea to contact with the West, the pioneer photographer Felice Beato took this picture, probably the first photograph of Korea ever taken.
Courtesy Stanford University Libraries.

Gordon H. Chang examines a long-neglected episode in the American effort to open Asia to the Western system of international trade and diplomacy. In 1871, a U.S. naval expedition sent out to establish diplomatic relations with Korea instead made war. Although the Americans involved took pride in their venture’s high-mindedness and although they did not seek territory or exclusive trading rights, their actions differed little from European colonialism elsewhere in Asia. Chang explores how ideas about international norms, commercial potential, civilization, and race came together to produce the tragic and bloody United States-Korea War of 1871 (pp. 1331–65) Read online >

Round Table

Subaltern History Makers and Alternative Constructions of the Past

The round table “Subaltern History Makers and Alternative Constructions of the Past” presents two articles that address how members of subordinated groups created distinctive popular versions of the past.

An Introduction

by Joanne Meyerowitz. Read online >

Meta Warrick’s 1907 “Negro Tableaux” and (Re)Presenting African American Historical Memory

A portrait of the artist Meta Vaux Warrick (1877–1968) from 1907, the year she created the Jamestown Exposition tableaux. At thirty years old and boasting training in the studios of Paris, she accepted a commission ‘to construct in a true and artistic manner’ tableaux ‘so arranged as to show . . . the progress of the Negro in America from the landing at Jamestown to the present time.’
Image reprinted from Voice of the Negro, March 1907.

How could artists trained in the hierarchical and ethnocentric pre-modernist traditions of the early twentieth century portray African Americans and their history when neither were considered worthy artistic subjects? Meta Warrick, a Paris-trained African American sculptor, struggled with that challenge when she crafted elaborate tableaux of African American history for the 1907 Jamestown Tercentennial Exposition. W. Fitzhugh Brundage shows how Warrick used the era’s seemingly objective modes of representation to contest the dominant ideology of white supremacy, even as her tableaux also embraced the prevailing grand narrative of middle-class respectability, upward mobility, and social progress as the way to ennoble African American history. (pp. 1368–1400) Read online >

For suggestions on how to use this article in the U.S. history classroom, see our “Teaching the JAH” Web project at

The Politics of Transnational History Making: Japanese Immigrants on the Western “Frontier,” 1927–1941

The gravestone of the Japanese woman pioneer Okei in Gold Hill, California. The headstone reads, ‘Okei, nineteen years old, died in 1871’; she has been identified as the first female Japanese immigrant.  Thanks to the lobbying of local Nisei (second-generation) leaders, her grave was designated part of a state historic landmark in 1969.
Reprinted from Zaibei Nihonjinkai, Zaibei Nihonjinshi (History of Japanese in America), 1940.

Bringing together the histories of immigration, popular culture, and historiography, Eiichiro Azuma shows how Japanese immigrants placed their collective past within narratives of the American frontier and Japanese expansionism. Between 1924 and 1941, Issei historians writing for a popular audience borrowed from Japanese and American ideologies to draw a parallel between Euro-American frontiersmen and Japanese immigrant “pioneers.” That historical vision enabled immigrants who were denied citizenship to proclaim themselves archetypal Americans by virtue of their Japanese traits—until World War II made such a dual national identity untenable. (pp. 1400–31) Read online >

Special Essay

Expansion and Exceptionalism in Early American History

Transnational, Atlantic, global–that is what American history is now supposed to be. But how can it reach that goal? Joyce E. Chaplin surveys early American history, which has long been in dialogue with non-Americanist fields, noting how it has expanded to include the histories of nations and peoples beyond the traditional core of white, Anglophone colonists. Yet, despite their new and intriguing patterns of borrowing and lending from other historical fields, early Americanists have stubbornly retained a sense of American exceptionalism. Chaplin’s essay looks at how we might, in our globalizing age, lose some of our scholarly parochialism. (pp. 1431–55) Read online >

Textbooks & Teaching

Courtesy McGraw Hill

Editors’ Introduction: “More than Bells and Whistles? Using Digital Technology to Teach American History," by Gary J. Kornblith and Carol Lasser (pp. 1456–7) Read online >

“Building the Better Textbook: The Promises and Perils of E-Publication,” by Michael J. Guasco (pp. 1458–62) Read online >

“‘Scholars will soon be instructed through the eye’: E-Supplements and the Teaching of U.S. History,” by David Jaffee (pp. 1463–82) Read online >

“Using Online Resources to Re-center the U.S. History Survey: Women’s History as a Case Study,” by Kriste Lindenmeyer (pp. 1483–88) Read online >

“Pursuing E-Opportunities in the History Classroom,” by Mark Tebeau (pp. 1489–94) Read online >

Book Reviews

March 2003, Vol. 89 No. 4

Alphabetical by the last name of the book's first author or editor.


Web site Reviews

Web site reviews are available without a subscription.

  • Virtual Jamestown, by David Jaffee (pp. 1627-28) Read online >
  • Lincoln/Net: Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization Project, by Anne Sarah Rubin (pp. 1628-29) Read online >
  • The South Texas Border, 1900–1920: Photographs from the Robert Runyon Collection, by Neil Foley (pp. 1629-30) Read online >
  • Toledo's Attic: A Virtual Museum of Toledo, Ohio, by Alison Isenberg (pp. 1630-31) Read online >
  • The Rutgers Oral History Archives of World War II, by James T. Sparrow (pp. 1631-32) Read online >
  • Regional Oral History Office, by Linda Shopes (p. 1632) Read online >

Letters to the Editor


Recent Scholarship

“Recent Scholarship” is available online, Read online >

Contents of Volume 89

Index to Volume 89

thumbnail of cover

On the cover:

Perhaps the first photographic image of a Korean, taken by Felice Beato during the 1871 U.S. military expedition to “open” Korea. The man holds empty bottles of Bass Ale, with its trademark triangle symbol--nicknamed the “entering wedge of civilization”—and other spirit and wine bottles. He also holds a copy of Every Sunday, with a front-page picture of Charles Sumner. Courtesy Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, RBCDS915.P4f. See Gordon H. Chang, “Whose ‘Barbarism’? Whose ‘Treachery’?: Race and Civilization in the Unknown United States-Korea War of 1871,” p. 1331

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