Our program this evening, by Jessica Richard, is "Straining the Melting Pot: How Gilded Age Political Cartoons Portrayed America's Immigrants". “Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” Franklin D. Roosevelt’s words ring as true now as it did then regarding the pride of the American’s noble forefathers. Despite this pride, the immigrants who became the bedrock of this country have often faced scrutiny and mockery from those who consider themselves ‘original’ Americans. During this talk, we will explore how each wave of emigration was viewed through 1800s political cartoons from the pens of those of Thomas Nast, Harper’s Weekly and Puck. Catholic or Protestant, Native Tribe or Slave, Irish or Chinese: The multiple waves of demographics that span from Lady Liberty to the Golden Gate tell us about our own national identity. When we look through the lens of nativism, we will find that it is easy to accentuate the differences of the feared foreigner, but that time eventually turns all foreigners into fellow Americans claiming their own rights to the Land of the Free.
Before each monthly meeting, beginning at 6 pm, we hold a 45-minute Help Session. Please come with genealogy problems that you would like to have us take a look at. And come ready to offer other peoples’ research a fresh look. Bring your laptops or other genealogical devices so we can investigate resources that you may not have used. Prudence Sadler will facilitate this session.