|Humanities Time Capsule: Columbian Exposition of 1893|
[Note: To print Ida B. Wells Artifact Examples, Group II, select Print from your Internet browser or from your computer system menu].
Source: Joanne M. Braxton, ed., The Collected Poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar, (University Press of Virginia, 1913) 47, 178.
Harriet Monroe's Commemorative Ode.
|"...it will be seen that practice in the movement of her body rather than her feet has greatly developed her abdominal region. We are to understand that this development has increased her beauty in the Oriental imagination, as it has certainly lessened it according to Western canons of taste. ... Stamping her foot forward, the dancer will move her shoulders up and down, increasing the contortions of her body, striking the castanets she carries, whirling sometimes, but more often stamping forward, each time to a posture nearer the floor, until, as she seems to expire in the excitement of the rapid music and cries of the musicians, other houris rise from their couch and take her place, or join her, waving long strips of illusion or lace in a graceful and rhythmic manner. No ordinary Western woman looked on these performances with anything but horror, and at one time it was a matter of serious debate in the councils of the Exposition whether the customs of Cairo should be faithfully reproduced, or the morals of the public faithfully protected. All Asiatic, African and some Muscovite dances resembled one another."|
Source: Halsey C. Ives, The Dream City: A Portfolio of Photographic Views of the World's Columbian Exposition, (N. D. Thompson Publishing Co., 1893).
Ten Suggestions for Visitors to the World's Fair.
|"Woman's work in various humanitarian and educational departments, and in social reform, has also its exponent. Among some of the societies represented are Kings' Daughters, Woman's Christian Temperance Union, Woman's Relief Corps, Shut-In Society for Promotion of Physical Culture. The building is crowded with illustrations of woman's work and progress. Indeed, this crowded condition is the only criticism to be made upon it. But filled as it is, it yet does not contain all the specimens of woman's skill which the Columbian exposition has to show. In all the state buildings and in many of the foreign and main buildings, their handiwork is likewise to be found."|
Source: Marian Shaw, World's Fair Notes: A Woman Journalist Views Chicago's 1893 Columbian Exposition, (Pogo Press, 1992) 64, 76-77.
On the Yacht Yomouna.
"As an unskilled laborer I was not eligible to membership in any union, but I was admitted freely to the central meetings, to which I sometimes went in company with Socialists who were delegates of their respective orders. Under their tutelage, I was shown the operation of an exceedingly complex system, which, seen without guidance, would have appeared to me hopelessly chaotic. I was seeing it, I realized, from the point of view of the Socialists, and I was interested immediately in learning their attitude."
Source: Walter A. Wyckoff, The Workers: An Experiment in Reality, (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1898) 256a, 279.
Fair Grounds at Night.
|For Joplin, the World's Fair may have offered employment, but probably more importantly it gave him the chance to hear some of the best popular African American musicians in Chicago in the 1890s. There he reportedly heard "Plunk" Henry Johnson and Johnny Seymour, whose style of playing entranced the handsome young itinerant musician as well as the audiences that thronged to hear them. In addition to hearing great African American musicians, Joplin also made some lasting friendships. For example, it is believed that in Chicago Joplin met and became friends with Otis Saunders. It was Saunders, a Missourian, who eventually took Joplin to Sedalia and encouraged him to learn more about formal composition. One can imagine that the two aspiring African-American musicians, both from former slave states, marveled at the sights and sounds of Chicago and the White City and at the popularity of their music.|
John Philip Sousa.
A complete bibliography is available from:
Educational Studies Department
Northfield, MN 55057
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