Fall 2015 collections

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Collections A p u b l i c at i o n o f t h e B e n t l e y H i s t o r i c al L i b r a r y at t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f M i c h i g a n

The Life of Dr. Death Jack Kevorkian’s archive comes to the Bentley Historical Library

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Contents DIREC TO R ’S NOT ES 1 – The Unlikely Conservationist ABRI D G E M E N TS 2 – Sound Bites from the Stacks 1150 B EA L 16 – From the Battlefield to a Biscuit Tin 17 – Out of Print REFE R E NC ES 18 – A Historian at Heart 19 – Cutting through the Red Tape CATH O L E P I ST E M I A D 20 – Sleuthing a Soccer Snapshot 22 – Students and the Stacks On the Cover Jack Kevorkian as a young boy circa 1935. The son of Armenian immigrants, he was born Murad Kevorkian in Pontiac, Michigan, on May 26, 1928. This is one of several photos found in his archive at the Bentley—spanning from childhood all the way to his controversial right-to-die work later in life.

BENT L EY U N B OU N D 23 – Where Manhood is Drugged and Destroyed FEAT U R ES


All the World’s a Stage

In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called upon Eva Jessye and her choir to be the official chorus of the March on Washington. It was one moment in Eva Jessye’s extraordinary life fighting the racial divide on stage and off.


The Life of Dr. Death

On October 5, 2015, California’s governor signed the End of Life Option Act, a measure that would grant terminally ill patients the right to end their lives. The right-to-die debate has its roots in the work of Jack Kevorkian, a controversial doctor whose full archive is now at the Bentley.


The Evolution of Michigan Football

On game day in Ann Arbor, the Big House swells with more than 100,000 fans cheering for the Wolverines. It’s an unrecognizable spectacle compared to the earliest Michigan games. Athletics archivist Greg Kinney reveals the traditions and history behind the sport.

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D irector’s notes

The Unlikely Conservationist


o a guy walks into a bar, er, I mean, the Bentley Historical Library, and says: “What do you know about a guy named Mershon?” It turns out that Mershon’s collection at the Bentley documents just about everything about him, and so another fascinating Michigan life comes into view… William Butts Mershon (18561943) was born into privilege, and he could very well have stayed there, as did so many successful businessmen of his era. His grandfather and father had already established a profitable lumber business in Saginaw, which he joined after graduating from high school. As an adult, Mershon was involved in various other businesses, including timber and mining in Arizona. But as he wrote in his 1927 memoir, Recollections of My Fifty Years Hunting and Fishing, fate intervened when he received his first gun—a 16-gauge muzzle loader—around the age of 10. From then on, his happiest moments were spent in the field hunting and fishing. His memoir is organized by animal rather than by biographical episode (e.g. “The Michigan Wild Turkey,” and “Salmon Fishing,” etc.). More than that, his heartfelt love of all of nature is inscribed on every page. His life was full of public service. At various times he was an alderman and mayor of Saginaw (1894-95), and a member of the Saginaw Park and Cemetery Commissions, the State Forestry Commission, and the State Tax Commission. Perhaps most important to him, he was a founding member of and officer in the

Photos n (left) Scott Soderberg, Michigan Photography; (right) HS35

Michigan Sportsmen’s Association, organized in 1875 to bring about the passage of game laws and the establishment of a game warden system. But Mershon became “immortal,” according to Joel Greenberg, author of the 2014 book A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction, for his ferocious stand on behalf of the passenger pigeon. Mershon’s 1907 book The Passenger Pigeon was the first book-length account of that tragic bird, which used to fly over the Midwest in numbers that would darken the sun for hours at a time, but which passed into extinction when the last bird died in captivity in 1914. Sadly, one of the last stands of these remarkable birds—a nesting that involved millions—took place in 1878 in and around Petoskey, where Mershon and his friend H. P. Roney tried in vain to enforce the existing weak game laws on their behalf. Hundreds of professional and amateur hunters are thought to have killed about two million nesting birds and their squabs there, delivering a blow that hastened their extinction. Mershon’s book—an impassioned plea on behalf of the birds, game protection laws, and the difference between amateur and professional hunters—argued that “the history of the buffalo is repeated in that of the wild pigeon, the extermination of which was inspired by the same motive: the greed of man and the pursuit of the almighty dollar.”

There really was a “guy” who asked us about Mershon and led us to the discovery of his inspiring story. He is Thomas Buhr, no mean sportsman himself, who was at the time especially interested in Mershon’s amazing diary of fishing on the Au Sable River. It is not for nothing that a Michigan Chapter of Trout Unlimited is named after Mershon. But that’s another story that— thanks to Thomas—may become even more readily available (see our article on page 17).

William B. Mershon, second from right, was an avid outdoorsman and hunter who turned his eye toward conservation when he discovered animals like the passenger pigeon were being irresponsibly hunted to extinction. The Bentley has his archive of letters, jounals, photographs, and more.

There are literally thousands more such stories deserving to be told based on the records here. This is what we mean when we say that your interests and our archives are what keep “the past alive” at the Bentley Historical Library. Terrence J. McDonald Arthur F. Thurnau Professor Professor of History and Director


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Abridgements Letter Writing Against Slavery

The Industrial Architecture of Albert Kahn

Black Former Football Players A Discovery That’s Downright Pithy Inside the collection of U-M’s longest-serving president, James B. Angell, archivists recently uncovered a series of Chinese pith paintings. These delicate works of art, painted on small sheets of a tree’s cellular tissue, or pith, were stored in an album that likely had returned home with Angell after he fulfilled his duties as Minister of China from 1880 to 1881. Restored by the Bentley’s conservation team, the paintings still retain their vivid colors and exquisite details.

@UmichTurkey The Twitter account for the infamous North Campus bird that blocked traffic, trapped people in cars, frequented the Bentley, and was the subject of countless selfies. In August, the turkey was ultimately relocated to an undisclosed animal rescue facility. “Anybody have a hacksaw they can send me?” the account asked after MLive ran a story about the bird’s capture by U-M Plant Operations Pest Management.

Sample project titles by 13 researchers who collectively were awarded more than $19,000 in funds to advance their scholarship through the Library’s collections. The researchers were funded as part of two separate awards: the Bordin Gillette Researcher Travel Award and the Gunnar Birkerts Fellowship. Both are given annually to scholars working on doctoral dissertations or conducting postdoctoral research in any area requiring significant use of Bentley materials.

Before They Were

Famous... Before he was a cofounder and CEO of Google, Larry Page was the president of the Beta Epsilon chapter of the Eta Kappa Nu fraternity at the University of Michigan. The records of the organization are kept at the Bentley, and so are plenty of early photos of Page, who graduated from U-M’s College of Engineering in 1995.


Number of delegates from archives throughout China who arrived at the Bentley in May for the Joint Seminar on Archival Methods. A professional partnership and exchange program between Bentley and Chinese archivists has been ongoing for more than 15 years.

— The —

Necrology — Files —


When I first heard the shot,

I thought it was part of the play, but when I heard the Latin phrase, I turned to Dexter Austin and said, “That was a Rebel,” and I immediately perceived that he had shot at President Lincoln although I knew not whether he had hit him. The people were so dumbfounded they could not collect their ideas for about one minute, which gave the assassin time to escape . . . The order was then given to clear the theater and the President was carried out. I placed myself at the bannister of the stairway where I had a close view of the President. I could not see the wound but he looked to all appearances dead.

Journal entry by Adelbert D. Baughman, a Civil War soldier stationed with the 1st Independent Ohio Battery, who attended Ford’s Theatre the night Lincoln was assassinated.

No, it’s not a sci-fi television show.

It’s the name of the most-accessed collection at the Bentley in the past six months. This collection includes files on nearly all students who attended the University and who died prior to 1965.

“Know that you are making every alum proud and have a maize and blue cheering section across the country.”

As the 2015 U-M softball team began its run to the NCAA Women’s College World Series last spring, members of U-M’s 2005 national championship team offered some personal advice. Each 2005 player wrote to the 2015 player wearing her number to share insights and encouragement. The Wolverine women ultimately fell to the University of Florida, but with the aid of assistant coach Bonnie Tholl and the softball staff, these letters of support are permanently preserved at the Bentley.

“Remember that you love softball, not only when you’re ahead but also when you’re behind.”

“It gets hot out there. Hit up Sonic for cherry limeades. Seriously.”

@UmichBentley: Excited for @Johnubacon’s new book Endzone? The Bentley has his thesis on school reform! Or maybe just read the book.


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all the world’s a stage September, 30, 1935. Boston.

The house lights dim. The music swells. Eva Jessye can’t guess that Porgy and Bess will be an international sensation, but as the out-of-town world premiere opens this night, she knows she’s in a show heading to Broadway. Not only is she appearing in the role of Strawberry Woman, but George Gershwin himself has selected her to lead her own choir in the show. The Coffeyville, Kansas, native had known success before. When she moved to New York in 1926, she formed the Dixie Jubilee Choir, later renamed the Eva Jessye Choir. The troupe performed spirituals, work songs, mountain ballads, ragtime, jazz, and light opera in national and international tours. They recorded on major labels, including Columbia Records, and appeared on radio programs when CBS was only one small room on 57th Street. By 1929, the Dixie Jubilee Choir had been in Hollywood movies, including King Vidor’s Hallelujah, which featured an all-black cast. And in New York, Jessye directed her choir in the 1934 opera Four Saints in Three Acts. What made Four Saints groundbreaking wasn’t just that it experimented with form but that, for the first time, a multi-racial team had collaborated on music that wasn’t associated with black culture. Still, the opening night of Porgy and Bess in Boston changed Jessye’s life. For the next 30 years, no matter who was in or out of a production, she would lead her choir in every incarnation of the show. There was no doubt about it: Eva Jessye was not in Kansas anymore.

We Are Together


he first African American woman to direct a professional choral group, Jessye was recognized also as a singer, composer, actor, teacher, and poet. Her Bentley collection contains address books and travel logs, birthday cards and photographs, stock certificates and invoices, poetry and essays, programs—all gems of theatrical and black history. Her ephemera make it abundantly clear that a wall separated artists of color from their colleagues. Jessye worked to change that. Even before Porgy and Bess, she fought against discriminatory salaries, insisting that singers in her choir be paid for rehearsal time for Four Saints. She opposed discriminatory practices on the set for Hallelujah, too. During the Washington run of a 1936 tour of Porgy and Bess, she joined the cast protest against segregation at the National Theatre, resulting in the first integrated audience in that venue. When Porgy and Bess reached Dallas, “the cast could not eat in nearby places,” she scribbled in a notebook

describing discriminatory conditions. Actor William Warfield, who played Porgy, found a good place for soul food in the predominantly black part of town. The cast would have to walk there, but at least they’d eat well. Jessye fought the racial divide on her own, too, at times in personal ways. In 1944, she headed for New York to adapt the Porgy and Bess score for a new company. The train was just pulling out of Florence, South Carolina, when she overheard a pregnant white woman tell her husband, a soldier, that she was hungry. Very hungry. “Can you get me anything at the next station? A candy bar even?” But the train didn’t stop long enough for him to make it to a vending machine, and as it pulled out again, she renewed her plea. The last call for dinner came, but how could the young couple afford inflated dining car prices? It was impossible, the husband said. “I knew what it meant to be hungry,” Jessye recalled in her notes. She leaned over and offered to lend them money. The husband refused. She insisted, reminding him of how important food was to a pregnant woman. “They finally said they would eat, but only if I joined them in the dining car.” What pleased Jessye most was that when a steward looked at the interracial group with confusion, the husband said, “We are together.” When he asked for Jessye’s address to repay the loan when he could, she refused to give it to him.



Photos n (This page) Eva Jessye Collection, box 9; (opposite page) Getty Images/Teenie Harris Archive/Carnegie Museum of Art

Life of

✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ The daughter of former slaves, Eva Jessye would venture out from ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ Kansas to lead the choir in Porgy and Bess on Broadway, stand ✶ ✶ in Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and teach at the ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ University of Michigan. Meet a woman who changed the face of ✶ ✶ the arts—and America. ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ B y D av i N a p o l e o n ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ Photos n (opposite page) Walter P. Reuther Library, HS12973; (this page) HS11369


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In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called on the Eva Jessye Choir to become the official chorus of the March on Washington. Standing near the Lincoln Memorial, hearing speeches by A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin, and then leading her choir were incredible experiences, but they weren’t the high point. That came when she was close by as Dr. King spoke about a dream that she would hold close forever.

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In January 1983, Coretta Scott King invited Jessye to a celebration commemorating Dr. King’s birthday. “I had a wonderful time in Atlanta, witnessing the Martin Luther King event,” Jessye wrote to a friend. “There were hundreds of celebrities, 48 nations represented, and thousands of black folks…I stood on the sidelines and drank it all in.” “Sidelines” may be a misnomer, since Jessye had led the combined choruses of Atlanta University Center for the event. “Your beautiful, timeless music has been an inspiration to the thousands who have heard it,” Coretta Scott King wrote when thanking her.

Fill Up the Saucer


orn in 1895 to former slaves, Jessye went to live with relatives at age three, after her parents separated. While her mother worked, her Aunt Harriet sang comforting spirituals to the young girl. In 1927, Jessye compiled and arranged these African American songs, publishing them along with stories of her early life under the title My Spirituals. Jessye also composed her own choral works, sometimes based on classics, such as Paradise Lost and Regained and The Chronicle of Job.

Photos n Eva Jessye collection, box 9


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Jessye began writing poetry before she was 10 years old. She was 12 when she organized her first performance group, a girl’s quartet, with a repertoire that consisted entirely of “spirituals or harmless ditties.” Jessye’s tastes were more eclectic, even then, but she feared being “churched,” meaning brought before church elders and charged with singing songs that didn’t reference God. In a town where the hospital didn’t admit patients of color, the church was a refuge, and alienating the elders was out of the question. After graduating from Western University in Kansas, where she studied music, she earned a teaching certificate at Langston University in Oklahoma. She taught in segregated schools in Oklahoma, worked for an African American newspaper, and became director of music at Morgan College in Baltimore. There, the college president advised her not to teach classical music because it was “too far from the black heritage,” an experience she documented more than 60 years later in notes for a memoir. In the mid-1960s, she started working on Fill Up the Saucer, a backstage saga about the racial and theatrical intrigue she experienced on Porgy and Bess. Those who were involved in Porgy and Bess productions, and even some who weren’t, were excited by the prospect; letters poured in from Ira Gershwin, Dorothy Heyward, and Leonard Bernstein. Special praise came for the title, which she took from a line in Porgy and Bess, “Fill up the saucer ’til it overflow.” “I’m honored to be part of a great lady’s book and memories,” actress and singer Pearl Bailey wrote in a letter dated May 13, 1986. “Dr. Eva Jessye— you achieved things in your profession at a time when others faltered or failed to realize they would.” Jessye worked on the book on and off while continuing to contribute to the arts. During the 1960s, she appeared in the movies Black Like Me and Slaves. She was Queenie in

Songs, Words, & Actions Between a humble birth in Kansas and a quiet death in Michigan, Eva Jessye lived a larger-than-life life. 1895

✶ Born in Coffeyville, Kansas


✶ Graduates from Western University in Kansas


✶ Becomes director of music at Morgan State College in Baltimore, Maryland

1926 ✶ Begins performing regularly with the Original Dixie Jubilee Singers, later renamed the Eva Jessye Choir 1927 ✶ Publishes My Spirituals, a collection of African American songs that she compiled and arranged 1929 ✶ Becomes the coral director for the MGM film Hallelujah directed by King Vidor 1935 ✶ Eva Jessye Choir is cast as the official choir for Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess 1963 ✶ Dr. Martin Luther King invites the Eva Jessye Choir to be the official chorus of the March on Washington 1974 ✶ Comes to U-M to teach in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance 1977–1981 ✶ Serves as artist-in-residence at Pittsburg State University in Kansas 1978

✶ October 1, 1978 is declared Eva Jessye Day in Kansas

1982 ✶ Named Kansas Ambassador for the Arts by Kansas Governor John Carlin 1985

✶ Returns to Ann Arbor

1992 ✶ Dies peacefully in her sleep and is buried at Ann Arbor’s Forest Hill Cemetery

(Opening spread) Eva Jessye holding a Porgy and Bess score in July 1965. (Opposite page, top to bottom) the original March on Washington program featuring the Eva Jessye Choir; Jessye with U-M students at the University of Michigan in 1976. (This page, top to bottom) Jessye as Queenie in Showboat; programs from her Bentley archive; Jessye at home in 1989 as featured in the Ann Arbor News.

a Broadway revival of Show Boat. In 1989, she was featured in Brian Lanker’s photograph exhibit (and later book), I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women who Changed America.

“A Self-Appointed Spokesman”


fter her choir disbanded in the early 1970s, Jessye taught at U-M for a time, then went back to Kansas in 1979, where she was artist-in-residence at Pittsburg State University. In 1982, Governor John Carlin named her Kansas Ambassador for the Arts. But Jessye missed the lively world of Ann Arbor. In 1985, she moved back, taking up residence in a senior citizens’ complex on Packard. “It is a wise and long overdue move… for cultural, social, and health reasons,” she wrote to a friend. She donated her extensive collection of books, scores, artwork, and many personal and professional papers to U-M, beginning U-M’s African American Music Collection at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, and establishing the Eva Jessye Collection of documents at the Bentley Historical Library. Late in life, Jessye turned her full attention to four books started over the years, including her tale of “the personalities and activities of the actors” who worked on assorted productions of Porgy and Bess. “I am a self-appointed spokesman for the hundreds of artists who have helped make George’s dream come true,” she wrote to a friend. She had not completed the book in February 1992, when she died in her sleep at age 97. The funeral was held at the First Presbyterian Church, and Willis Patterson, the associate dean of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, spoke at the service. Jessye is buried in Ann Arbor’s Forest Hill Cemetery. Photos n Eva Jessye collection, box 9 except bottom image by Sharon Lemieux for the Ann Arbor News


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By Katie Vloet


You Don’t Know Jack he writing on the letter is shaky, but the message is clear. “Dear Dr. Kevorkian, HELP! I am a 41 year Even before his medicide era, Jack Kevorkian was a controversial figure. Born in Pontiac, Michigan, in 1928, old victim of MS. I can no longer take care of myself. he grew up hearing his mother’s first-hand accounts of Being of sound mind, I wish to end my life peacefully. I know I will only get worse. Please help me. Sherry Miller.” the 1915 Armenian Genocide, which she witnessed as a teenager. Anticipating service in World War II, which ulThe letter from 1990 is typical of the correspondence received by Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who, during his life—and timately ended before he came of age, Jack taught himself German and Japanese as a teen. even now, four years after his death—was the best-known Kevorkian’s intense coursework at U-M began in advocate for physician-assisted suicide in the United engineering, then moved to other disciplines, culminating States. People who suffered from incurable pain and with a medical degree in clinical pathology in 1952. After untreatable conditions wrote to him and asked, begged, service in the Korean War, he returned to U-M for his pleaded for his help. He was, they said, their only hope. medical residency, “Dr. Kevorkian, during which he My son is dying of became fascinated Lou Gehrig’s disby death and the ease. … He would act of dying. He like your help to made regular visits leave this world to terminally ill paand free his soul tients, photographto everlasting life,” ing their eyes in an wrote Carol Loving Jack Kevorkian was loathed and loved, ostracized attempt to pinpoint in another letter. and idolized for his work in ushering in the end of the exact moment After Dr. Kevorkof death and to help ian assisted in her life for the terminally ill. His collection of papers, physicians underson’s suicide, she art, photographs, and more is now at the Bentley, stand when resusciwrote again: “It is tation was useless. impossible for me to showcasing the controversial life of an artist, His proposal express the blessing a composer, and a person who drastically moved that death-row of your assistance the needle in the right-to-die discussion. prison inmates be and the gratitude used as the subjects I feel as a mother.” of medical experiThese letters are ments while they were still alive earned him the disdain part of a sweeping collection of Kevorkian’s papers, of colleagues, the nickname of “Dr. Death,” and an ejecmusical compositions, and artwork reproductions that tion from the U-M residency program. Another proposal, were donated to the Bentley Historical Library in 2014 that doctors transfuse the blood of corpses into injured by the sole heir to his estate, his niece, Ava Janus. She soldiers, solidified his place as an outsider in the medical made the donation at the request of Bentley Archivist Emeritus Leonard Coombs. The collection recently was community. The years that followed were marked by disputes with opened to the public for research, including the files other physicians, frequent publication in medical journals, of 30 physician-assisted suicides. By his own estimaand ultimately an early retirement in the early 1980s, when tion, Kevorkian assisted in the “medicides,” as he called he decided to focus on painting and composing music. them, of more than 130 terminally ill people between Years later, though, his interest in euthanasia was 1990 and 1998. The public called him “Dr. Death.” piqued after a visit to the Netherlands, where he learned Those he consulted and their families called him their about techniques used by Dutch physicians to assist in rescuer, hero, friend.

The Life

of Dr. Death


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the suicides of terminally ill patients. He began writing again, this time about medicide, and he created a machine called the Thanatron (Greek for instrument of death) that could be used to self-administer a lethal dose of fluids. He advertised in Detroit newspapers for an “obitorium,” where terminally ill people could receive “death counseling.” Media attention led the first of his medicide clients, Janet Adkins, a 54-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s, to contact him. In 1990, Kevorkian assisted Adkins in ending her life on a bed inside his 1968 Volkswagen van parked in a campground near his home in Michigan. He then called the police, who arrested and briefly detained him. Like so many families that would follow, Janet Adkins’s family publicly thanked Dr. Kevorkian for helping to end her suffering.

Public Opinion and Physician Opinion

Jack Kevorkian became the most public person associated with the physician-assisted suicide movement for many years, as the numerous news clippings in the Bentley collection highlight. His haunting appearance, bizarre terminology for the tools and actions surrounding the medicides, and a seeming lifelong obsession with death made him a fascinating subject for the news media. And his public role in assisting with people’s deaths sparked heated debate about what has long been a controversial subject in the United States. “It’s thanks to my uncle that people

Photos n (This page) Corbis Images; (opposite page) Jack Kevorkian collection, box 8


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have changed the way they feel about it and are discussing it with their doctors,” Janus says. California’s governor just signed the End of Life Option Act, a measure allowing terminally ill patients the right to end their lives with a doctor’s help. According to Gallup Polls, the percentage of people in the United States who support euthanasia has risen from 36 percent in 1950, up to 65 percent in 1991, to a high of 75 percent in 1996, back down to 69 percent in 2014. Intriguingly, terminology appears to play a role in people’s perceptions; 69 percent in 2014 favored a law that would allow doctors to “legally end a patient’s life by some painless means,” but the number dipped to 58 percent when respondents were asked whether physicians should be allowed to “assist the patient to commit suicide.” A noteworthy shift is taking place, meanwhile, in physicians’ points of view. The 2014 Medscape Ethics Report, a survey of 17,000 U.S. doctors, found that 54 percent of doctors surveyed think physician-assisted suicide should be permitted, up eight percentage points from 2010. “I thought it was very significant to see that shift,” said Arthur Caplan, director of the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University’s Langone Medical Center and School of Medicine, in a Detroit News interview earlier this year. “The trend is clear—there’s more support among doctors, no doubt about it. This could change the legislative landscape.”

Part of the Family

Perhaps the most surprising portion of the Kevorkian collection at the Bentley are the photographs. Pictures of family reunions, picnics, get-togethers of all types. Jack Kevorkian attended these gatherings, but these were not his family members—not by blood, anyway. Countless families of Kevorkian’s clients became his champions, and his friends. “They loved him and were his biggest supporters. He found a key to their soul,” says Olga Virakhovskaya, a lead archivist at the Bentley and the processing archivist of this collection. She says the decision was made to open all the medicide files to the public in part because restricting them would mean “hiding these stories and burying the experiences, even though the subjects have passed away and the families want their stories to be known.” Family members wrote to him often, asking if they could assist with his legal bills as he stood trial, and promising to advocate for medicide to be legalized. “The families and those he assisted trusted him implicitly,” Janus says. “They were all very surprised that he wasn’t going to charge them. And he would be like part of the family. The family members would call themselves ‘survivors,’ but we would call them ‘cousins.’” They stayed in touch with him even after he was convicted of second-degree murder in 1999 after having been acquitted three previous times. He served eight years of a 10- to-25-year prison sentence, then was released on condition he would not offer advice regarding assisted suicide or promote it, nor participate or be present at any person’s

euthanasia. His colorful career would continue, though, with lectures at universities, a run for Congress, and TV interviews. In 2011, Kevorkian died at age 83 after suffering with kidney problems, liver cancer, and pneumonia. There were no artificial attempts to keep him alive, and his death was painless, his attorney reported. His legacy, however, lives on in books, artwork, movies, and the papers at the Bentley. Philip Nitschke, founder and director of right-to-die organization Exit International, has said that Kevorkian “moved the debate forward in ways the rest of us can only imagine. He started at a time when it was hardly talked about and got people thinking about the issue. He paid one hell of a price, and that is one of the hallmarks of true heroism.” The medicide files shed light on his legacy, including detailed documentation of each case, medical histories, questionnaires, forms signed by the patients’ medical doctors, and more. But forms and questionnaires don’t get at the heart of his relationships with the families. The greeting cards do a much better job of that. “My family and I greatly appreciate your compassion in ending George’s pain,” says the handwritten note, one of many thank-you cards he received through the years. “You are truly a humanitarian doctor. Thank you, thank you.” (Opposite page) Jack Kevorkian after being found guilty of second-degree murder on March 26, 1999 for administering a lethal injection in the assisted suicide of Thomas Youk. Kevorkain served eight years in prison. (This page) Kevorkian was beloved among those he consulted with and assisted, as well as their family members who celebrated holidays, birthday, and family gatherings with him, calling him “Dr. Life.”


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How the game as we know it formed out of class rivalries, rugby, and one troublesome picket fence.

the evolution


When Irving Pond scored Michigan’s first intercollegiate touchdown in a game against Racine College at White Stockings Park in Chicago in May 1879, U-M students had been playing “football” for more than 15 years. But their game bore little resemblance to what’s played in Michigan Stadium today, or even to the new “rugby football” that Pond and his teammates were playing. Materials at the Bentley tell the story of how football became the sport we know and love today.

By Greg Kinney

A game of pushball on U-M’s campus circa 1918. (Inset) The 1874 issue of the Palladium, an early U-M yearbook, illustrates class rivalries with a cartoon that pits inept freshman against skilled sophomores. Photos n (Lead) BL000263; (inset) BL018551


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(This page, left to right) An 1882 Palladium illustration shows Medic, Law, and Pharmic students tossing an underclassman “over the fence”; pushball officials in 1906; shirts come off in 1906 as the pushball contest begins.

uring U-M’s formative years, football was a mass game, with as many as 80 players on a side. The October 7, 1876 issue of the student newspaper The Chronicle reported that 42 freshmen defeated 82 sophomores by a score of 5-0. It was also a kicking game, closer to “association football” (soccer) than to rugby football. The two sides squared off on an open field and attempted to kick a ball over a goal line. And the ball was not the only thing kicked: Bruised shins and bloodied noses were common, as were “tumultuous collisions,” as the April 5, 1879 Chronicle reported. Most importantly it was a contest between classes. This version of football derived from an even older tradition: the rush.

Battles, Rivalries, and One Particular Fence The rush was a sometimes spontaneous, sometimes planned confrontation between classes, especially freshmen and sophomores­ — and was often little more than a street fight with no ball necessary. It was a long-standing tradition on many campuses, in some cases dating from the 17th century. At U-M, the rush might take place on campus or in city streets as rival classes faced off. Scratches and bruises were treated as badges of honor, but Photo n BL018552

some combatants were disciplined and a few rush and also in reaction to the chaotic play expelled. An 1875 Chronicle article acknowlof traditional football. Princeton and Rutgers edged that “rushing is not looked upon with played the first intercollegiate football game in 1869 under rules that resembled those favor by the police.” of soccer. Harvard faced McGill When a critic took to the University in 1874 under the pages of The Chronicle in 1871 The original camCanadian school’s version of to attack rushing as “unbecompus was bounded rugby rules. Variations of the ing a gentleman” and a stain on by a picket fence. rugby rules soon swept the East. the University, a defender of the The ultimate way U-M student Charles Mills tradition replied, “A rush is the to humiliate a class Gayley, who learned the English incarnation of energy in its most rival was to pick him version of rugby football in playful mood. The spectator up and toss him to must profoundly respect the London and Belfast, tried to the other side. supreme good-nature and hearty introduce the game to his enjoyment in both giving and classmates before his gradureceiving the severest bruises.” He claimed to ation in 1878. In the early spring of 1877, The Chronicle published a three-part series have seen “a large representation of the faculty listing the 59 essential rules of rugby, noting standing at the windows while a rush was in how they differed from the “chaotic tradiprogress below, evidently enjoying the scene.” tions … of the beloved rush” and concluded Class histories in early student yearbooks the that “even the dullest aspirant to football Oracle and Palladium recounted the heroic honors” could master them. battles and celebrated notable rush “warriors.” Football Associations were formed and A Michigan variation on the rush was captains named each year from 1873 to 1878. known as “Over the Fence.” For a time the origi“University elevens,” as the teams were called, nal campus was bordered by a picket fence. were chosen in 1877 and 1878. All to no avail, The ultimate way to humiliate a class rival was as outside games could not be arranged. to pick him up and toss him to the other side. A campus match under the rugby rules was played on May 17, 1877, and a reporter noted A Pretty Hard Grind that the boys were catching on to the new Michigan students were aware that new game, but that as a spectator, he preferred versions of football were becoming popular “the old rushing, shin-kicking rabble.” in the East, partly in an effort to suppress the

Then, in October 1878, a challenge was received from Racine College. The Wisconsin school proposed that a game under the rugby rules be played in Chicago and offered to procure the use of White Stocking Park, tend to all the advertising, and give U-M two-thirds of the gate proceeds. The school also promised to send along a copy of the modified rugby rules. Michigan had not yet organized a team, certainly not one that understood the rugby rules, and the contest was put off until spring. By late October The Chronicle reported that four bare posts of “mysterious uselessness” had appeared on campus, but few other steps toward preparing a team seemed to have been made. When the Football Association was reorganized in mid-November as a broader Student Athletic Association, The Chronicle urged the new group to select a “football eleven” while the weather was still good enough to allow it “to become familiar at least with the new rules.” The editors warned “that a defeat at the hands of Racine would be a pretty hard ‘grind’” and thought such a loss was “by no means an impossibility.” It was late April before the Athletic Association finally got a team together and moved the goal posts to a new practice ground near where the Power Center now stands. A committee of three was named Photos n (Left to right) BL018531, BL018532

to select a team, which then would choose its own captain. Final arrangements for the game were not settled until May 17. Racine players, meanwhile, had been practicing in their gymnasium for months and even had a team song with the chorus: “The foot-ball now goes round/The sides begin to kick/Ann Arbor’s team will surely see/Our men are awful quick.” Finally, game day arrived on May 30, 1879. It would be the first intercollegiate football game west of the Allegheny Mountains. Irving Pond scored his touchdown on a long run, and Michigan’s fans erupted with cheers of “Pond forever.” It was captain David DeTar’s subsequent “kick for goal,” however, that gave the Wolverines a 1-0 victory (no points were awarded for touchdowns, only goals kicked). The captain led a triumphant return to Ann Arbor, and a team photo was taken at the Revenaugh Studio.

Class Rivalries Evolve The May 8 Chronicle noted that “the Rugby game has entirely supplanted the old method of playing foot-ball. A good change, as the [r]ugby game is more scientific and requires more head-work than the old game.” The old game didn’t just disappear, however. While the rush, at least in its more violent forms, was gradually suppressed and replaced by milder forms of hazing, and

“Over the Fence” disappeared along with the campus picket fence in 1890, the old-style football morphed into “pushball.” Upwards of 100 men on a side would attempt to push a giant inflated ball over the opposing class’s goal. Pushball would remain a staple of class day competition into the 1920s, along with tug-of-war, wrestling, obstacle courses, and other contests. Classes would march down State Street, sometimes with their own bands, ready to defend their honor.

Meanwhile, Rugby Football Becomes Football Football would also continue to evolve. Regions and schools adopted their own versions of rugby rules. A series of innovations and rule reforms led by Walter Camp of Yale included the notion of a line of scrimmage, three downs to make five yards, and more. With each change, the game diverged from its rugby football roots and became simply football—an American college game. Michigan scored wins over Toronto in the fall of 1879 and again in 1880. In 1881, a long-cherished student dream came to pass. Michigan traveled east to play against the big three: Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. The 14man Wolverine squad played three games in five days. They lost all three, but played well enough to show that western football—and Michigan football—was on the rise.

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From the Battlefield to a Biscuit Tin “

Out of Print

Rare Civil War letters survive unthinkable odds to make their way to the Bentley

New digitization efforts mean more access to Bentley materials

By Lara Zielin and Halle Mares

By Melissa Hernández Durán


f I don’t hear from you soon I shall go crazy,” penned Sarah Clarke after three weeks of no letters from her husband, DeWitt, who had enlisted in the Civil War as part of Company L, Michigan’s Battalion of the Merrill Horse Cavalry. Her letters communicate home-front anxiety about disease and poverty, often fearing the worst as the war waged on.

Mike Smith, lead archivist for Michigan Historical Collections, acquired Sarah’s letters for the Bentley Historical Library this past March. Ann Knupfer, a retired professor of history at Purdue University and a descendent of the Clarkes, donated the Civil War letters along with other materials. “Civil War letters are increasingly rare,” Smith says, but Sarah Clarke’s letters are exceptionally so. “It’s uncommon that a soldier would be able Photos n (Top) N.C. Wyeth, Missouri State Capitol; (bottom) Lara Zielin

to come through the war with such letters intact. So many men were killed on the battlefield and, even if they lived, the hardships of military life were not kind to pieces of paper.” DeWitt’s letters from Sarah, which date from 1864 to 1865, were preserved for many years in a biscuit tin, which aided their post-war survival. “It was a metal container with a tight-fitting lid that did not have the natural acidic emissions that a wood container would have,” Smith says. “They were in a temperate climate and largely left alone.” The letters showcase day-today life the Clarkes’ homestead in Battle Creek, Michigan, as well as Sarah’s struggle to survive and raise their daughter, Frances—whom they call Frankie—on her own. “[T]he small pox [was] in town,” she writes DeWitt in March 1864. “Costs to live…[were] so high.” She regrets that DeWitt is missing so much of Frankie’s childhood. “I don’t beleave [sic] you would know her if you was to see her,” she pens a few weeks later. She tells DeWitt that she is constantly traveling “from one place to another” to stay with family who can help support her and Frankie.

Mail delivery was often irregular or delayed during the war. In one letter, Sarah laments that she got “a good scolding for not writing oftener,” but maintains she had “written to [him] every week.” Dewitt’s well-being was always top-of-mind for Sarah, who begs him in many letters to “take good cair [sic] of your self.” DeWitt enlisted on December 28, 1863, and was discharged on July 21, 1865. After the war, the Clarkes moved to Iowa, where they had a second daughter, Mary. Miscellaneous papers and articles from the family’s Iowa years are also preserved in their Bentley collection, including a U.S. Department of Agriculture publication list and a pamphlet for an electro-galvanic belt that was supposed to provide relief from pain. (DeWitt had filed a claim for a pension due to injuries sustained during battle.) DeWitt’s entry in the State of Michigan’s Civil War records states that he died in Sioux Falls, Iowa, in May 1898. However, the History of Plymouth County, Iowa, states that he died in May 1899 in Le Mars, Iowa (near Sioux City), after a successful career “engaged in the hardware and agricultural-implement business.” No date is given for Sarah’s death.

(Top) Civil War cavalries collide in Newell Convers Wyeth’s painting The Battle of Westport. (Bottom) Sarah Clarke’s numerous letters to her husband, DeWitt, remarkably survived the field of battle and the ravages of time.


n early October 1918, Michigan Daily headlines announced that the “Student Body [was] Free From Influenza,” and that “Michigan Football Prospects [were] Good.” The student newspaper, which could be obtained for three cents in 1918, is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. To help mark the occasion, the Bentley Historical Library is digitizing more than 12 decades of Michigan Daily issues to make available online. The Library will create high-quality scans and thereby reduce the handling of the original, fragile materials. This project is one of many digitization efforts the Bentley has undertaken to increase access to its collections and to further the preservation of its materials. n A $50,000 gift from Thomas Buhr recently enabled the library to digitize the collection of William B. Mershon, a Michigan lumberman and businessman turned conservationist. His notable work to implement environmental preservation efforts in the sport of fly fishing—as well as many other areas—is documented in the diaries, notes, papers, and photographs in the collection. “Historians and interested folks are much more likely to access information nowadays via computers, tablets, or smart phones,” Buhr says. “There may be fewer trips to the library stacks, but it will be far more time efficient. The original documents will save on wear and tear. It’s a win-win.” n The Bentley will also be digitizing the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies records, including manuscript materials, sound and video recordings, and photographic materials. The

Photos n (Top to bottom) Melissa Hernández Durán, BL000107, courtesy of the Michigan Daily.

records document departmental history and campus, regional, and national organizations devoted to political and civil rights causes from the 1960s to the 1990s. n Nearly 1,600 recordings from the Library have been digitized through the Bentley Audio Digitization Project, which started in early 2012. This unique content includes audio of John F. Kennedy’s 1960 visit to Ann Arbor as a presidential candidate, when he announced the idea of a Peace Corps. Senator Kennedy campaigned for Michigan’s support while at the same time rooting for the Wolverines’ upcoming football game against Duke: “I ask you to join us in building here the kind of society that serves as an example to those who wish to trod up freedom’s road...I come here to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and I come here asking your support. By Saturday, Michigan will beat Duke... I think on November 8, Michigan and the United States will beat Duke’s favorite son and alumnus, Mr. Richard Nixon.” The Bentley Audio Digitization Project also includes interviews, oral histories, musical performances, radio broadcasts, and more. The Library is working on a new online access platform through which digital audio and video from these projects will be made available, which ideally will launch by winter 2016. (Top) Samples of materials and formats that the Bentley recently digitized. (Left) John F. Kennedy’s speech on the steps of the Union in October 1960 proposed the creation of the Peace Corps. That audio is now in the Bentley’s digital archives. (Bottom) the inaugural edition of the Michigan Daily from September 29, 1890.

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A Historian at Heart

Cutting through the Red Tape

By Lara Zielin


n 1969, a young high school teacher by the name of Frank Wilhelme thought he might make history more exciting to his Dexter, Michigan, students by having them study primary source materials on the city’s history. So he traveled down to Ann Arbor to what was then referred to as the Michigan Historical Collections and showed his students a host of materials in the basement of the Rackham Building, including old phone books, photos, maps, and census records. The Michigan Historical Collections would later move to U-M’s North Campus and become the Bentley Historical Library. And Wilhelme would move too, advancing in his career to become the director of the Historical Society of Michigan and the assistant dean for development and alumni relations at U-M’s Ross School of Business—among many other professional accomplishments. But at his core he would remain a historian, acquiring collections and researching topics to ensure hands-on access for the next generation of researchers and historians. “We are all challenged to navigate an increasingly mobile and connected society,” Wilhelme says. “One aspect of this challenge is for us to discover for ourselves a sense of place and a historical context for our lives. Through its collections and outreach, the Bentley facilitates this process of discovery.” Wilhelme and his wife, Judy, who was a librarian at the University of Photo n Courtesy of Frank Wilhelme

Michigan for more than 40 years, have close ties with former Bentley director Fran Blouin as well as former director Robert Warner (1925-2004). That strong connection would lead the Wilhelmes to support the Bentley financially with a planned gift to the Robert M. and Jane B. Warner Memorial Fund, which provides for the Bentley’s most pressing needs. “I feel part of [the Bentley] family,” says Wilhelme. “I feel strongly about the importance of the Bentley preserving the history of the state of Michigan and U-M.” Wilhelme has also spearheaded several material donations to the Bentley, including files from the Ross School’s development office. “I’d been at the [Ross School] for 30 years, so I became the keeper of the development office’s history. I invited Fran [Blouin] over

to look at the files to give his opinion on whether he wanted them.” In the end, 13 boxes of material came to the Bentley, where it was processed and today is part of Ross School of Business records collection. Wilhelme was also instrumental in helping acquire materials from Glenn Ruggles, an award-winning oral historian from Walled Lake, Michigan, whose collection includes audio recordings and photographs. And both Wilhelmes helped the Bentley acquire the papers of Judy’s ancestors contained in the Birney Family Collection, which features material on the Birney, McClear, and Hankerd families, who were Irish immigrant settlers in Ingham County, Michigan. The Wilhelmes are retired these days, but the special intersection of fundraising and history has led Frank Wilhelme to serve as a volunteer fundraising strategist for the Bentley. “It’s something I enjoy doing in retirement,” he says. “I have treasured our association with the Bentley Library over these many years. I am happy to assist the Library staff and volunteers in their efforts to secure important resources. In addition, Judy and I are delighted to provide our own financial support to advance the Bentley’s important work.” Frank Wilhelme (center) and wife Judy (right) helped secure the collection of Michigan oral historian Glenn Ruggles (left), whose audio recordings and photographs can now be found at the Bentley.

John D. Dingell Jr. (left), his wife, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (center), and Bentley Director Terrence J. McDonald (right) cut through the “red tape” from John Dingell’s archive in a ceremony in May dedicating the collection to the Bentley.

By Sydney Hawkins

Former Congressman John Dingell donates a collection spanning 59 years in office


ohn D. Dingell Jr., who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from December 1955 to January 2015—the longest congressional tenure in U.S. history—has donated the collected materials from his 59 years in office to the Bentley Historical Library. On May 6, 2015, four days after being awarded an honorary doctor of laws at the University of Michigan’s spring commencement ceremony, Dingell was present at U-M to celebrate the arrival of his collection. “I consider myself the luckiest guy in shoe leather for having the opportunity to serve the good people of Southeast Michigan for as long as I did, and it is Photo n Roger Hart, Michigan Photography

a real honor that the work we all did together will be documented here at this fine institution,” Dingell says. “I am pleased they were able to find the space for all of it, but mostly I’m just honored and humbled to join the other outstanding individuals whose good work for our state is archived at the Bentley, including my father. It means so much to me, and I am truly grateful.” The collection, which covers more than 550 linear feet and spans from 1955 to the present, includes correspondence, bills that Dingell introduced in the House, photographs, and more. These materials will join many other collections of important Michigan political leaders at the Bentley, comprising the papers of 31 Michigan governors—from the third governor of the Michigan Territory, Lewis Cass, to two-term Democratic governor Jennifer Granholm—as well as

15 U.S. senators and 16 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. “We are honored to have received for processing the papers of John Dingell Jr., one of the great members of Congress in Michigan history,” says Bentley Director Terrence McDonald. “Given the breadth of issues with which he was involved and the historic length of his service, anyone wishing to write the history of national politics in the 20th century will need to consult them.” The Library’s archive also contains the papers of his father, John Dingell Sr., who was a Michigan congressman from 1932 until his death in 1955 and played a major role in New Deal legislation. The Bentley has begun processing the collection to prepare for public use, which may take up to one year.


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Sleuthing a Soccer Snapshot By Louis Miller and Robert Havey

Many of the Bentley’s more than 1.5 million photographs come with context and citations, but occasionally there is one with little or no information. How do you solve the mystery of who is in an undated, uncaptioned photo? Where would you even begin looking? Two Bentley staffers explain how they investigated this scene.

1. Context Clues: This photograph was in a folder with a name, William Stuart James, and a general time period of 1912-1916. The visible shin pads meant this was most likely a soccer sports team.

12. A Full Roster: The reference staff at the Bentley was eventually able to identify each player in the photograph. They are, left to right: Back Row: Hui K. Li, John E. Robertson, Landis D. McDowell, William Robertson. Middle Row: Constantine D. Tripolitis, Abram B. Coryell, Felix J. Watts, Jacob deLiefde, Clarence I. Shutes. Bottom Row: Samuel Cohen, Clarence R. Stallings, Wen H. Pan, William S. James.

2. Pursuing William Stuart James: The necrology files at the Bentley include the information kept by the University of Michigan Alumni Association for alumni who died prior to 1968. William Stuart James’s file had registration cards for each semester he attended U-M, as well as a newspaper clipping of his obituary. The necrology files said he was originally was from South Africa and transferred to the U-M School of Dentistry his first semester, in 1912. The picture included in the obituary didn’t conclusively match any of the soccer players, however.

3. The registration card for

8. McDowell 11. Coryell is possibly pictured, far left, in this Army Signal Corps image from Archangel, Russia, in 1919.

9. Tripolitis

10. Coryell

7. Shutes 10. Abram Coryell’s name appeared as part of the United States invasion of Russia in 1919, known as the Polar Bear Expedition.

William Stuart James’s first semester at U-M from the necrology files.

4. Checking Yearbooks: Knowing that the necrology files listed 1912 as James’s U-M start date, the next logical step was yearbooks. The Michiganensian has been the primary yearbook for U-M students since its first issue in 1896. The 1915 edition of the Michiganensian had a photo of James as Dentistry School treasurer that matched one of the soccer players pictured. Eureka! There was now a face to his name.

9. …and Constantine D. Tripolitis.

8. The Michiganensian revealed senior pictures of Landis D. McDowell…

5. William Stuart James from the Michiganensian.

6. Game On: Accounts of the soccer team’s games were published in the student newspaper, the Michigan Daily. On November 27, 1913, the Daily listed every person on the soccer roster along with his graduation year and U-M school or college. Jackpot!

7. No More Nameless Faces: With the names of each soccer player in hand, their stories could be fleshed out in the archive. For example, the Kalamazoo County Honor Roll, a book of WWI soldiers from that city, noted that Clarence Shutes served overseas.

Photos n (Clockwise) registration card HS14322, William Stuart James HS14325, Michigan Daily on file, Clarence Shutes HS14328, honor roll HS14327, Landis D. McDowell HS14324, Russia HS14338, team photo HS6045


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Bentley Unbound

Students and the Stacks New courses and initiatives mean more U-M undergrads are getting their hands on history’s primary sources.

By Lara Zielin and Gregory Parker


t felt less like course work and more like detective work. “Archival research meant literally digging through thousands of documents—most that had nothing to do with our project—to find a single piece of paper,” said Emilie Irene Neumeier, a student in Professor Matthew Lassiter’s history class titled Global Activism at U-M: The Anti-War, Anti-Apartheid, and Anti-Sweatshop Movements. Neumeier was among 13 undergraduates who set out to understand the role of University of Michigan students in social movements against the Vietnam War, apartheid in South Africa, and sweatshops that manufactured U-M apparel. Their quest took them deep into archives across

U-M, including the Bentley Historical Library and the Joseph A. Labadie Collection, which focuses on the history of social movements. “The moment of finding a document that mattered was so exciting it made up for the hours spent looking through everything else,” said Neumeier, a history and political science major who graduated in May. Lassiter’s class is just one of several initiatives that are bringing more undergraduates into the Bentley. Professor Melanie Tanielian had five undergraduates researching in the Bentley this summer for Bombs, Bonds, and Boycotts: A Local and Global History of World War I. The paid internship program explored U-M’s role in the war.

Students Chiara Kalogjera-Sackellares (left) and William Cowell (right) study Bentley materials along with professor Melanie Tanielian (center) in her Bombs, Bonds, and Boycotts history class.

Both Lassiter and Tanielian’s students were part of the project called Michigan in the World: Local and Global Stories, a collaboration between the Department of History and the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, with additional support from alumni Lisa and Timothy J. Sloan. The students produced multimedia exhibits instead of final papers, all of which can be viewed online (see sidebar). Like the Michigan in the World project, the Bentley has also received support to increasingly engage undergraduate students and faculty. This May, the Bentley was awarded Third Century Initiative funding, which was established by the U-M president and provost to encourage faculty to develop innovative ideas for enriching student learning. The Bentley’s project, Engaging the Archives, offers students a deep dive into historical archives through courses taught by teams of faculty and Library archivists. As students conduct hands-on primary research, “they become adept at sifting through vast amounts of information and using sources to find other sources,” Lassiter says. “This leads to some incredible discoveries in untapped archival collections.”

U-M History in Pixels Students in history classes that visited the Bentley this year produced some exceptional online exhibits. Check out the links below to see the how they’ve curated Michigan’s past. n Ending the Business of Injustice: Anti-Sweatshop Activism at the University of Michigan, 1999-2007 michiganintheworld.history.lsa.umich.edu/ antisweatshop/ n Resistance and Revolution: The Anti-Vietnam War Movement at the University of Michigan, 1965-1972 michiganintheworld.history.lsa.umich.edu/ antivietnamwar/ n Divestment for Humanity: The Anti-Apartheid Movement at the University of Michigan michiganintheworld.history.lsa.umich.edu/ antiapartheid/ n The University of Michigan and the Great War michiganintheworld.history.lsa.umich.edu/greatwar/

Photo n Gregory Parker

Where Manhood is Drugged and Destroyed An image from the Bentley Historical Library documents the day in 1902 when teetotaler Carrie Nation came to Ann Arbor to further the cause of temperance. She was met with jeers and practical jokes. It probably wasn’t the reaction she was hoping for, but her fight paved the way for Prohibition and the expanded role of women in the political landscape. By Robert Havey


emperance icon Carrie A. Nation stormed into Ann Arbor in a black horse-drawn carriage on May 2, 1902 at the zenith of her fame and infamy. Nation and her trademark hatchet had made headlines with raids on saloons in her native Kansas. The University of Michigan was one of the first stops on her tour of the nation’s top schools. She wanted to warn college-age students about the evils of booze. Nation knew firsthand how the scourge of alcohol could ruin a life. Her first husband drank himself to death just two years after they were married, leaving Nation to care for their child alone. Shortly afterwards, she felt she had a revelation from God telling her to “take something in your hands, and throw it at these places…and smash them.” She obeyed, blasting into saloons and damaging property in the supposedly dry state of Kansas. Nation and her followers hacked open casks, shattered liquor bottles, and destroyed bar fixtures. She would eventually settle on a hatchet as the best tool for the job. American adults in the 19th century drank three times as much as today, according to U-M alumnus Daniel Okrent (’69) in his book Last Call: The Rise and Fall

of Prohibition (Scribner, 2011). Women often were the victims of alcoholism through lost family income, domestic violence, and/or widowhood. Consequently, the temperance movement consisted mostly of women. Early temperance advocates wanted moderation in America’s drinking habits, but radicals like Nation thought the only solution was complete Prohibition. Ann Arbor was not immune to the boozy blight. A riot by drunken students in 1856 led to a “gentleman’s agreement” between police and saloon owners to prohibit the sale of all alcohol east of Division Street. It was thought that if the students had to go off campus for their liquor, it might curb the habits of some of the more voracious drinkers. Nation’s first stop in Ann Arbor was a visit to a Main Street saloon run by the notorious Dr. Rose. The patrons and onlookers were nervous. Was she going to smash all of the alcohol? No, she was only there to challenge Dr. Rose to a debate that night, offering him $50 if he’d merely attend. Dr. Rose declined by way of fleeing out the back entrance. Next, Nation accepted an invitation from the Woolley Club for a banquet in her honor. The dinner took place in a hastily decorated kindergarten classroom off campus. Nation said in her memoir, “It gave me new life to look at such men of intellectual and moral force.”

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Bentley Unbound

Collections, the magazine of the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan, is published twice each year. Terrence J. McDonald Arthur F. Thurnau Professor Professor of History and Director Nancy Bartlett Associate Director Lara Zielin Editorial Director Robert Havey Communications Specialist Hammond Design Art Direction/Design

hands-on history

Copyright ©2015 Regents of the University of Michigan Articles may be reprinted by obtaining permission from: Editor, Bentley Historical Library 1150 Beal Avenue Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113 Please direct email correspondence to: laram@umich.edu

Carrie Nation speaks to the large crowd assembled at the northwest corner of U-M’s campus on May 3, 1902 in this image from the Bentley archives. The student publication The Wolverine poked fun at the visit from the temperance crusader, saying that the various hecklers would “shmoke, shmoke and shmoke in the hereafter” for disrupting Nation’s visit. In her memoir, Nation reflected on her Ann Arbor stop, writing, “I have been to all the principal universities of the United States. At Cambridge, where Harvard is situated, there are no saloons allowed, but in Ann Arbor, the places are thick where manhood is drugged and destroyed.”

Photos n (Opposite page) Bettman/Corbis; (this page) HS5887

She said her hosts were “giants of moral and physical manhood” unlike the “dull brained sottish students” she had met in the saloon. Nation never caught on that the Woolley Club was not a real University of Michigan organization at all, but a group of prankster students wanting to see if they could pass for hardline prohibitionists for a night. The next day Nation parked her carriage on North University and State Street to give a speech to the assembled crowd. She shouted over adulation and jeers as she recited Bible verses and urged attendees to vote for the Temperance ticket. A man pushed his way up to the wagon in the middle of the speech to ask Nation to smash a bottle of whiskey he had in hand, saying that he was going to quit alcohol right then and there. Nation hurled the bottle on the ground where it burst into shards. The crowd recoiled, not at the broken glass but from the awful smell. The bottle contained hydrogen sulfide, the compound that gives raw eggs their

odor. Nation was unaffected by the prank, not letting the sarcastic cheers stop her from finishing her speech. She rode away to rowdy applause. In 1903, a year after her visit, Ann Arbor passed the Division Street agreement, a law prohibiting alcohol sales on the east side of town. Sixteen years later, Michigan banned all alcohol sales, followed in 1920 by the Eighteenth Amendment making Prohibition the law everywhere in America. (The Division Street divide stayed on the books until 1969, but it was largely ignored after Prohibition was repealed.) Nation didn’t live to see Prohibition’s rise and fall. She died on June 9, 1911. While her temperance movement ultimately failed, it created a platform for women to advocate for suffrage, the creation of public schools, and equal pay for equal work. Women were becoming more and more a part of the political landscape, and Carrie Nation, hatchet in hand, had paved the way.

Regents of the University of Michigan Michael J. Behm, Grand Blanc Mark J. Bernstein, Ann Arbor Laurence B. Deitch, Bloomfield Hills Shauna Ryder Diggs, Grosse Pointe Denise Ilitch, Bingham Farms Andrea Fischer, Newman, Ann Arbor Andrew C. Richner, Grosse Pointe Park Katherine E. White, Ann Arbor Mark S. Schlissel, ex officio The University of Michigan, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action. The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. Inquiries or complaints may be addressed to the Senior Director for Institutional Equity, and Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator, Office for Institutional Equity, 2072 Administrative Services Building, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1432, 734-763-0235, TTY 734-6471388, institutional.equity@umich.edu. For other University of Michigan information call 734-764-1817.

The Detroit Observatory has inspired sky-gazers for centuries. Help the next generation of students and researchers look through this lens of history. INSPIRATION The Detroit Observatory opened in 1854 on U-M’s campus with the aim of transforming a small Midwestern school into one of the foremost research universities in the United States. For more than 160 years, it has fostered knowledge and emboldened curiosity.

The Bentley needs you — because our world needs Victors. VICTORS FOR MICHIGAN

IMPACT Today, the Observatory needs your help. This wellkept campus secret requires support for its facilities and for visitors to gain better access to its handson history. Use the enclosed envelope to support improvements to the facility and U-M’s legacy as a premiere research institution. 1150 Beal Avenue Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113 |  734-647-3534 |


Plenty of Fish in the Conservation Lab This lovely, detailed painting made its way across continents in the luggage of a U-M president. Read about its unusual canvas, and the work to preserve it—along with several other images—on page two.


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