Tomorrow's Historian

Rachel's Adventures in Historical Research

Author: Rachel Rettaliata (page 2 of 2)

Story Map: Daniel Hawkins

Daniel Hawkins: Freedom Seeker

As an enslaved man, Daniel Hawkins sought freedom.  He escaped slavery on June 19, 1850 and was successful in reaching freedom in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  To Hawkins, the landscape was his ally and state borders served as his protection from the oppression of slavery.  However, almost three months exactly after his escape, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed and the safety that Hawkins had achieved behind state lines dissolved.  This map, available in the link above, explores Hawkins’ journey from slavery to freedom and seeks to track Hawkins experiences after recapture.


My first Romanian experience consisted of eight hours of gallivanting around Bucharest’s Old Town.  My husband and I had arrived in Romania a week before our Romanian language program was to start in Brasov and were staying one short night in the capital before we jetted off to Istanbul for a 5-day trip, a mini-vacation before we immersed ourselves in a language in which we had no previous knowledge.  My first experience in Romania was also my first experience in Eastern Europe, as I continuously reminded myself while we took in the sights and sounds of the city.  “You’re really in Eastern Europe, this is really Eastern Europe,” I thought to myself repeatedly in disbelief that we had actually made it there, fulfilling a lifelong goal of mine.  We lost ourselves in the bustle of the popular downtown district – the street violinists, fashionable women, and lack of English speakers.  We did our best to soak in the surroundings in an attempt to understand the new culture we would soon find ourselves studying intensely.  It wasn’t long before wandering the streets led us to the steps of the National History Museum and we were faced with a, somewhat disturbing, tangible example  of Romanian nationalism.

Continue reading

Daniel Hawkins: Annotated Primary Sources

Baltimore City Jail's Runaway Slave Docket from the year 1851.  Accessed at the  Maryland State Archives 10/25/2014.

Baltimore City Jail’s Runaway Slave Docket
from the year 1851. Accessed at the
Maryland State Archives 10/25/2014.

Primary source documents regarding the history of the enslaved person Daniel Hawkins have proved to be limited, but the ability to trace his story through these documents appears to be promising.  Each of these sources requires further research and at this moment this bibliography is a mere introduction into the possibilities that each source offers to contribute to the narrative of Hawkins.  Initially, the only information concerning Hawkins was provided in the list of primary case studies from the Maryland State Archives (MSA).  The background of Hawkins reads “Daniel Hawkins (claimed by William M. Risteau of Baltimore County, Hawkins was sent back to Baltimore).”

Continue reading

…One Giant Leap for Me

Taking in the streets of Amsterdam

Hello! You might recognize me by my busted backpack or my love of cheese.

I graduated from UMBC in May with my B.A. in History and International Affairs and I am the former president of the History Student Council (P.S. if you haven’t joined HSC yet, what are you waiting for?).  I returned this semester to take a digital history course because:  A) I just couldn’t quit UMBC cold turkey and B) digital skills are incredibly important for the future of the history field and sometimes I feel like I have next to none.

Continue reading

Newer posts