Happy Birthday to artist and poet William Blake (1757–1827). Although celebrated today as one of the most innovative artists of the British Romantic movement, Blake lived and worked in abject poverty for most of his life. As a devout Catholic, much of his artwork featured religious content, such as this beautiful etching from the Museum’s collection.

God Judging Adam”; c. 1795, possibly printed 1804–1805; by William Blake

Evening Dress

1804-1805

France

On December 24, 1803, Jerome Bonaparte (1784—1860), brother of Napoleon, wed Elizabeth Patterson (1785—1879) of Baltimore. The beautiful and fashionable young American was married in a dress of muslin and lace that, according to a contemporary, “would fit easily into a gentleman’s pocket.” This description evokes the sheer, narrow dresses that caused a sensation at the beginning of the nineteenth century, more because of their contrast with the elaborate hooped costumes of previous decades than for any real immodesty. 

Although originally thought to have been Patterson’s wedding dress, the formal gown illustrated here probably dates from 1804, when this type of vertical white embroidery became fashionable. The very sheer cotton mull from which the dress is made was probably imported from India already embroidered with heavy white cotton thread in transparent mull. Only a daring few had briefly abandoned these items of clothing, in imitation of “Grecian” drapery—the first of many fanciful nineteenth-century allusions to details of costume in earlier historic periods.

As for the Patterson-Bonaparte union: Napoleon had the marriage annulled in 1805 and made Jerome the king of Westphalia in 1807. That year, Jerome married the princess of Wurttemberg. Elizabeth, banned from France by the emperor, remained in Baltimore with her son, Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte (1805—1870).

MET

Haiti celebrates its 210th anniversary of independence today. “Perhaps we Haitians should tell the whole world that being the FIRST [INDEPENDENT] BLACK NATION is no walk in the park and we have the scars to prove it.” (Woodring Saint Preux) Haiti, the only nation born of a slave revolt, could have been a prosperous country but was impoverished by a crippling, decades-long embargo imposed by Europe and the U.S. after former slaves overthrew the country’s European ruling elites.
L’union Fait La Force. “210 years after we took our independence, let’s continue the fight to put our country on the road to development.” #Ayiti #Haiti #LunionFaitLaForce #UnityMakesStrength #1804 #AyitiCherie #HaitiMyBeloved

“Perhaps we Haitians should tell the whole world that being the FIRST BLACK NATION is no walk in the park and we have the scars to prove it.” - Woodring Saint Preux

Today, every Haitian household, whether in a permanent home or under a tent, will be making, drinking, and sharing some Soup Joumou. It is a symbol of our strength…Haiti will survive!

It is not a coincidence that “Soup Joumou” is consumed in every Haitian household all over the world on January 1st of every year. This symbol is the last symbol of unity and freedom we have left. We make Soup Joumou every New Year…We eat Soup Joumou every New Year…We share Soup Joumou every New Year…

We do it EVERY JANUARY 1st of every New Year in order to remember our past, our struggle for FREEDOM, and our ongoing fight to remain free. What better way to celebrate the New Year than with the very soup that we were not allowed to drink as slaves?

The most important New Year Celebration in Haitians history is New Year’s Day, January 1, 1804. We fought for nearly thirteen years before this day so that we could initiate this symbol of freedom for ALL slaves ALL over the world. Before 1804, A Haitian slave was NOT allowed to touch Joumou, a delicious and aromatic pumpkin that was a favorite for her white French master. Haitian Slave Diet: He/She was to eat one ounce of salted meat or fish and one bottle of lemonade per day. When our ancestors finally kicked the French out of the island, The Party was on! We fought the French and we won!

Read more: Bonne Année – Soup Joumou A Symbol of Haitian Independence Day | L’union Suite)

7

July 12, 1804: Alexander Hamilton dies.

But rather than grieve, let us instead reflect upon some of the man’s quotes (and some quotes about him), while listening to the Alexander Hamilton rap on repeat.

Men are rather reasoning than reasonable animals, for the most part governed by the impulse of passion.

Here, sir, the people govern; here they act by their immediate representatives.

I never expect to see a perfect work from imperfect man. The result of the deliberations of all collective bodies must necessarily be a compound, as well of the errors and prejudices, as of the good sense and wisdom, of the individuals of whom they are composed.

In politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.

The system, though it may not be perfect in every part, is, upon the whole, a good one; is the best that the present views and circumstances of the country will permit; and is such an one as promises every species of security which a reasonable people can desire.

Men often oppose a thing merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike.

Quotes on Hamilton:

…there are few men to be found, of his age, who has a more general knowledge than he possesses, and none whose Soul is more firmly engaged in the cause, or who exceeds him in probity and Sterling virtue.

- George Washington

I consider Napoleon, Fox, and Hamilton, the three greatest men of our epoch, and if I were forced to decide between the three, I would give without hesitation the first place to Hamilton. He divined Europe.

- Talleyrand

Hamilton was the greatest constructive mind in all our history and I should come pretty near saying… in the history of modern statesmen in any country.

- Henry Cabot Lodge

Hamilton, the most brilliant American statesman who ever lived, possessing the loftiest and keenest intellect of his time, was of course easily the foremost champion in the ranks of the New York Federalists…

- Theodore Roosevelt 

2

Okay guys, this is so awesome.

So, this just happened. I was fixing my extension board and my dad was helping me find some screws from an old box and suddenly he found this coin inside the box. When we looked closely, we found:

  • It’s a coin from the currency used during Maharaja Rajnit Singh’s time. It says ‘1804' and 'Sat Kartar' in Hindi on the top picture.
  • On carefully noticing and searching a little on the internet (just to be sure) we found out that it’s a depiction of ‘Guru Gobind Singh Ji'  on the front of the coin.
  • On the back of it is depicted an image of ‘Guru Nanak Dev ji with the saints Bala and Mardana’, doing Kirtan.
  • On searching more, we found a video in YouTube that says this coin is actually of gold, though we’re not really sure of that. But the funny thing is we found it in an old box of nuts, bolts and stuff which were all rusted.

We also don’t know what value was this coin of at that time, but this is so awesome.