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13 December 2019

Our Library Collections: History of North America

book cover
The Journal of American History
One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo, highlighting some of our holdings at the CGS Library in Oakland. For a fuller listing of books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog in WorldCat.
Our books on the history of North America begin with several early volumes of The Journal of American History, some bound in hardcover and some with tattered paper covers. The Journal has been continuously published since 1907. We have a smattering of issues in volumes ranging from the first (1907) to the eleventh (published in 1924). I selected Volume Ten, which covers the fourth quarter of 1916, and found that it lists several authors from each state and contains forty-eight articles, many illustrations–photographs, drawings and paintings, and even poetry. These appear to contain excellent reference material.

Our books on the History of North America are grouped in in section E and broken down into several sub categories. E 184 is for racial and ethnic groups. Our collection of books focusing on Native Americans is fairly large. It is here that you will find The Dawes Commission and the Allotment of the Five Civilized Tribes, 1893-1914 by Kent Carter–published in 199 by Ancestry.com. The back cover tells us that the “Dawes Commission is one of the most highly controversial subjects involving U.S. government treatment of Native Americans between 1893 and 1914.” Curt Witcher from the Allen County Public Library says, “This book is well-researched, all-encompassing compilation on the work of the Dawes Commission … the genealogist will find it a vital work.”
book cover
The Dawes Commission by Kent Carter examines the history of
the U.S. government stripping Native Americans of their lands.
Two other books of interest are Names of the Land by George R. Stewart and Quaint and Historic Forts of North America by John Martin Hammond. These are the sort of books I always wish I’d have with me when traveling. When I’m in a new place I frequently wonder about the source of place names. The names book covers the entire United States. Hammond’s book might inspire a unique road trip. It includes chapters for fifty forts located throughout the county. Not sure how this source may augment your family genealogy but one never knows.
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Two somewhat unusual books in our North America collection.
In this section of our library are also several large, multi-volume sets of books, among them Alan Jonson's Dictionary of American Biography. This twenty-one-volume set was a gift of George Dorman. While these books lack illustrations they do provide numerous biographies ranging from half a page to a full page, in a readable point size. Other large sets include Who’s Who in America, starting with 1899 and continuing through 2001. We also have Who’s Who In The West and Who’s Who of American Women
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Some of our many Who's Who books in the History of
North America section
Biographies are followed by books on American immigrants from different countries – Ireland, Italy, Asian countries, Poland, Russia, Norway, etc. We have a very large collection on German immigrants to America.

Sections E201 and E301 focus on the Civil War and the American Revolution. Here you will find several books published by the DAR and SAR. California Society Sons of the American Revolution Membership Index and Roster 1879-1986 was published in 1986 and is exactly what it sounds like from the title – a list of persons who have proven their connection to a revolutionary war soldier. We also have the National Society Sons and Daughters of Antebellum Planters 1607-1861 Lineage Book by Karen Avery Miller. For those lacking southern roots, I can tell you that the designation of “Planter” indicates someone who owned 500 acres or more, and who used the land to generate a profit.


We have four thick volumes of Genealogical Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Files by Virgil D. White and one small volume of Rejected or Suspended Applications for Revolutionary War Pensions, originally published in 1852. I expected to find one of my ancestors in the former but found him in neither text.
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Those who received and did not receive pensions from
service during the Revolutionary War
There is much more to find among these source books. Next the time you visit our library you might want to check out our North American section.


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