- Browse Newspapers
Mark E. Mitchell
Own a piece of history.
Welcome to The Mitchell Archives, containing five centuries of original historic newspapers.
Take a fascinating trip back through the portals of time, where you can see, read, and even touch history-making events exactly as they unfolded, just as our ancestors experienced them! With an inventory of more than 20,000 original newspapers, The Mitchell Archives covers almost every aspect of American and World History, including an unprecedented selection of some of the most important people and events ever offered.
And, what’s truly extraordinary, you can now purchase for yourself, your family, friends, or clients, pieces of history normally found only in major museums or institutions. A historic newspaper makes a most unusual and thoughtful special gift, as many of our clients will attest.
- All Historic Newspapers
- Colonial America (pre-1775)
- The Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
- Early America (1784-1820)
- American Expansion (1821-1860)
- The Civil War (1861-1865)
- Late 19th Century (1866-1900)
- The Wild West
- The 20th + 21st Centuries
- Sports History
- World War II
- European History (1600-1900)
- Black History
SPECIAL: U.S. Presidential Election Collection
Coming soon: I'm in the process of building a comprehensive and timely collection from each of the presidential elections and/or terms from George Washington onwards. The U.S. Presidential Election Collection will contain many rare editions, including error papers, and will be available for sale exclusively through The Mitchell Archives. Contact me with any questions. »
Typical American newspapers from the 18th and 19th centuries were four to eight pages in length, and carried no banner headlines. Headlines as we know them today did not generally appear until the yellow journalism era, in the late 1890's. Learn more about early newspapers »
Mark E. Mitchell is one of the leading authorities on original historic newspapers and regularly consults on newspaper value, scarcity and authenticity. His rare inventory contain some 20,000 complete issues dating from the early 1600s to present day. Read more about Mark E. Mitchell »
Copyright © 2007-2009 The Mitchell Archives – Original Historic Newspapers · Designed by Todd And · Log in
- Make a Payment
Search Within Results:
Excluding text:, confederate civil war.
Wealth of Confederate reporting from this fascinating newspaper title...
Item from catalog 338 (released for january, 2024), available now.
"Stonewall" Jackson captures Harper's Ferry...
Confederate newspaper from Louisiana... Anti-Lincoln editorial...
Item from catalog 339 (released for february, 2024).
News from Hood's operations...
War news from this notable Confederate city...
Rare Confederate title reports on the siege of Vicksburg, just before its fallâ¦
Rare Confederate title...
Jefferson Davis rallies the troops...
Fall of Plymouth, North Carolina...
Very rare broadside issue of "The Daily Rebel" from Chattanooga...
Famous Confederate newspaper...
Latest from Atlanta, in a Confederate newspaper...
Jeff Davis' address, and much more...
Confederate New Orleans...
From Texas during the Civil War...
Confederate from Winston, North Carolina...
Unique "Yankee" & "Confederate" pair of the same date...
The war In Missouri--Federal Atrocities...
Just before joining the Southern Confederacy...
Memphis newspaper printed in Atlanta...
The South to force slaves into the military...
Venomous attack upon General Butler...
General Hood's letter on losing his command... Great letter on the resolve of the Confederates...
Reaction to Robert E. Lee being named commander-in-chief...
The traveling newspaper (Grenada, MS)...John H. Morgan...
From the Confederate capital near the end of the war...
Uncommon Confederate title with 'Lincoln's Letter at the North'...
Lincoln accepts his nomination for President... In a Confederate newspaper...
Battle of Monocacy...
Sherman in Georgia...
A lengthy message from Jefferson Davis to his Congress...
From the capital of the Confederacy...
Nice account of the Battle of Fredericksburg...
Robert E. Lee's thankful address to the soldiers defending the Confederate capital...
General Butler explains his controversial Order #28 on the women of New Orleans...
War news from the Confederate capital...
Confederate New Orleans... This is war, but not a "civil" war...
Confederate New Orleans... Non-recognition of the Confederate states...
Confederate reports from Charleston...
Grenada Confederate newspaper... Battle of Antietam...
The situation in Atlanta... Newspaper from the Confederate capital...
On the Presidential election, in a Confederate newspaper...
Sherman in Georgia, in a Confederate newspaper...
War reports from the capital of the Confederacy...
Letter from Jefferson Davis...
On the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln...
Bombardment of Fort McAllister...
History's newsstand blog.
- They Put It In Print â The 12th President of The United Statesâ¦
- Valentineâs Day â So Many Entertainment Choicesâ¦
- Capturing the Vibeâ¦ Science, Invention, Exploration & Industry from the 1920âsâ¦
- The World Takes Noteâ¦ Has Amelia Earhartâs Plane Been Located?
Collectible slavery documents.
News & Stories
- Your Acquisitions
Purchase from our broad collection of important historical documents, acquired globally, in many cases, pieces never before offered for sale before.
Don’t miss an update from Raab Collection.
John F. Kennedy
Ulysses S. Grant
John Q. Adams
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Marquis de Lafayette
William T. Sherman
Robert E. Lee
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Medieval History, Literature, Law
Theology and Scripture
All Medieval Historical Documents
New Historical Autographs
We feel that knowledge is a prerequisite for collecting, and that our decades of experience can, and should, serve as an effective resource for collectors.
- Building a Collection
- Thoughts for the New Collector
- Caring for Your Historical Document
- Build the Collection that Speaks to You
- Display and Present Your Historical Document
- Collecting is a Passion
- Do Not Pigeon Hole Your Collection
- About Our Leather or Cloth Cases
- Signed Books and Signed Photographs
- Authenticating Documents
- The Identified Forgers
- Signed Images
- Some General Knowledge
- Certificates of Authenticity
- Dissimilarities and Idiosyncrasies
- Confusions in Identity
- Authenticating Autographs
- The History of Collecting
- Why Autographs Matter and People Collect Them
- Renaissance to the Modern Age
- From Pliny to Petrarch: A Short History of Collecting
- The Ancient World Through the Middle Ages
- Autograph Collecting in America, a Brief History
- The Value of Autographs
- Do Autographs Increase in Value?
- The Impact of Supply and Demand on Value
- A Symbol of Quality
- Assessing Autograph Values
- The Importance of Condition
- Know the Identified Forgers
- Conduct a Forgery-Avoidance Inspection
- Avoid Things That Are Too Good to Be True
- Misrepresented Quality and Rarity
Founded by attorney, author, and collector Steven Raab as an outlet for his love of history, Raab has discovered and carried some of the most important historical documents.
We search the world to find important historical documents and bring them to our historically passionate clientele.
Quality defines value. We have decades of experience measuring the caliber of an item’s content or importance, and that assessment is crucial.
What began as a hobby has become a company with customers worldwide, private collections, as well as major institutions.
Meet the men and women of The Raab Collection.
Every item purchased from the Raab Collection, LLC is guaranteed to be authentic, without time limit, to the original purchaser.
Stay current with our new acquisitions and historical discoveries and follow our media appearances.
February 20th, 2024
Signed Lincoln Document Discovered in a Locked Desk Drawer
February 15th, 2024
What to Know about Buying Abraham Lincoln Autographs & Documents
February 14th, 2024
Great Seals of English Monarchy
January 31st, 2024
Marquis de Lafayette Letter, Offered at Raab, Acquired by His Namesake College
January 30th, 2024
The Story of the Discovery of the Autopsy Notes from the McKinley Assassination
January 10th, 2024
What to Know about Buying Thomas Jefferson Autographs & Documents
The Famous Beauvais Missal
January 5th, 2024
The “slug that killed my brother”: A Southern Family’s Story of the End of the Civil War
December 14th, 2023
John Hancock and The Boston Tea Party
November 28th, 2023
Inspiring Gifts for History Lovers
Raab in the Press: Lincoln Signed Document From His Final Days
February 19th, 2024
For Sale: A Newly Discovered Abraham Lincoln Document Signed Days Before Assassination
February 8th, 2024
The Newly Discovered Love Letters of a WWII Bomber Pilot Up for Sale
February 2nd, 2024
Raab in the Press: Smithsonian Magazine Features McKinley Papers
February 1st, 2024
Join Us in Congratulating Rebecca Barry, Communications Director at Raab, on Her New Book
Raab in the Press: Our McKinley Discovery in The Washington Post
January 20th, 2024
Raab in the Press: Civil War Archive Discovery
January 9th, 2024
Original Autopsy Report from the Assassination of President McKinley Offered at Raab
December 19th, 2023
Raab in the Press: Rare John Hancock Letter
December 1st, 2023
For Sale at Raab: Newly Discovered, Handwritten Quotation of Albert Einstein
Amelia Earhart Officially Becomes the First Woman to Fly the Atlantic Alone
November 21st, 2023
From Toulon to Moscow: Great Letters of Napoléon at Raab
November 3rd, 2023
Abigail Adams on the Wartime Service & Diplomacy of John Adams
Benjamin Franklin Writes From Philadelphia in July 1776
John Adams Writes to John Jay Regarding American Independence
George Washington Writes to the Man Who Ferried Him Across the Delaware
Follow Nathan Raab on the hunt for history in his widely acclaimed book, published by Scribner.
Purchase copies of The Hunt for History from us or online vendors, signed or unsigned.
Meet Nathan Raab, a historian, and a nationally recognized expert in important historical documents.
Read a few samples of what others are saying about the book and Nathan.
January 6th, 2022
The Hunt for History: Behind the Scenes of a Great Collection
November 19th, 2021
The Hunt for History Published in Japan
June 28th, 2021
The Hunt for History Published Internationally
May 5th, 2021
The Hunt for History in The Free Lance Star
The Hunt for History in the Winnipeg Free Press
March 4th, 2021
Nathan Raab at Massachusetts Historical Society
February 26th, 2021
Nathan Raab at Falmouth Museums on the Green
October 26th, 2020
Ford’s ‘Curious Minds’ Interviews Nathan Raab
April 1st, 2020
A Sample From the Hunt for History
March 14th, 2020
The Hunt for History Review: The Wall Street Journal
- Do Autographs Increase in Value
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Media Appearances
- Invite Nathan to Speak
James monroe, samuel huntington, meriwether lewis, search the collection..
Stay informed about new historical documents, historical discoveries, and information for the educated collector.
Collect. Be Inspired.
Documents reveal Abraham Lincoln pardoned Biden’s great-great-grandfather
Every new president selects personalized Oval Office decor to suit his tastes and pay homage to admired predecessors. President Biden’s Oval Office boasts both a portrait and a bust of Abraham Lincoln. But his family’s connection to the 16th president extends far beyond workplace ornamentation.
It dates to a late-night brawl during the Civil War.
On the evening of March 21, 1864, the quiet of a small corner of the Army of the Potomac’s sprawling winter camp along the Rappahannock River near Beverly Ford, Va., was disturbed when a fight broke out in one of the mess tents between Union Army civilian employees Moses J. Robinette and John J. Alexander.
The scuffle left Alexander bleeding from knife wounds, and Robinette was charged with attempted murder and incarcerated on a remote island near Florida. The fight would also cause an unexpected intersection in the histories of two American presidents, Lincoln and Biden — a story that has waited 160 years to be told.
Robinette, who received a pardon from Lincoln, was Biden’s great-great-grandfather.
Joseph Robinette Biden’s ancestral line has long been established and lists Moses J. Robinette among his paternal ancestors hailing from western Maryland, but very little has ever been chronicled about the man. Robinette’s court-martial records, discovered at the National Archives in Washington, show how the current president’s story is intertwined with that of the man who was president at the most perilous junction in U.S. history.
In 1861, Robinette was 42, married and running a hotel near the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad junction at Grafton, Va. Union sentiments ran high in Virginia’s mountainous western counties, which soon broke off to form the new state of West Virginia. As the nation lurched toward armed conflict that spring, smoldering resentments against Virginia’s politically dominant slaveholding elite flared into open defiance after northwestern delegates tried to block the secession movement and were expelled from the Virginia Convention.
Western Virginia became an early battleground as both sides fought to control the railroad. Union troops occupied Grafton in mid-June 1861 and drove Confederate forces out of the region within six months. The Robinette family suffered setbacks in the war’s early years: Moses’s wife, Jane, died, and his hotel was destroyed, allegedly by Union soldiers. Seeking safety for his youngest surviving children, Robinette appears to have left Virginia and returned to his extended family in Allegany County, Md.
Robinette was hired as a civilian veterinary surgeon by the U.S. Army Quartermaster’s Department in late 1862 or early 1863. He was assigned to the Army of the Potomac’s reserve artillery and tasked with keeping healthy the horses and mules that pulled the ammunition wagons. His qualifications for the position, as someone without formal medical training, were unstated, but such an appointment was not unusual in Civil War armies. Few veterinary colleges existed outside Europe in the 19th century, and Congress refused to authorize the creation of an official army veterinary corps until the First World War.
On that March evening near Beverly Ford, Alexander, a brigade wagon master, overheard Robinette saying something about him to the female cook and rushed into the mess shanty to demand an explanation. Tempers flared, expletives followed, and Robinette drew his pocketknife. A brief scuffle left Alexander bleeding from several cuts before camp watchmen arrived to arrest Robinette.
Nearly a month passed before Robinette’s military trial began. The charges specified that he had become intoxicated and incited “a dangerous quarrel,” violating good order and military discipline. Because a drawn weapon was involved, assault with “attempt to kill” was included among the charges.
Witnesses described Robinette as “full of fun, always lively and joking,” and testimony varied on whether either man had consumed alcohol before the fight broke out.
According to the trial transcript, Robinette stated in closing “that whatever I have done was done in self defence, that I had no malice towards Mr. Alexander before or since. He grabbed me and possibly might have injured me seriously had I not resorted to the means that I did.”
The military judges were not convinced. The next day, they rendered a unanimous verdict: guilty on all counts with the exception of “attempt to kill.” The punishment was two years’ incarceration at hard labor.
After his conviction, Robinette again had to wait nearly three months for his case to churn through the army’s bureaucratic channels. Occupied by active military operations, the commander of the Army of the Potomac, Gen. George G. Meade, did not confirm Robinette’s sentence until early July, when he was sent to the Dry Tortugas islands near Key West, Fla.
The islands were home to Fort Jefferson, a giant brick structure designed to protect the southern coast and Gulf of Mexico shipping lanes. The massive increase in U.S. forces needed to fight the Civil War correspondingly ballooned the number of military trials and convictions. When mainland prison space ran short, Fort Jefferson became a military prison, one described by Lincoln’s opponents as “American Siberia.” When Robinette disembarked there, the growing prison population numbered more than 700.
Around the time Robinette arrived on Dry Tortugas, three Army officers who knew him petitioned Lincoln to overturn his conviction. John S. Burdett, David L. Smith and Samuel R. Steel wrote that Robinette’s sentence was unduly harsh for “defending himself and cutting with a Penknife a Teamster much his superior in strength and Size, all under the impulse of the excitement of the moment.”
They testified that Robinette had, from the outbreak of the war, been “ardent, and Influential … in opposing Traitors and their schemes to destroy the Government.”
The letter concluded with an emotional flourish: “Think of his motherless Daughters and sons at home! … [Praying for] your interposition in behalf of the unfortunate Father … and distressed family of loved Children, Union Daughters & Union Sons.”
The missive did not go straight to the White House but first landed on the desk of Waitman T. Willey, a newly elected senator from the recently admitted state of West Virginia. He endorsed the plea, calling Robinette’s punishment “a hard sentence on the case as stated.” Lincoln’s private secretary, John G. Nicolay, promptly requested that the judge advocate general, Joseph Holt, send over a report and the trial transcripts for presidential review.
Holt’s report arrived in late August, and Lincoln made his decision, writing, “Pardon for unexecuted part of punishment. A. Lincoln. Sep. 1. 1864.” Shortly thereafter, the War Department issued Special Orders No. 296, freeing Robinette from prison.
After more than a month on sweltering Dry Tortugas, Robinette returned to his family in Maryland, where he took up farming again. He lived into the 20th century, dying at his daughter’s home in 1903. While his brief obituary eulogized him as a “man of education and gentlemanly attainments,” no mention was made of his wartime court-martial or his fleeting connection to Lincoln.
But the slender sheaf of 22 well-preserved pages of his trial transcript, unobtrusively squeezed among many hundreds of other routine court-martial cases in the National Archives, reveals the hidden link between the two men — and between two presidents across the centuries. Those few pages not only fill in an unknown piece of Biden family history but also serve as a reminder of just how many Civil War stories have yet to be told.
David J. Gerleman is a 19th-century historian, Lincoln scholar and history instructor at George Mason University.
- Harvard Library
- Research Guides
- Faculty of Arts & Sciences Libraries
Soviet history: archival resources at Harvard university library and archives
- Judaica archival materials
- Archives of the Soviet Communist Party and Soviet State
- Revolution and Civil War
- Trotsky Papers
- Comintern Archive
- The Stalin Era
- Smolensk Archive
- Harvard Project on the Soviet Social System
- Soviet Information Bureau Photograph Collection
- Communist Party - Miscellaneous Records 1941-1990
- Andrei Sakharov Archives
- Cold War Project Archival Materials
- José María Castañé Collection
- Soviet/Post-Soviet Ephemera Collections
- Ukrainian Archival Materials
- Western archives
- Open access
Soviet Judaica Archival Materials
Poster images of refuseniks from the Soviet Union [fragment], Israel Sun, Ltd., Israel, 1986. Judaica Division, Widener Library JPCDISUN24400
[Poalei Zion archive] :[on microfiche]
The Poalei Zion documents, now in the Russian Centre of Conservation and Study of Records for Modern History in Moscow (formerly the Central Party Archive), were acquired from the Archive of Revolution and Foreign Policy, the Kiev Provincial Historical archive, and from the KGB archive in Lubianka (in the 1920s, the NKVD [forerunner of the KGB] had confiscated the documents of Poalei Zion for use as evidence against members of the organization who had been arrested). The archive includes documents, papers, correspondence, political literature, newspapers, journals, periodicals, serials, sheets of signatures, lottery tickets, postage stamps, receipt books, pamphlets, leaflets, posters, and publications relating to the activities of various Jewish political parties and organizations, and also concerning Jewish emigration to Palestine. Includes the correspondence of prominent leaders of the World Zionist movement (such as Ben Gurion, Ben Zvi, and B. Borokhov), as well as works of creative writing (e.g, poetry by David Hofstein with illustrations by Marc Chagall). Most of the material is in Yiddish, with the rest mostly in Russian and Hebrew, but there are also some texts in German, French, Arabic, Ukranian, and Polish.
<5,039 > microfiches + guides. 758 files in 3 inventories, organized into the following series: I. The Jewish Social-Democratic Labour Party ESDRP (Poalei Zion): inventory 1, files 1-129; II. Correspondence of the Central Committee of the ESDRP with regional organizations: inventory 1, files 130-419; III. Sections of the Central Committee of the ESDRP: inventory 1, files 420-535; IV. Documents on the history of the ESDRP, Periodicals and serials published by the ESDRP: inventory 1, files 536-625; V. The Jewish Communist Party of Poalei Zion (EKP Poalei Zion), the United Jewish Socialist Labour Party, the Jewish Socialist (from 1923, Communist) Union of Working Youth: inventory 2, files 1-30; inventory 3, files 1-103 Arrangement: chronological within geographic region for each record type (letters, documents, etc.)
Finding aids: Printed guide in Russian and English and electronic guide on CD-ROM in Russian and English.
Bund archive in RGASPI, Moscow
Reproduces a collection of documents in various languages (Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew, German, French, Ukrainian, Polish) from the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History (RGASPI) in Moscow. Topics covered include: History of the Jews in Eastern Europe; Antisemitism in tsarist Russia pogroms; Yiddish culture in Russia; Russian revolutionary parties; Jewish labour movement; Jewish political movement; International socialist movement; Socialist International; Free Trade Unions (ICFTU); Socialist parties in Germany, Great Britain, France, and other European countries; Biographies and correspondence of prominent leaders of socialist movements.
United States. Holocaust Memorial Museum [various microfilms]
A collection of copies of archival documents held by former Special (Osobyi) archive in Moscow, in the Russian State Military Archive (RGVA), microfilmed by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Contains documents and files confiscated in the territories occupied by the Red Army in the years immediately following the end of World War II.
John and Carol Garrard collection of Vasiliĭ Semenovich Grossman papers, 1902-2013, (bulk) 1923-1994
Vasiliĭ Semenovich Grossman (1905-1964) was a Soviet writer and journalist. At the outbreak of World War Two he became a war correspondent writing eyewitness accounts of a number of major battles, of the liberation of the Nazi extermination camp at Treblinka, of the conditions of life at the fronts and on the liberated territories. John Gordon Garrard is a professor emeritus of Russian Studies at the University of Arizona; together with his wife Carol E. Garrard he wrote a biography of Vasiliĭ Grossman. The collection primarily contains photocopies of documents from various Russian, German and American archives related to the life and writings of Vasilii Semenovich Grossman and to the Nazi occupation of the Soviet Union and the anti-fascist movement: compositions, correspondence, military and civil records, and maps. The collection also includes compositions by others, correspondence of John and Carol Garrard with friends and relatives of Vasilii Grossman and with repositories and archives, photographs, drawings, maps, and souvenirs.
2.5 linear feet (6 boxes, including 1 pf box and 2 pf folders) Arranged into five series: I. Compositions; II. Correspondence; III. Research files for the "Bones of Berdichev : the life and fate of Vasilii Grossman"; IV. Other material; V. Additions to collection.
Electronic finding aid
Jewish theater under Stalinism :Moscow State Jewish Theater (GOSET) and Moscow State Jewish Theater School (MGETU)
Documents covering the period 1916-1950 from the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art (RGALI) in Moscow about the Moscow State Jewish Theater and the affiliated Moscow State Jewish Theater School (MGETU). The collection includes the archive of GOSET (RGALI, Fond 2307) and the archive of the Theatrical School of the State Jewish Theater (MGETU) (RGALI, Fond 2308). This collection of archival documents from the RGALI contains material that describes the history of the Soviet culture and Theater, Jewish Theater, Jewish avant-garde art and the Kremlin's policy toward Jewish society and culture from 1919 until the early 1950s. The collection contains correspondence with ministries, state organizations, authors, administration, plays, notes ( with comments of censors) and the personal archives of Alexei Granovskii, Solomon Mikhoels, and other actors and writers. Other materials that can be found in this collection are press reports from Soviet and foreign periodicals about the theater and its tours in Europe, posters, drawings, theater programs and documents about other Jewish theaters. The documents of GOSET were transferred to RGALI in two stages: In 1958 RGALI received the documents from the Central archive of the Ministry of Culture of the USSR and in 1959 from the A.A. Bakhrushin State central theater museum. The museum received the documents from the liquidation commission in 1950. After the closing liquidation of the theater its archive was moved for preservation to the Aleksei Bakhrushin State Theatrical Museum where it was stored (without being catalogued). On the night of January 6-7, 1953 a major fire occurred in the small room where the archives of these discredited theaters were housed. A result of this was not only that the documents suffered considerably, but also that many of them were destroyed. The documentary materials that survived were transferred by order of the Committee for the Arts of the Council of Ministers of the USSR to the collection of the Main Archive of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and in 1959 to the Central Archive of Literature and Art (TsGALI), now know as the Russian Archive of Literature and Art (RGALI): Fond 2307, which contains 541 items in storage (dating from 1919-1949).
86 reels; fond 2307 : 650 files ; fond 2308 : 206 files. Includes index.
Evreĭskie pogromy na Ukraine, 1918-1921 g.g : Dokumenty Kievskoĭ komissii pomoshchi postradavshim ot pogromov = Jewish pogroms in Ukraine, 1918-1921 : documents of Kiev District Commission for relief to victims of pogroms
The collection, filmed at the State Archive of Kiev Oblast, includes over 30,000 pages of correspondence, witness accounts, reports describing commissioners' and committee activities, records of individual investigations, refugee and victim lists and statistics, communications with Western relief organizations and documents pertaining to Jewish emigration out of Ukraine.
Accompanied by guide entitled: Jewish pogroms in Ukraine, 1918-1921 : documents of Kiev District Commission for relief to victims of pogroms.
Judaica microfilm reel guides : collection 1
Collection of indexes from microfilm collections produced by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, K.G. Saur, and IDC.Includes Bund Archive and Poalei Zion Archive.
The Judaica Digital Image Collection
The Harvard Judaica Collection includes an extensive collection of over 5.5. million digital images documenting Jewish life in Israel and other countries including Russia/Soviet Union. The images are chiefly digital photographs but there are also digital images of ephemera and posters related to Jews in Russia/Soviet Union as well as Russian Jews in Israel.
Access by keyword(s): via HOLLIS Images and HOLLIS . Limit your search to: Depository-- Widener Library Judaica Division.
For more information about the Judaica collections at Harvard please contac t the Judaica division of Harvard Library.
- << Previous: Ukrainian Archival Materials
- Next: Western archives >>
- Last Updated: Oct 26, 2023 6:39 PM
- URL: https://guides.library.harvard.edu/soviethistoryarchives
Harvard University Digital Accessibility Policy
A lost 22-page transcript discovered at the National Archives reveals the secret history of how Abraham Lincoln pardoned Joe Biden's ancestor
- Abraham Lincoln pardoned President Joe Biden's great-great-grandfather, Moses J. Robinette, in 1864.
- Robinette was convicted after a fight with an army colleague during the Civil War, documents show.
- He was pardoned after receiving support from several army officers and a West Virginia senator.
President Joe Biden's former boss, ex-President Barack Obama, used to say that his favorite American president was Abraham Lincoln , who kept the nation from splintering during the Civil War. But, on this Presidents Day , Biden may have a reason to show Lincoln some gratitude.
Indeed, Lincoln, the country's 16th commander in chief, pardoned Biden's great-great-grandfather, US Army employee Moses J. Robinette, after he was caught up in an altercation on a Union Army base in 1864, according to a Washington Post report . Robinette was sentenced to two years hard labor in a Florida military prison for his role in the fight with a colleague, the Post reported, citing a transcript of Robinette's military trial — until Lincoln stepped in and set him free.
Robinette was serving as a civilian veterinary surgeon in the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War when, on the evening of March 21, 1864, he got into a verbal altercation with another civilian employee, John J. Alexander. The shouting match turned physical, and eventually, Robinette injured Alexander with his pocketknife, according to the Post.
The camp's watchmen arrested Robinette. He was charged with intoxication, causing a "dangerous quarrel," disturbing military discipline and order, and — as a result of the knife wounds — making an "attempt to kill." A military court convicted Robinette of all charges except the "attempt to kill" charge and sentenced him to the two-year prison sentence in Florida as punishment.
Three Army officers petitioned Lincoln to overturn Robinette's conviction. After a senator from the recently formed state of West Virginia took up the case, Lincoln pardoned Biden's ancestor on September 1, 1864. The War Department issued Special Order No. 296, and Robinette was released, returning to his family's farm in Maryland.
Newly discovered docs
The Post's account of these events is based on a 22-page transcript unearthed by David Gerleman, a history instructor at George Mason University in Virginia, who discovered the document at the National Archives in Washington, DC. The surprise pardon by Lincoln represented a reversal of Robinette's fortunes up until that point after he'd endured a pretty dismal time during the war. In 1861, when the war kicked off, Robinette operated a hotel in Grafton, Virginia. The area, now in West Virginia, was full of Union supporters and became a key early battleground of the war. Union soldiers destroyed Robinette's hotel, and his wife Jane died early in the war. The Post said Robinette fled with his children to other relatives in Allegany County, Maryland.
By 1863, he was hired to help care for the ammunition pack horses and mules of the Army of the Potomac's reserve artillery. That assignment led Robinette to his scuffle with Alexander, who was serving as a brigade wagon master in the Army's winter camp on the bank of Virginia's Rappahannock River.
Alexander is said to have confronted Robinette after overhearing Robinette badmouthing him to a female cook. The argument devolved into a physical fight, according to the transcript. First, both participants brandished their fists. Then, Robinette took out his pocket knife.
Afterward, Robinette claimed he was only acting in self-defense and "had no malice towards Mr. Alexander before or since." In a letter the three Army officers sent encouraging Lincoln to overturn Robinette's conviction, they claimed he was merely "defending himself" against an adversary far larger and stronger than he was.
Ultimately, Robinette waited three months between being charged and convicted. He went on to spend one month in the military prison at Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas, near Key West, Florida, before Lincoln pardoned him.
Now, Robinette's direct descendant is sitting in Lincoln's old seat.
Watch: Biden joked he was "sandbagged" after tripping at US Air Force Academy graduation
- Main content
- International edition
- Australia edition
- Europe edition
Ukraine says frozen Russian assets should be used to rebuild war-hit economy
Call comes as report puts reconstruction cost at nearly $500bn since start of conflict
- Business live – latest updates
- Europe live – latest updates
Ukraine has called for frozen Russian assets to be used to rebuild the country’s war-ravaged economy after a report showed the cost of reconstruction increasing to almost $500bn.
In their third assessment of the likely price tag for recovery and reconstruction after Russia’s invasion two years ago, the World Bank, Ukraine’s government, the European Commission and the UN said the war had caused the economy to shrink by more than 25% and had been a “dramatic setback” to Ukraine’s development.
Ukraine’s prime minister, Denys Shmyhal, said: “The needs or reconstruction have continued to grow over the past year. The main resource for Ukraine’s recovery should be the confiscation of Russian assets frozen in the west. We need to start this process already this year.”
An estimated $300bn of Russian assets have been frozen since the war started in February 2022.
The report said the direct damage to Ukraine was $152bn but the 10-year cost of piecing together the country’s key infrastructure – such as housing, roads, railways and power plants – would be much higher at $486bn – an increase of $75bn since its last report a year ago.
In 2024 alone, Ukrainian authorities estimate the country will need about $15bn for immediate reconstruction and recovery priorities, of which only $5.5bn has been secured from international partners and its own resources.
“The last two years have seen unprecedented suffering and loss for Ukraine and its people,” said Antonella Bassani, the World Bank vice-president for Europe and Central Asia.
“Yet, while this updated assessment documents the extensive damages and consequent needs, it is at the same time a testament to Ukraine’s resilience – demonstrating that the dedication and adaptability of its people have helped to already repair some of the damage and build towards recovery.
The study, which covered the period until the end of 2023, said “regular, intense” attacks on infrastructure had continued, with unpredictable air and drone bombardment extending beyond established and largely unshifting battle zones, and affecting cities such as Kyiv, Odesa and Lviv.
“The destruction of the Kakhovka dam and the hydropower plant in June 2023 has resulted in incalculable impacts to the environment and exacerbated challenges already faced by people struggling to access housing, water, food and health services, among others.
“There have also been serious attacks of ports, including in Odesa and Mykolaivska regions and alongside the Danube River, as well as cyber-attacks and intensification of drone and air attacks in the last months of 2023.”
Direct damage had not escalated substantially since the second assessment covering the first year of the war, when it totalled US$135bn (€126bn) – due to limited shifts in the frontline of war. Even so, the impact on Ukraine remained immense, with 10% of the housing stock either damaged or destroyed.
after newsletter promotion
As a result, millions of people had lost their homes and were seeking shelter from a shrinking pool of properties. There had been extensive damage to other sectors such as forestry, irrigation, water supply and sanitation, municipal services; emergency response and civil protection, commerce and industry, and culture and tourism.
“As of end-December 2023, recovery and reconstruction needs are estimated at US$486bn (€440bn), which is approximately 2.8 times the estimated nominal GDP of Ukraine for 2023” the report said. “These considerable needs arise from a war that has spanned a large geographical area (including urban areas) for an extended period of time.”
Despite the continuing conflict, the report said Ukraine had managed to start recovery and restoration efforts, helped by financial support from donor countries and multilateral organisations.
During 2023, restoration works were completed for 3,836 multifamily apartment buildings and 19,091 single-family houses; for 448 schools, 237 kindergartens, and 390 medical facilities and social protection institutions; and for 9,200 critical infrastructure facilities, 449 heating supply facilities, and 221 water supply and sanitation facilities.
- Construction industry
Russia warns US and Europe over reports Ukraine may get its seized assets
EU plans fresh Russia sanctions including against son of Dmitry Medvedev
French police detain Russian tycoon over alleged financial and sanctions violations
Russia has tightened capital controls to help prop up rouble, report says
David Cameron in Ukraine on first mission as UK foreign secretary
New Unilever boss is still getting it wrong on Russia
Heineken exits Russia with €1 sale of operations
Lingerie firm Agent Provocateur under pressure over Moscow franchise stores
London Metal Exchange sued for $456m over cancelled trades