Read. Write. Go.

Elizabeth Freeman

Natasha Cribbs

Dr. Davis

United States History to 1876

4 March 2014

Elizabeth Freeman

            Slavery has always been a huge part of the history of the United States of America. Slavery is also something that did not go away on its own, but rather by the steady actions of people that led up the abolishment of it. One simple action by Elizabeth Freeman shows a step in the sometimes slow, but steady change during that time.

Life for slaves was never all that easy, including Elizabeth Freeman. After her birth around 1742, she was soon sold to a wealthy owner named John Ashley who had a wife named Hannah. Like most slaves, she was a slave for a large part of her life. It was often that African Americans would be slaves all of their lives. Freeman had a turn in her life, however.

So what was it exactly that was so amazing about what Elizabeth Freeman accomplished? What Freeman done can be seen in the quote, “When Ashley’s wife attacked her, Betts appealed to a local abolitionist, who brought her case to the courts. Betts was granted her freedom and 30 shillings in damages in 1781, with the case Brom and Betts v. Ashley,”(Mum Bett Biography).

For a slave to win the case and become a paid servant of the lawyer who had helped her was a huge feat. Slaves had very little rights, and due to the way that laws were back then– it did not seem that Ashley had done much of anything against the law. Even so, Freeman won. She won with the help of Theodore Sedgwick who was not only an attorney, but was also an abolitionist and a future U.S Senator.

What Freeman accomplished shows that the times were changing. It also shows some of the altering views between right and wrong. It was only a matter of time before more happenings against slavery commenced. What Elizabeth Freeman accomplished and how intense of a feat it was can been seen on her gravestone in the quote “She was born a slave and remained a slave for nearly thirty years. She could neither read nor write, yet in her own sphere she had no superior or equal,”(The Massachusetts Constitution).






Work Cited

“Mum Bett Biography.” A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.

“The Massachusetts Constitution, Judicial Review and Slavery.” Supreme Judicial Court. N.p.,     n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.


The Invention of the Sewing Machine

Natasha Cribbs

Dr. Davis

United States History to 1876

11 March 2014

The Invention of the Sewing Machine

            Clothes are a huge part of life, culture, and style. Over time clothes have become easier to make, are more flamboyant in some areas of fashion, and help express a person’s individuality. The thing is, however, that clothes were not always so easy to make or design. Sewing machines have been a key in creating patterns, styles, sales, and more.

With the help of documents and research of older machines, it is shown that Elias Howe invented the first sewing machine. At that time, the sewing machine only made straight stitches and only done 250 of them per minute. Not only that, but it was also a hand cranked. It was kind of limited and did not have much commercial appeal at first, because of that.

There were two other men that helped the later production of the sewing machine; Isaac Singer and Allen Wilson. “Singer invented the up-and-down motion mechanism, and Wilson created a rotary hook shuttle.” (Inventor Elias Howe Was Born). With the improvements added and combined patents, the sewing machine was well on its way to becoming popular. It was not long before it was being commercially manufactured.

It was around the 1850’s when a huge amount of them were manufactured. Much like today, they were used for many things like creating shoes, books, clothing, and several home uses. On that note there was also, “an installment buying plan, which helped place sewing machines in most middle-class households,”(Kennedy).

Several aspects of manufacturing, clothing, and style would likely be different if the sewing machine was never invented. There are so many inventions that are not as popular of a topic, like light bulbs, but many are still very important, as well as those who invented them.




Work Cited

“Inventor Elias Howe Was Born.” America’s Story. The Library of Congress, n.d. Web. 11 Mar.    2014.

Kennedy, David M., Lizabeth Cohen, and Mel Piehl. “The Invention of the Sewing Machine.”     The Brief American Pageant: A History of the Republic. Boston, MA: Wadsworth     Cengage Learning, 2012. 213. Print.

David Hume; an Important Philosopher

Natasha Cribbs

Mr. Bruce Franklin

Western Civilization Since 1700

27 January 2014

David Hume; an Important Philosopher

            It is said that James Stirling stated that “Hume is our Politics, Hume is our Trade, Hume is our Philosophy, Hume is our Religion.” (Fieser, James) That quote is an example of how important and influential David Hume can be considered.

Born in 1711 at Berwickshire Scotland, Hume was brought up in a family that was of moderate financial status. He went to a University at the age of eleven, but left to be privately educated at fifteen. While he was learning and researching, he began to have many thoughts and questions on several subjects. Some of his questions and interested pertained to the exhistance of God, texts that were Latin and Greek, and much more. Those questions and thoughts began his journey as a philosopher and added to his impact and writing. He actually wrote several volumes prior to even being thirty years old.

Philosophy wise, Hume hit on many subjects. Some of these subjects were ideas and impressions. Each of those had their own categories in which some of those even had sub categories. He also delved in to personal identity, cause and effect, space and time, free will, miracles, et cetera.

Hume knew that some of things could likely offend people. It is often difficult for people to deal with statements and beliefs of others. The topics that of course could be interesting and controversial are the works on religious beliefs, God, moral values, and political and economic theories.

Hume contributed a lot of things in his life, from his ideas and theories to his manuscripts and biographies. He ended up passing away from an internal disorder in 1776, while he was sixty-five years old. Like many writers who became more known after they passed away, David Hume was one of them. His writings that he did not let out due to the probability of being offense were opened after he died. A lot of talk and critique about him and his writings were up and down, some positive and negative. Either way, it can be seen that he was fairly influential.





Work Cited

Fieser, James. “Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.” Hume, David []. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan.           2014.

Napoleons Places of Exile

Natasha Cribbs

Mr. Franklin

Western Civilization Since 1700

3 March 2014

Napoleons Places of Exile

            Napoleon was known for his leadership and place in history. Even though he was such an intense leader, conqueror, and power hungry, it did not stop him from getting caught and exiled. During his time, Napoleon was captured and banished twice. Two of the places he was sent to was Elba island and Saint Helena Island.

Elba is an island in the Mediterranean, off of the central Italy coast. It is now a fairly peaceful island with mild climate. The wildlife thrives and has variety. People may stay in hotels and such on the island. It is interesting that Napoleon was once banished to that same island.

Napoleons first exile was after he launched an invasion on Russia when he thought that Russia and England were about to start an alliance. Napoleons forces did not win, however. Any offers he gave were not accepted, and he was banished to Elba. However, it is obvious he did not stay there in the quote, “In March 1815, he escaped his island exile and returned to Paris, where he regained supporters and reclaimed his emperor title, Napoleon I, in a period known as the Hundred Days,”(Napoleon Exiled to Elba).

Napoleon then continued on his plans and went through more battles. The next important battle that deals with his places of banishment is the Battle of Waterloo. The Battle of Waterloo was his final defeat. After the battle, he was sent to Saint Helena island.

Like Elba, Saint Helena island is now an attraction for people. It is fair, nice, and has an ample amount of things like history, climate, shrimp docks, and more. Unlike Elba, it is off of the coast of Africa.

For the rest of his life, about six years, Napoleon stayed at Saint Helena. It was also the place of his death, which many people believe was “most likely of stomach cancer,”(Napoleon Dies in Exile).

Work Cited

“Napoleon Exiled to Elba.” A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2014.

“Napoleon Dies in Exile.” A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2014.


Natasha Cribbs

Mr. Bruce Franklin

Western Civilization Since 1700

4 February 2014


            Montesquieu, or Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, was a pretty important man of his time. He was a noble, had a law degree, and was a part of a provincial parliament. Montesquieu was what people called one of the philosophes, so not only was he a part of the previous things listed, but he was also a part of those who favored change, reform, advocated toleration, and was interested in expanding print.

Montesquieu was famous for many things. The quote, “In 1721 Montesquieu published the Persian Letters, which was an instant success and made Montesquieu a literary celebrity” (Bok, Hilary), expresses some of his stardom. The Persian Letters are writings focused in a letter format to a couple of fictional characters. The story had interesting ideas of how Europe was perceived by outsiders, had a lot of self-knowledge within, and also happened to be one of the more humorous tales wrote by big philosophers.

Montesquieu also created another big writing called The Spirit of the Laws. In that story he explained social institutions and human laws. His writing express a lot of his views and beliefs about social systems, government, laws, and more.

Something that is interesting is the fact that Montesquieu had an idea of division of power within the government. That means that he actually had a huge effect on the future of democracies. In the present the United States uses the system of checks and balances that separates the power of each branch of government, which go along with how he felt about division.

Another part of government that Montesquieu formed his own ideas on is liberty. Yes, he believed in liberty, but in a different way than some people believed. He did not exactly believe that it was pure freedom. If people had the freedom to hurt others, then others would also have that same freedom to do the same to them. It is a concept of vise-versa. People are also very apt to abuse freedoms, so it is important to keep things in check.  So from those stand points, Montesquieu believed that liberty entailed having laws and obeying them, but also having personal freedoms.

Montesquieu also had some interesting ideals of women. Women were fairly suppressed back in that time, but his thoughts were a little different than many men of that time. He believed that women did not have to necessarily be inferior to men. To him, women should have bigger roles then they did in society.

Even though Montesquieu had generous beliefs about women during that time, some of his beliefs were still strict. His differences can be seen in the quote, “Although in the Spirit of the Laws he indicated a belief in the equality of the sexes, he still retained a traditional view of marriage and family and expected men to dominate those institutions,”(Kagan). He also was a supporter of the rights for women to be able to divorce, but he also kept his belief of chastity for females.



Work Cited

Bok, Hilary. “Baron De Montesquieu, Charles-Louis De Secondat.” Stanford University.   Stanford University, 18 July 2003. Web. 04 Feb. 2014.

Kagan, Donald, Steven E. Ozment, and Frank Miller Turner. “Chapter 17.” The Western    Heritage: Since 1648. Sixth ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2010. 424-27. Print.

The 10 Best Books I Read in 2013

Who does not love a list of interesting books?!


Just like The 10 Best Books I Read in 2012, and The 10 Best Books I Read in 2011, I’m kicking off the new year by sharing the best 10 books that I read in 2013.

In 2013 my book count was on the lower side. (I blame you Netflix.) However, I still managed to get through 33 new ones.

1. What Are You Looking At? by Will Gompertz

Banish that boring textbook. If you enjoy art (me!), the history of art (me!) and an entertaining read (me!), this book is for you (and me, apparently). Or if you get dragged through the modern art section of museums and can’t figure out why some of that weird stuff is famous, well, this book is for you too. What Are You Looking At? is an easy read combined with (historically based) fiction to make art history come to life. It walks…

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So, November is around the corner. Quite a sharp corner, actually.  Many people know what that means, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. Simple, the goal is to create a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month. Sounds intense, but it really get’s people writing. You do not necessarily have to hit the 50k goal. Just putting yourself out there and getting writing is the real ideal. Be sure to check out to get signed up if you want to participate!

Personally, I have been pondering on joining this year. I have a lot of writing stuff I already have to do, so it would make a lot on my plate. I do have a little plot idea. If I want to participate, I really need to get the ball rolling!

So, are you joining NaNoWriMo this year?

The Indian Wars

Natasha Cribbs

Dr. Sunni Thibodeau

United States Hisotry Since 1876

30 September, 2013

The Indian Wars

            The Indians had a rough time during the 1800’s. Like many other races and people throughout history, the Indians were a part of discrimination. They were removed from their own land and homes so Americans could start cultivating and building their own lands and futures. A lot of problems arose for the Indians which ended up leading to several battles.

A lot of the reasoning behind the wars can be seen in the quote, “Lakota Chief Sitting Bull asked, “If the white men take my country, where can I go?” (Western Indian Wars, n.d.). Basically, the expansion of the railroad and other ventures required a lot of land. The particular land that was needed was inhabited by the Indians. The Americans began to attempt to move and herd the Indians to different locations. It was not taken well.

During these difficult times, many Americans would shoot the Indians on sight. The problem with that was that the Indians were often peaceful and there was no reasoning behind the deaths. The collisions simply got worse from there. For example, a particular group of militia led by Colonel J. M. Chivington brutally killed and massacred hundreds of Indians at Sand Creek, Colorado. Those Indians had previously been given immunity.

Such harsh treatment was not something that was taken lightly. Some Indians fought back. A group of Sioux Indians ambushed and killed Fetterman’s eighty-one civilians and soldiers. Fights and wars were just beginning, but it did bring something along with it. The Sioux Indians got the “Great Sioux Reservation”.

A simple reservation or two did not stop the turmoil, though. More battles arose after Colonel George Armstrong Custer announced gold in an area that was inhabited by the Plains Indians. This just created more warfare as people in search for gold herded to the lands, disrupting the lives of the Indians. Custer is often known for the battle of “Little Big Horn”. The battle of Little Big Horn is where he led around 250 men to their deaths. The Indians had been more prepared then they had expected. In response, however, the U.S. Army later hunted down the large number of about 2,500 Indians that had over taken Custer’s men and killed them. The whites continued to subdue the Native Americans and move them to reservations. It was not an easy task and the number of deaths rose, but it continued none the less.




Word Cited

“Western Indian Wars.” The Price of Freedom: Americans at War. Smithsonian National   Museum of American History Behring Center, n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.     <;


Oppression in the South

Natasha Cribbs

Dr. Sunni Thibodeau

United States Hisotry Since 1876

29 August, 2013

Oppression in the South

            The South has often been known for some discriminatory ways. During the 1800’s, this was a fairly apparent matter, though it was not just a southern related issue of course. In the late 1800’s is when there were many tides of political changes and reconstruction. In this time there some obvious clashes with the African American’s and poor from the richer white inhabitants. Even more so with the African Americans. Segregation was heavy and very unequal. Besides the usual different treatment, it was also quite obvious in the crop-lien system, tenant farming, and the Jim Crow Laws.

The Crop-Lien system and tenant farming go fairly hand in hand and is only a couple of the many ways that separated the classes of people. Tenant farming is where a tenant stays on the land of the landlord as well as works on the farm. For many people the conditions were not very good or much higher than that of near slavery. Much of the pay is low and the work is hard. Then comes the crop-lien system. This system is used by farmers and shop keepers as credit for supplies. Of course shop keepers were not always honest and used manipulation to keep the farmers in debt. This in turn continued to stir the obvious issues and class suppressions in the South.

Tenant farming and the crop-lien system are small to the upcoming Jim Crow Laws. It was just about to escalate. The Jim Crow Laws were a huge hit to the oppression of African Americans. The Laws were put into effect after the Plessy v. Ferguson case. Discrimination is already apparent at this time. When politics are added, the stakes get higher. “Pro-segregation politicians gave eloquent speeches on the great danger of integration: the mongrelization of the white race. Newspaper and magazine writers routinely referred to blacks as niggers, coons, and darkies; and worse, their articles reinforced anti-black stereotypes.” (Pilgrim, Dr. David, 2000).

Discrimination was not just set to one area of life like politics and news, however. Racism was growing and was spreading to all parts of life. The Jim Crow Laws separated the equality on so many simple and basic levels. Basically, the laws stood for the power of white men. African Americans were shown to be utterly unequal to the white community. The Jim Crow Laws prohibited pretty much anything that may have offended a white person. This included not eating together, not shaking hands, not offering cigarettes or doing anything remotely intimate, the necessity of sitting in the back of vehicles (white people were up front), doing anything against a white person, and more. All aspects of life were affected by these laws.

What is worse, is that life was also beginning to take a very aggressive turn due to all of the discrimination and oppression. “The Jim Crow laws and system of etiquette were undergirded by violence, real and threatened. Blacks who violated Jim Crow norms, for example, drinking from the white water fountain or trying to vote, risked their homes, their jobs, even their lives.” (Pilgrim, Dr. David, 2000). Whites had potentially full power over blacks. They could beat them horribly if the need arose and not get into any trouble. Lynching was also something that appeared very often as well as some riots.

The late 1800’s were a time of change. Not all of the change was towards the good, however. Times were not easy for everyone, like the poor and the African Americans. Discrimination was just beginning to rear its head and create harsher times for those involved. The lives of tenants were only a single area of class oppression and was somewhat shadowed by the intensity of the Jim Crow Laws. The oppression in the South at this time was beginning to get heavier, but of course would not last forever.

Work Cited

Pilgrim, Dr. David, “What Was Jim Crow?” What Was Jim Crow. N.p., Sept. 2000. Web. 29         Aug. 2013.

The World Is Too Much with Us Analysis

Natasha Cribbs

Dr. Sunni Thibodeau

World Literature Since 1650

8 October, 2013

The World Is Too Much with Us Analysis

            The poem The World Is Too Much with Us is a romantic piece. Knowing more about what a romantic piece means helps understand the meaning and issues in the poem. Now days people view romantics as love and flowers. However, Romanticism in poetry delves into the power and interests of nature. William Wordsworth expresses the human ignorance of nature and how awesome nature is through the speaker, title, and imagery.

The speaker is not fully one with nature. He is, however, aware of how little attention humans pay to nature. The speaker knows that there is so much nature. He also notices how there is very little time given to appreciate and experience nature first hand. The speaker is someone who wants more time with nature and to be able to see the miraculous aspects like the deity “Triton”(14). This is where him wanting to be Pagan comes in.

Not only is the speaker important in the poem, but so is the title. The title of the poem is a little odd to some readers. It is read differently then how people would say it normally, now. The world is too much with us is a saying that is expressing how little time people use for nature. When something is “too much”, the person is saying that they cannot handle it, that there is not enough time for them to be able to do something, or it may just be over bearing. In this poem, maybe there is too much life and time in the way of taking a break for nature and appreciation.

Imagery is also a big part of the poem. Imagery is often something used heavily with nature. Nature is often descriptive and interesting. In this poem, nature is personified. It is expressed as a woman might look, a howling, and as if it sleeps. Not only is it personified, but it is also shown in the setting. The setting is an outlook to the sea. The speaker is a little saddened by how little time there is for nature and wishes that he could be happier looking out.

The World Is Too Much with Us by William Wordsworth is a poem about humans and nature conflicting in a very simple way. It is about a speaker and his thoughts and ideals and the neatness of nature. It is all shown in a few simple things like the setting, title, and speaker. Wordsworth seems to get his point across.

Work Cited

Lawall, Sarah N. “The World Is Too Much with Us.” The Norton Anthology of Western     Literature. Eight ed. Vol. 2. New York: W.W. Norton, 2006. 704. Print.

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