WT to display rare texts on American human rights at PPHM

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AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — West Texas A&M University announced it will offer public viewing of rare texts on American human rights from Sept. 30. through Oct. 28. at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (PPHM).

The Remnant Trust’s exhibition “The Theme Is Freedom” will be hosted by WT’s Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities in partnership with the Department of History.

In a press release, WT explained the public education foundation Remnant Trust has a collection of “manuscripts, first edition and early works dealing with the topics of individual liberty and human dignity with some pieces dating as early as 2500 B.C.” The foundation shares the collections with colleges, universities, and other organizations. At WT, the collection is sponsored by Barbara and Jim Whitton, the university said.

According to the press release, the exhibit will call attention to rare classic texts about “individual freedom and responsibility to society.”

“From John Milton and Algernon Sidney in the 17th century to Frederick Douglass and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in the 19th, we encounter women and men who challenged the political, social and cultural status quo by advocating human liberty against any form of oppression and prejudice,” said Dr. Bruce Brasington, organizer and WT’s Twanna Caddell Powell Professor of History. “Their challenge is no less relevant to our own day.”

All the text featured in “The Theme Is Freedom” will be located in the PPHM Research Center and WT’s Cornette Library and volumes will be available to view by request. The university said faculty can also use the material in classes.

“When it comes time in my American History class to discuss those fighting to abolish slavery, we will just go upstairs in the museum and look at Frederick Douglass’ autobiography,” Brasington said. “No lecture will ever match the experience of holding those a precious document of freedom in your hands.”

Here are some of the texts to be on display, according to WT:

  • “Discourses Concerning Government” by Algernon Sidney;
  • “History of Women Suffrage” Vols. 4, 5 and 6 by Susan B. Anthony;
  • “Reflections on the Revolution in France” by Edmund Burke;
  • “Address to the Legislature of New York, Adopted by the State Women’s Rights Convention 1854” by Elizabeth Cady Stanton;
  • “Life and Times of Frederick Douglass” and “My Bondage and My Freedom” by Frederick Douglass;
  • “The Lawes Resolutions of Women’s Rights: or, The Lawes Provision for Women” edited by Thomas Edgar;
  • “Essays on Human Rights and their Political Guaranties” by Elisha P. Hurlburt;
  • “Aeropagitica” by John Milton;
  • “The Letters and Works” by Lady Wortley Montagu;
  • “The Works of Hannah More” by Hannah More;
  • “Discourse on Woman” by Lucretia Mott;
  • “On the Equality of the Sexas” Parts 1 and 2 by Judith Sargent Murray;
  • “The Great Case of Liberty on Conscience” by William Penn;
  • “Appeal of One Half of the Human Race” by William Thompson;
  • “History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution” by Mercy Warren;
  • “A Vindication of the Rights of Women” and “The Rights of Men” by Mary Wollstonecraft;
  • “The Trial of John Peter Zenger” by various authors.

WT’s Department of History announced it will also have two public events on campus focused on the texts.

On Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. in Old Main 220, Regents’ Professor of History, Dr. Jean Stuntz will introduce the film “Iron Jawed Angels” and moderate a discussion. The 2004 movie stars Hilary Swank and remembers the struggles of suffragettes to gain the right to vote.

On Oct. 28 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Legacy Hall in the Jack B. Kelley Student Center, there will be a roundtable presentation by the Department of History’s faculty and graduate students.

“We expect that points of agreement and disagreement among our panelists should lead to lively discussion among the participants and the audience,” Brasington said.

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