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Krystal Fitzgerald

Murphy African American Museum (4/28/15)

Murphy African-American Museum is the former house of Mr. and Mrs. Will Murphy. Mr. Murphy is known for being the first African American mortician in the Tuscaloosa area. Meanwhile, being a man of wealth and nobility, he purchased this property close to the line of segregated housing in 1923. This residency was the divide between white and black neighborhoods. This home is now an educational museum that houses exhibits and information that enhance the knowledge of African Americans contributions to the world.

During the course of the semester, we discussed a topic that correlates to one of the parts of this museum. The African Room is enclosed with many pieces of antique furniture, clothing, and instruments from Africa. However, in the center of a room is one of the most important pieces that is relevant to our course. There is a ship that sits center room that transferred slaves from Europe to the Americas. According the class lecture, most slaves were taken to Brazil and the Caribbean. This transportation of enslaved Africans is better known as the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

The Transatlantic Slave Trade was the selling of Africans as a commodity for labor. Therefore, slaves were seen as property and were sold as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, the ships were loaded with slaves who suffered brutal treatment. Many died during the transport; but for those who survived, there was work to be done to accumulate wealth for Europeans and whites. Upon their arrival, many slaves began to escape and later become “free”.


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Krystal Fitzgerald

Extra Credit- Tuscaloosa Museum of Art

Tuscaloosa Museum of Art contains art from 1775 and on. The museum houses many images relevant to our class studies. However, I believe there were a few pictures and monuments most prominent to the time period we are studying. There was one section of the museum, which highlighted the more important parts of our course. The monument within the museum that stood out to me most was the statue of John Hancock.

John Hancock played a key role in many important American events; such as, the Continental Congress, American Revolution, and signing of the Declaration of Independence. His noble uncle, from whom he inherited both social and political power, raised Hancock. Hancock became known as a loyalist and started his involvement in revolutionary politics. His political prowess led to participation in the announcement of independence from Great Britain.

In 1776, Hancock became a member of Stamp Act Congress. This elite group of individuals spoke against Britain’s taxation on paper goods. Hancock owned a ship named Liberty, which he attempted to use as a means to smuggle untaxed goods--but to no avail, the ship was impounded.  However, Hancock is perhaps most infamously known for his signature on the Declaration of Independence.

It is clear that Hancock wanted freedom from Britain, due to his voice against many taxes and rules  imposed by Britain. Hancock proves this dissidence by the signing of the declaration of independence. In previous history courses, we learned one of the reasons why Hancock wrote his signature so big. Hancock signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 along with other influential men. However, Hancock believed that there should be no speculation regarding who signed the document. Therefore, he wrote his name large enough so anyone in Britain would not have to guess when seeing his signature.

Fun Fact: When visiting the museum, one of the workers informed me that his statue took two days to move into the museum. When deciding that Hancock would be a part of the museum, contractors had to re-frame the doorways because the statue could not fit through the door.




James Monroe: I (James Monroe) believe women should have a vote. You are the backbone of the family and deserve a voice. “You deserve a more active and assertive role in politics” (Zagarri 77). As your president, I believe “your role in politics is a sign of your political importance and is an affirmation of your connection with polity” (Zagarri 77). I believe to include to include women will not doom entire political project.


Federalist: As a federalist, I believe politics may consume the feminine virtues; “political discussion agitates women's passions, roughens our manner, and discomposes the garb of the female modesty” (Zagarri 77).


Anti- Federalist woman: As a female my vote is in James Monroe. I do deserve a voice and whether my voice in heard through the decision of my husband or son, I trust they will make the best decision for my family. This doesn't take away my virtues as a female but gives my equal representation or a voice.


James Monroe:

And there you have it! I’m James Madison and I approve this message.




Zagarri, Rosemarie. Revolutionary Backlash. Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press.

2007. Print