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Quietly Shaping History: John Bigelow's Influence on 19th Century Politics

Display case for Quietly Shaping History exhibitSeptember 1 - November 22, 2023 / Schaffer Library, Lally Reading Room

This exhibit illustrates the extraordinary life of Union College alumnus John Bigelow (1817-1911, UC 1835) who played a pivotal role in shaping the Reconstruction Era, the Gilded Age, and the Progressive Era through his roles as an American author, diplomat, lawyer, philanthropist, and distinguished man of letters. Despite his remarkable contributions and impact on 19th-century world history, John Bigelow remains relatively unknown in popular historical narratives.

 

John Bigelow: An American Abroad Between 1850-1886

The Red Star Line passenger list cover from a Bigelow tripOnline

This digital exhibit aims to delight audiences by showcasing various trips John Bigelow and his family made between 1850 and 1886. Through his letters, family diaries, and other collection materials from the Bigelow papers, visitors can accompany Bigelow around Europe and the Caribbean to learn more about global travel during the nineteenth century.