Nineteenth-Century Ohio Literature collects readings prepared by students at the University of Akron.These readings were selected for their appeal to twenty-first century readers. There’s a lot to learn about our history by browsing old papers, which tend to be crowded with striking, sensational, and curious content. In an age before color illustration or recorded sound and video, editors and authors relied on words to engage their readers. The nineteenth century was also a time without clear rules for literary genre or serious journalism. Opinion pieces, essays, longform reporting, and short stories blur together in what might be called a golden age of creative nonfiction.
Each of these scholarly editions was first written for a research assignment in a English department course taught by the series editor, Jon Miller. Students were free to select texts from databases of nineteenth-century Ohio periodicals such as the Library of Congress's Chronicling America. All texts were then carefully prepared to scholarly standards. Each edition includes a introductory essay that explains and interprets the text for today's reader, and each edition provides advice to readers interested in further reading. These readings have been put through multiple rounds of revision, fact checking, copyediting, and proofreading; our authors typically work on improving their edition for many months after the course has ended. We hope that you enjoy reading these materials as much as we enjoyed preparing them.