Signed Copy: Capital Days: Michael Shiner's Journal
- By Tonya Bolden
- Paperback: 96 pages
- Ages: 8-12
- Grades: 3-7
Michael Shiner (c. 1804-1880) was an African-American male born into slavery in Maryland. His original owner was William Pumphrey, Jr., of Piscataway, Maryland, but Michael was sold to Thomas Howard, Sr., chief clerk of the U. S. Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., where he was put to work. After obtaining his freedom following Howard’s death, he continued working in the Navy Yard before becoming involved in other jobs in the nation’s capital. He had learned to read and write, and he kept a journal in an old shop book.
Capital Days is not just a biography of Michael Shiner. Author Tonya Bolden uses Shiner’s life and writings as a backdrop to chronicle a period of immense change in our country and its capital. The book includes excerpts from Shiner’s diary and other primary sources and is liberally illustrated with paintings, photographs, drawings, and other archival images. Each of the four chapters includes a timeline. An author’s note in the back contains further information and is followed by a glossary. Finally, there is an index that makes the volume useful for reference. Capital Days is a fascinating look for young adults into a very important period of our nation’s history.
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