Welcome to webdubois.org

"Retextualize Du Bois's ATTC (1906)"

"Retextualize W.E.B. Du Bois's 'Address to the Country' (1906)"
by Robert W. Williams

 In Particular:

 I use Retex­tu­alizer here to interact with W.E.B. Du Bois's "Address to the Country" (ATTC), which he wrote for the second meeting of the Niagara Movement in August 1906. It was held in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

 My website provides more resources on the Niagara Movement, including DuBoisian primary sources as well as secondary sources.

 Herein I compare the text of the ATTC as printed in the newspaper The Broad Ax with the work located in the Aptheker anthology of Du Bois's Pam­phlets and Leaf­lets. The sources are specified below, along with the nota­tion sys­tem that I use to identi­fy the dif­fer­ences between the two texts.

 The Primary Source

Primary Source Used Herein: Anonymous. "The Second Annual Meeting of the Niagara Meeting At Harper's Ferry, West Virginia", The Broad Ax [Chicago, IL], Vol. XI, No. 44 (August 25, 1906): p.1.
URL: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84024055/1906-08-25/ed-1/seq-1/

Primary Source Notes: The newspaper article contained many details about the 1906 meeting of the Niagara Movement. It did not spe­cif­i­cally name Du Bois as a conference participant or as the creator of the ATTC.

 The anonymous author of the newspaper article did not identi­fy the address as the "Address to the County" (or "Nation"), the names by which it is con­ven­tion­ally known today. Rather, the author wrote: "...on winding up its ses­sions on Sun­day, the fol­low­ing address was issued to the world,...." Given such a state­ment, perhaps the ATTC might also be called the "Address to the World" — a name with wider terri­torial scope and polit­i­cal sig­nificance.

 The text contained in the newspaper article was delin­e­ated by quo­ta­tion marks; they are omitted in the versions above. Also, The Broad Ax placed this loca­tion and date infor­mation at the end of the address (and left-indented): "Harper's Ferry, W. Va., August 16-19, 1906."

 In The ATTC Du Bois listed five demands of the Niagara Move­ment. He preceded demands two through five by writing "Second.", "Third.", "Fourth.", and "Fifth." as separate sentences. That is retained in the code. Thus in the ran­dom­ized version, those ordinal numbers might be found placed before sentences that are not part of the original demands. This is an inter­pre­tive feature of Retex­tu­al­izer.

Comparison Source: "The Niagara Movement: Address to the Country." Pp.63-65 in Herbert Aptheker (Editor), Pamphlets and Leaflets by W.E.B. Du Bois, a volume in The Complete Published Works of W.E.B. Du Bois. White Plains, NY: Kraus-Thomson Organization Limited, 1986.

In-Text Notation System: The original text found herein derives from the ATTC as published in The Broad Ax. I have compared The Broad Ax version with the version found in the Aptheker anthology. There are a few differences between the two versions, which are conveyed in the text above via several sets of tags.

Paired braces { } indicate that the material so spanned is present in The Broad Ax version, but is not found within the text in the Aptheker anthology. Example: {a} in sentence 36.

 Paired square brackets [ ] indicate that the word(s) and/or punctuation enclosed by the brackets are *not present* in The Broad Ax version, but are found in the Aptheker anthology's version. Examples: un[-]democratic in sentence 20 ("undemocratic" in Broad Ax); [,] in sentences 27 and 63; and a complete sentence, [We want the Constitution of the country enforced.], as sentence 30.

 Exceptions to the previous note include sentence numbers that are con­tained within square brackets, and, if applicable, the [sic] — an academic con­vention indicating that the previous word or phrase is conveyed as it was in the original. Such exceptions were added by me and were not present in the primary sources.

 Paired square brackets with an equals sign [= ] indicate that the material so enclosed is a variant found in the Aptheker anthology, but is not present in The Broad Ax text. Examples: Black [=black] in sentences 26 and 62; Color [=color] in sentence 32; and Slave [=Slav] in sentence 68.

New York Times Primary Source: A short news article describing the 1906 Niagara Movement meeting is viewable online at the New York Times archive. Note that the anonymously written article printed only a portion of the "Address to the Country"​ (ATTC). When compared with The Broad Ax and Aptheker anthology versions, the NYT's version did not print the beginning or the end of the ATTC, and it combined paragraphs without identifying where in the "Address" this occurred. The anony­mous author, how­ever, did acknowledge such truncation by writing: "An address to the country was read, which in part was as follows:"​ (the "address to the country" was not capitalized within the text of the original NYT article).

The NYT article, with some of its title in all capital letters, "NEGROES WANT EQUAL RIGHTS; The Niagara Movement Issues an Address to the Country"​ (New York Times, 20 August 1906), is available via a preview page; and is view­able online in PDF format.