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Eric Sandweiss
Editor, Indiana Magazine of History

Last modified: Thursday, September 25, 2008

Indiana history journal cycles down the campaign trail

Sept. 25, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The September 2008 issue of the Indiana Magazine of History leads off with an article on the little-known role played by bicyclists in the presidential election of 1896, which pitted Republican William McKinley against Democrat William Jennings Bryan.

Campaign Button

A campaign button from the 1896 election

Describing bicycles as the revolutionary transport technology of their time, author Michael Taylor (Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge) argues that cyclists -- lobbying for good city streets and rural roads -- became a political force in the elections of the 1890s.

In the issue's second article, Fort Wayne historian Peggy Seigel examines the 20th-century struggle for equal employment in that city. Focusing on the work of the local Phyllis Wheatley Center (later the Fort Wayne Urban League), Seigel looks at African-Americans' struggles to obtain well-paying jobs in heavily segregated factories and other businesses during the period from the 1930s to the early 1960s.

This issue alsooffers 10 never-published Civil War letters, collected and transcribed by John Sickles, from young Hoosier farmer Samuel Seely to his sweetheart back home. The letters, dating from September 1862 until June 1865, follow the camp life and battles of Seely's 4th Indiana Cavalry, 77th Regiment, including the capture of Atlanta in 1864.

The Indiana Magazine of History is published quarterly by the history department of Indiana University Bloomington, in cooperation with the Indiana Historical Society. The magazine's Web site can be found at For general information on the articles, contact the editorial office at 812-855-4139.