"In the Beginning, all America was Virginia."
William Byrd II
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Exploring Primary Sources

The children enjoyed learning about the primary sources available at the Virginia Historical Society. The presenter was able to keep the children engaged throughout the entire presentation. I liked that the presenter had time for Q&A.
Teacher, Newport News

These explorations are programs that are more primary source driven than our other HistoryConnects programs. These programs are developed from the manuscripts collections at the Virginia Historical Society and are better suited for middle school, secondary, and adult audiences.

Each program will follow the same format as our other HistoryConnects program and include a question-and-answer session at the end.

Exploring Primary Sources Programs

Primary Source Workshops

We also offer primary source workshops which allow participants to work more directly with the sources and through historical inquiry piece together an episode from Virginia’s past. With a primary source workshop program, there is a pre-program activity that students must participate in as a primer for the workshop. Information will be provided upon confirmation of the program booking.

Our primary source workshops for the 2013-2014 school year are:

Evan Liddiard

Evan Liddiard, Senior Education Specialist

Are you interested in learning more about our interactive video conferencing programs? I can help you schedule a program or answer any questions you may have. Feel free to contact me at eliddiard@vahistorical.org or 804.342.9689.

John Smith's Map of Virginia

Maps gained in importance during the Age of Exploration. European explorers needed maps to follow and created their own as they explored new lands. Some maps became so important that they were copied over and over again. These map copies, or derivatives, were especially useful to travelers and explorers to the New World. John Smith’s map of Virginia was one of these influential maps, because of the importance of the Virginia settlement and the accuracy with which Smith conducted his work.

Scheduling for this program is available through the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC) website.

Finding the "Real" Pocahontas

The study of Pocahontas is an excellent exercise testing the strength of primary versus secondary sources. Factually we know very little about the life of Pocahontas. These few facts are often interwoven with myth and legend surrounding her life that has developed over four centuries. Depictions of Pocahontas throughout time can reveal as much about the time that they were created as they do about the Powhatan “princess”. This program will examine some of the many depictions created of Pocahontas over time, including the one depiction made in person. Students will learn how to interpret a picture as a primary source, and through historical inquiry, determine which of the depictions the “real” Pocahontas is.

Scheduling for this program is available through the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC) website.

Different Paths to Freedom

Discover the implications that the American Revolution had on ideas of freedom and liberty. Students will examine the relationship between enslaved African Americans and the American Revolution through an investigation of Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation, James Lafayette’s petition, and Peter Sublett’s manumission.

Scheduling for this program is available through the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC) website.

John Robertson Maben and the Search for California Gold

In 1849, John Robertson Maben traveled to California in search of gold. In a series of thirteen letters, Maben describes his travels to his wife, Sarah. These letters are especially vivid as Maben was witness to events both momentous and mundane. He wrote of the cholera epidemic of 1849, the great St. Louis fire that same year, and the excitement and brutality of the California gold fields. In this program, students will join Maben on his journey, interpreting his letters, tracing his travels on a nineteenth-century map, and examining the landscape.

Scheduling for this program is available through the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC) website.

Saving Private Scott

Sometime on September 17, 1862, Pvt. Benjamin I. Scott of the 18th Virginia Infantry was killed at the battle of Antietam. His fate remained unknown, however, because his body was one of almost 300,000 that remained unidentified in the Civil War. In this program, students will explore a mother's agonizing search for her missing son as revealed in the letters of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, Union general Joseph Hooker, and a number of other Union and Confederate officers as they tried to determine Private Scott's fate. The Scotts' story has been published recently in the Pulitzer Prize-winning work, This Republic of Suffering. In this program, students will focus on the differences between primary and secondary sources.

Scheduling for this program is available through the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC) website.

Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation

Two years of fighting changed what the American Civil War was about. Beginning in 1863, the North no longer fought only to save the Union, but also to end slavery. Lincoln believed ending slavery was the only way to win the war and not have to fight again.

This program focuses on an examination of political cartoons and paintings that highlight Abraham Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the end of slavery. Through guided historical inquiry your students are introduced to political cartoons as primary sources. They will engage in primary source analysis, and interpret the importance of these sources while learning about their historical context. This interactive presentation will end with a period for questions and answers.

Scheduling for this program is available through the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC) website.

Evan Liddiard

Evan Liddiard, Senior Education Specialist

Are you interested in learning more about our interactive video conferencing programs? I can help you schedule a program or answer any questions you may have. Feel free to contact me at eliddiard@vahistorical.org or 804.342.9689.

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