December 14, 2017

Featured Source: A Plan of My Farm

Zoom into this old map. Do some math, how many acres in total are listed on this map. There are 640 acres in 1 square mile. Approximately how many square miles is this farm? Look for clues on the map to see if you can determine when it was made and by whom. Make a rough sketch of what you think the farm looked like in pencil. Now compare the map above to another map of the same area from a later date. What changed? What stayed the same? What more did learn about the farm and the farm owner? … [Read more...]

Today in History: Captain John Smith

Today in History–September 10–the Library of Congress features Captain John Smith, who assumed the presidency of the Jamestown governing council on this date in 1608. Smith helped the colony to survive and thrive during its early years by fortifying the settlement, exploring and documenting the Chesapeake region, and establishing relations with area Native Americans. Learn more about this explorer, writer, and cartographer by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Labor

Primary source sets The Industrial Revolution in the United States American Federation of Labor & Quarry Workers Anarchist Emma Goldman Anthracite Coal Strike The "Bonus" Army The cause of industrial panics in the United States 1903 by Chicago Federation of Labor and Industrial Union Council Chicago Federation of Labor: historic newspaper coverage Eight-Hour Work Day First American Cotton Mill Grace Abbott & child labor Illinois Federation of Labor: historic … [Read more...]

Today in History: Robert M.T. Hunter

Today in History–April 21–the Library of Congress features southern politician Robert M.T. Hunter, born on this date in 1809. Hunter represented his home state of Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was the youngest Speaker of the House, serving from 1839 to 1841. From 1847 to 1861 Hunter served in the U.S. Senate. During the Civil War, he served as Confederate Secretary of State and in the Confederate Senate. Find out more by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the … [Read more...]

State Spotlight: Virginia

Virginia stories from America’s Library Virginia primary source set Virginia image set from American Memory More Virginia images Virginia maps Virginia books & other texts Virginia songs & oral histories Virginia historical newspapers Virginia historical periodicals Virginia sheet music Virginia legislation Virginia Guide to Law Online Virginia-related posts on PSN More U.S. state primary source collections … [Read more...]

Today in History: Battle of Cold Harbor

Today in History–June 3–the Library of Congress features the second Battle of Cold Harbor, begun on this day in 1864. The bloody battle ensued when Union General Ulysses S. Grant encountered Confederate troops in Virginia as he made his way to Richmond. Approximately 7,000 Union troops perished and Confederate forces suffered around 1,500 casualties in the nine-day fight. Find out more by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access primary sources related to both … [Read more...]

Today in History: Patrick Henry

Today in History–May 29–the Library of Congress features colonial politician Patrick Henry, born on this day in 1736. Henry subscribed to the political theory that humans are born with certain inalienable rights, an idea that is central to the Declaration of Independence, and was renowned for his speaking abilities. Learn more about this fiery orator by visiting the Today in History section, then clicking the links below to access related primary sources. Patrick Henry Was Born from America's … [Read more...]

Today in History: Grant’s Army Attacks Confederate Lines at Petersburg

Today in History–April 2–the Library of Congress features the attack of Confederate lines at Petersburg, Virginia on this day in 1865. Led by U.S. General Ulysses S. Grant, the battle lasted less than a day and helped hasten the capture of Richmond about a month later. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more primary sources about Petersburg, Virginia and the Civil War. Grant Attacked Petersburg, Virginia from America's … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Virginia by Capt. John Smith

Use the zoom feature online or access a larger image of this map (zoomable map | enlarged map). What details do you notice first? What else strikes you as interesting? Why do you think John Smith made this map? What scale is used for this map? What scale is typically used for maps today? The map identifies the Virginian Sea. Does this sea exist? If so, where is it? If not, what is this body of water called? What other observations, reflections or questions does this source inspire? Let … [Read more...]

Today in History: Jamestown

Today in History–May 14–the Library of Congress features Jamestown, Virginia, established on this day in 1607. The first winter was harsh and after eight months, only 60 of the 214 pioneers were still alive. By September of 1608, John Smith became a leader of Jamestown and the colony began to flourish. Learn more about the ups and downs of the Jamestown settlers by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more primary sources related to the first permanent … [Read more...]