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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Frelinghuysen's Youth Advisory Council Visits Special Collections

We'd like to extend a special thanks to Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, his staff, and the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) for attending a special program this past Monday.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

National History Day 2013

Are your students participating?

*See theme sheet HERE
*Program information HERE


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Traveling Museum Artifact Boxes


What would you find in a soldier's traveling haversack? A lady's pocket bag? A Native American's traveling bag? Or even among an enslaved person's unique items? Morristown’s Traveling Museum Artifact Boxes contain groupings of ­­­reproduction artifacts similar to those that would have been typically found in the possession of various persons during the late eighteenth century. The purpose of these boxes extends beyond a mere show-and-tell experience for students. Morristown National Historical Park has constructed these traveling educational units to enable students to simulate what the Park and other museums do when archiving, storing, and interpreting objects from the past. We hope that by examining these objects in “museum condition,” students will gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the work involved in preserving a record of the past, as well as expand their historical reasoning and historical empathy skills. And ultimately, we hope that these boxes will serve as useful preparation for teachers planning a field trip to the Morristown National Historical Park Museum.
Traveling Museum Artifact boxes are available for two week loan intervals (teacher pick up only) and include adaptable activities appropriate for primary, middle, and secondary grade levels.

Schools within the state can request the loan of the Traveling Museum Artifact Boxes by contacting 973-539-2016 (Sarah Minegar @ x 215) or (Jude Pfister @ x 204)



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We have two boxes available for loan beginning February 1, 2013: (Unit 1) The Contents of a Slave's Bag & (Unit 2) The Contents of Native American Bandolier Bag. 

We hope to have (Unit 3) The Contents of a Colonial Lady's Pocket and (Unit 4) The Contents of a Soldier's Haversack ready soon!

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Our Traveling Museum kits utilize replica artifacts and lesson units originally developed and distributed by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. These original Hands-On History Kits can be found here. Morristown National Historical Park has utilized these fantastic materials to create its own derivation demonstrating the museum end of artifact preservation. These derivations include artifact "housing" and original lesson materials and activities. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is in no way affiliated with the derivation of materials found here.



*A special thanks for intern Julie Carlson for assembling these museum boxes and creating unique curriculum materials to accompany these reproduction artifacts. Read more about Julie HERE.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mini Lesson: Nathanael Greene Letter (Activity 4)

For upper middle school and high school levels


Students will be able to
-          Use the clues gathered from the primary source document to draw conclusions about the importance of the document and about the society in which it was written.
-          Draw connections between the events of the Revolutionary War and current policy questions


Historical Background: See Nathanael Greene Mini Lesson #1


Suggested Use: Use these questions to conclude this series of mini lessons. This lesson should help students realize the importance of primary source document and the larger lessons about history that you can gather from primary source documents. Refer to lessons for document materials: 1 * 2 * 3


Final Questions:
  1. Why is this letter important?

  2. Underneath all the specific details, what does it show us about the time period in general?

  3. What were some of the obstacles on the path towards independence?

  4. Did everyone appreciate the cause of independence? How did some people’s lack of support affect the cause?

  5. What are some reasons behind the lack of donations by the people of New Jersey? (You’ll have to read between the lines.)

  6. How might our lives be different today if Continental Army had not eventually received the supplies it needed from Trenton and other surrounding areas?

  7. Research extension: From what classical work is Nathanael’s exclamation “Oh Foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you?” taken? If possible, read the quote in its original context. Is Nathanael using the quote to mean what it originally meant, or is he using it out of context? What does his quote show about the American attitude towards the past? Was the Revolutionary period marked by great historical awareness? Did Revolutionaries use the past and classical references to show off their intelligence, to accurately explain what happened in the past, and/or to legitimate their claims?

  8. Take a side: did the citizens have a responsibility to help the Continental Army? Should the Army have taken care of itself? What authority should the Army have used to gather supplies from civilians?

  9. Current events connection: consider the United States’ involvement in Afghanistan over the last eleven years. Do the citizens of America have a responsibility to provide support their armed forces? What does that responsibility entail practically? How can and should people dissent from a war with which they disagree? How is this question about our political situation different from the one facing the American colonists at the time of Greene’s writing? How is it similar?

Standards:
Common Core Standards:
RH 6-8.1. Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
RH 6-8.6. Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
NJ Content Standards:
6.1.12.D.2.a - Analyze contributions and perspectives of African Americans, Native Americans

National History Standards:
Era 3, Standard 1b: Reconstruct the arguments among patriots and loyalists about independence and draw conclusions about how the decision to declare independence was reached
Era 3, Standard 1c: Compare and explain the different roles and perspectives in the war of men and women, including white settlers, free and enslaved African Americans, and Native Americans.

Additional Resources:

Morristown National Historic Park. Featured Manuscript: Nathanial Greene. September 2011, http://morristownnhpmuseum.blogspot.com/2011/09/featured-manuscript-nathaniel-greene.html



ML14: Nathanael Greene (Activity 4)
Mini Lesson by Julie Carlson
 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mini Lesson: Nathanael Greene Letter (Activity 3)

LWS  3257, recto
 
LWS 3257, verso
 
* see activity two for transciption (HERE)


For upper middle school and high school levels


Students will be able to:

-          Synthesize written and cartographic information to determine the role geographic distance plays in the events of history.

-          Use written information to map important locations in the Revolutionary War.

-          Draw conclusions about the role of New Jersey in the War.

 

Historical Background: The Continental Army needed supplies for the winter. Moore Furman, acting as quartermaster for the Army, was working to gather some of these supplies in his home town of Pittstown, NJ as well as in Trenton, NJ. By the end of December, some supplies were finally ready to send to the main body of the Army, stationed outside of Morristown and Middle Brook, NJ. Furman wrote Nathanael Greene, a major general in the Continental Army who was stationed at Arnolds tavern on the Morristown Green, for specific directions about how to conduct the transport. This letter is Nathanael Greene’s response to Furman about the transport and other official questions. (For more detailed information, refer to Nathanael Greene Mini Lesson #1)

 

Suggested Use: In conjunction with Nathanael Greene Mini Lesson #2, use this mini-lesson to expand the students’ understanding of the “occasion” of the letter. Divide the class into groups. Have each group start on a different section of the SOAP STone interrogation. Have each group take turns at the classroom computer to complete this activity as well as the set of questions related to “Occasion.” If a computer is not available for student use, complete this activity as a class.

 

Activity and Discussion Questions:

  1. Read the first major paragraph and heading of the document. Ask students to identify the specific locations identified.

  2. Why are these locations mentioned? What is the main activity being discussed in this paragraph?

  3. What does the following sentence mean in context: “I imagine, Middle Brook will be a proper Division of the distance”? What does it tell us about how long the transport would take?

  4. Identify the relationship between these locations: Greene provides very specific instructions about how to transport the supplies.

    1. What does he literally say?
    2. Where is the winter transport coming from?
    3. Where does it ultimately need to go? (The document does not specifically say where the transport is headed – it merely says that it is going to “Camp.” Ask students to gather what clues they can from the document itself, then share with them that the main camp was Jockey Hollow outside of Morristown.)
    4. Where is Greene located in relation to the final location of the supplies? (Display or print a map of the Morristown area and its relationship to Jockey Hollow. A map is available at http://www.nps.gov/morr/index.htm. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select “View Park Map.”)

  5. Display the envelope: where is Furman located? Is Trentown a location in New Jersey? To which town is Greene probably referring? How do you know?

  6. Why does Greene not provide a full address on the envelope? What does this tell you about towns during the Revolutionary War period? What might it reveal about Furman’s position in those towns?

  7. Learn from people’s mistakes: what address did Greene originally write? What might be the reason for his mistake? What clues might this give about Furman?

Although sometimes mistakes do not teach us anything new about this past, this one actually points us in the right direction. With a little more research we can learn that, Furman, although living at Trenton at the time of the letter, had his estate in the village of Pittstown, the whole of which he had purchased and which he had renamed from Hoffstown. (see additional resources for more information)


  1. Have students plot the transport’s route (three locations) on Google maps. Notice how many miles apart these locations are.


  2. Having problems?! – Where is Middle Brook?

Explain how historians often have to deal with the reality that places change over time! Middle Brook is no longer a town somewhere between Trenton and Morristown. Happily for us, solving problem is pretty straightforward. Using the online resource below to show students that what once was Middle Brook is now encompassed in a much larger town of Bound Brook.


  1. Have students locate Pittstown. How far away is it from Trenton? How long was Furman’s “commute” from his home estate? What effect did the War probably have upon himself and his family?

  2. Local connection: if your school is located in NJ, have students enter the school address to associate where their town is located in relation to the events of the Revolutionary War.

 
Generalizing questions:

  1. What role did distance play in the struggles of the “poor fellows” mentioned in the rest of the paragraph?

  2. How much of New Jersey was impacted by the winter encampment of soldiers? What long term effects might this have had upon New Jersey’s population?

  3. Why were the soldiers stationed in NJ? Zoom out in Google maps. What was important or strategic about New Jersey’s location? Consider where the British troops were located.

  4. Reflect on the process: how do historians use primary source documents? Were you surprised by how much we could learn from one document? What clues led us to further research? Are there any questions that remain unanswered? Remaining questions are important because they tell historians what the next step of their research should be.

 

Standards:

Common Core Standards:

RH 6-8.7. Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.

 
NJ State Standards:

6.1.8.B.3.d. Explain why New Jersey’s location played an integral role in the American Revolution.

 
National History Standards:

Era 3, Standard 1: The causes of the American Revolution, the ideas and interests involved in forging the revolutionary movement, and the reasons for the American victory

Historical Thinking Standard 2: Draw upon data in historical maps in order to obtain or clarify information on the geographic setting in which the historical event occurred.

 
Primary Source:

Greene, Nathanael. Letter to Quartermaster Moore Furman. 4 January 1780. LWS 3257. Lloyd William Smith Collection. Morristown National Historical Park.

 
Additional Sources Information:


 
Location of Middle Brook: Revolutionary War New Jersey: A Photographic Field Guide to New Jersey’s Role in the Revolutionary War. Information about the Encampment at Bound Brook. http://www.revolutionarywarnewjersey.com/new_jersey_revolutionary_war_sites/towns/bound_brook_nj_revolutionary_war_sites.htm

Information about Moore Furman:
Helpful summary information in the introduction of Letters of Moore Furman: Deputy Quarter-Master General of New Jersey in the Revolution. Edited by the Historical Research Committee of the New Jersey Society of the Colonial Dames of America. New York: Frederick H. Hitchcock, 1912. Available online: http://archive.org/stream/lettersofmoorefu00furma#page/n7/mode/2up

History of the Pittstown Inn. http://pittstowninn.com/history/


 
 

ML13: Nathanael Greene (Activity 3)
Mini Lesson by Julie Carlson

Mini Lesson: Nathanael Green Letter (Activity 2)


For upper middle school and high school

Students will be able to:

- Analyze a primary source document using the SOAP STone method

- Draw conclusions about Nathanael Greene’s viewpoint of the Revolutionary War based upon language he uses and the opinions he expresses


Historical Background: See Nathanael Greene Mini Lesson #1

Suggested Use:Complete Nathanael Green Mini-Lesson #1 in a previous lesson or as an introductory activity. Then show students the full letter (see the two images below) and ask them to revise and further their hypotheses and conclusions about the meaning of the letter, the person who wrote this document, and the view he held of the Revolutionary War.

Questions to Guide Analysis:
For every question, encourage students to use the evidence from the text to justify their answers. The questions follow the SOAP STone method of source analysis.

1. Subject:

a. What is the author talking about in this letter?

b. What does he want the recipient to do?

c. Who is the author trying to help?

d. What are the major problems the author is addressing?

2. Occasion (see Mini-lesson #3 for specific geography information)

a. When was this letter written? Do we know a specific date?

b. When was this letter received? How do you know?

c. What is happening in America at the time of this letter?

d. What locations are mentioned in this document?

e. Where is the author located?

f. What conclusions can you draw about the author based on his location and the date?

3. Audience

a. Based on the topics that discusses in the letter, what can you conclude about the recipient of the letter?

b. What is the recipient’s vocational responsibility?

c. Why is the author writing to him?

d. What is the relationship between the author and recipient?

Display the following picture: (image of the envelope)

e. What is the name of the recipient?

f. Where is the author located? To what town is the envelope referring?

4. Purpose

a. How would you categorize this letter: official, personal, or a mixture of both?

b. Examine the envelope: where is the author sending this letter?

c. Look for clues on the envelope. What did the recipient considered was the main purpose of the letter? (Clue: Look at the address and the designation above the recipient’s day. Also flip the image of the envelope and zoom onto the author’s name. Below his name is a brief phrase which explains the purpose of the letter. That writing would have been added by Furman before he filed the letter.)

d. Read the first sentence of this document. What prompted this letter?

e. Based on the responses the author gives, what inferences can you make about Furman’s original letters?

5. Speaker

a. What does the signature at the end say? What is the name of the author of this letter?

b. What type of person was the author?

c. What position did he hold?

d. Look at the envelope: does anything on the envelope confirm the conclusions you have drawn about the author? What was his official title? (flip the envelope upside down to see his name and title)

6. Tone

a. What emotions are conveyed in this letter? (Be careful. There are several.)

b. Read the last paragraph and the ending: does the statement “I am exceedingly obliged to you for your personal good wishes” complicate or contradict the overall tone of the letter?

c. What is Greene’s attitude towards “the people” in the States? Are they and the states reliable, according to Green?

d. What is Greene’s overall opinion of the cause of the War? What in his letter suggests different opinions within the American colonies?

Standards:

Common Core Standards:

RH 6-8.1. Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

RH 6-8.2. Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

RH 6-8.6. Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).

National History Standards:

Era 3, Standard 1: The causes of the American Revolution, the ideas and interests involved in forging the revolutionary movement, and the reasons for the American victory

Historical Thinking Standard 2: Reconstruct the literal meaning of a historical passage.

Historical Thinking Standard 3: Distinguish between unsupported expressions of opinion and informed hypotheses grounded in historical evidence.


Primary Source:

Greene, Nathanael. Letter to Quartermaster Moore Furman. 4 January 1780. LWS 3257. Lloyd William Smith Collection. Morristown National Historical Park.


Additional Sources:

Morristown National Historic Park. Featured Manuscript: Nathanial Greene. September 2011, http://morristownnhpmuseum.blogspot.com/2011/09/featured-manuscript-nathaniel-greene.html

Revolutionary War New Jersey: A Photographic Field Guide to New Jersey’s Role in the Revolutionary War. Information about the Encampment at Bound Brook. http://www.revolutionarywarnewjersey.com/new_jersey_revolutionary_war_sites/towns/bound_brook_nj_revolutionary_war_sites.htm

Letters of Moore Furman: Deputy Quarter-Master General of New Jersey in the Revolution. Edited by the Historical Research Committee of the New Jersey Society of the Colonial Dames of America. New York: Frederick H. Hitchcock, 1912. Available online: http://archive.org/stream/lettersofmoorefu00furma#page/n7/mode/2up



LWS 3257, recto and verso
document transcription
 
 
click images to enlarge
(right click "open link," then double click for largest view)
 
 
 
 

ML12: Nathanael Greene (Activity 2)
Mini Lesson by Julie Carlson

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mini Lesson: Nathanael Greene Letter (Activity 1)



LWS 3257


Geared towards Middle School

Students will be able to

-          Decipher eighteenth-century handwritten script

-          Closely read a primary source document (a letter by Nathanael Greene) and to draw textually-sound conclusions about what the document says and what the document means

-          Create educated hypotheses about the historical context of this document

 

Historical Context: Winter descended upon New Jersey. George Washington and a large number of his troops had settled into their winter encampments, but life was far from comfortable. The average soldiers were living in hastily built huts that they had managed to finish before Christmas. Some officers lived with the soldiers in the encampment in specially designed huts, while others, such as Nathanael Greene, major general in the Continental Army, were stationed in Arnolds tavern, located in the center of Morristown, NJ conveniently close to the Ford Mansion, where Washington had established Army Headquarters. It is presumably from this location that Greene wrote this letter, for the date of writing in the midst of a four day blizzard that would have minimized travel.

 
The problem that Greene addressed in his letter was related to the snow and to the stinginess of the Jersey natives, to which Greene alludes. Because of these two principle causes, the Continental Army was running dangerously low on supplies. The heavy snow was deterring supplies from reaching the troops stationed at Jockey Hallow and Middle Brook (presently located in Bound Brook, NJ), while the New Jersey citizens withheld their supplies to preserve their own comfort through the winter. Since Greene had become the quartermaster general in 1778, this dilemma directly affected him. Therefore, it was in his official capacity of quartermaster general that Greene responded to three letters of Moore Furman, a quartermaster then stationed in Trenton to “forage” grain and supplies. In his letter to Greene on December 20th, Furman had asked Greene several questions related to the business of a quartermaster. On particular question he had related to how many teams of oxen he should send from Trenton to help in the winter transportation supplies. Thus, to this and other intensely practical questions, Greene, the quartermaster, wrote a reply on the wintry cold morning of January 4, 1780. But underneath the practical details, a careful reader can observe Greene’s heart as a patriot and leader as he vented to Furman his frustration at the lack of support from citizens whose liberties the army was defending and as he shared his concerns for his men suffering through the infamous winter encampment of 1779-1780.

 

Suggested use: Use this mini-lesson as an inquiry introduction to catch students’ attention and introduce to them topics of textual analysis. In order for them to profit the most from the lesson do not share the historical context with them, but instead allow them to struggle through the language and missing context. This strategy encourages students to develop careful reading skills. Push students to glean as much information from the text itself before sharing any extra-textual information.

 

Questions to Guide Investigation of this abbreviated portion of Greene’s letter: Ask students to justify the answers they give to these questions from the text.

1.      What is the author saying literally? (explain to students that some of the letters that look like Fs are actually intended to be read as Ss)

2.      What sort of person is the author of this letter?

3.      Where was this document written?

4.      When was it written?

5.      What is the author’s purpose in writing this passage?

6.      What does the author want or need?

7.      Who is the author referring to when he says “Poor Fellows!”?

8.      What is the relationship between the author and the recipient of this letter?

9.      What attitude does the author have towards his fellow countrymen?

10.  What clues about this historical context of this document can you draw from the date and location of the letter?

11.  What emotions and opinions does the author convey in this letter?

12.  What is the author’s opinion about “the Army” and the cause for which they were fighting?

Standards:

Common Core Standards:

RH 6-8.2. Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

 

National History Standards:

Era 3, Standard 1: The causes of the American Revolution, the ideas and interests involved in forging the revolutionary movement, and the reasons for the American victory

Historical Thinking Standard 2: Reconstruct the literal meaning of a historical passage.

 

Sources and Additional Information:

Morristown National Historic Park. Featured Manuscript: Nathanial Greene. September 2011, http://morristownnhpmuseum.blogspot.com/2011/09/featured-manuscript-nathaniel-greene.html

Revolutionary War New Jersey: A Photographic Field Guide to New Jersey’s Role in the Revolutionary War. Information about the Encampment at Bound Brook. http://www.revolutionarywarnewjersey.com/new_jersey_revolutionary_war_sites/towns/bound_brook_nj_revolutionary_war_sites.htm

Letters of Moore Furman: Deputy Quarter-Master General of New Jersey in the Revolution. Edited by the Historical Research Committee of the New Jersey Society of the Colonial Dames of America. New York: Frederick H. Hitchcock, 1912. Available online: http://archive.org/stream/lettersofmoorefu00furma#page/n7/mode/2up
 
 
ML11: Nathanael Greene (Activity 1)
Mini Lesson by Julie Carlson