Page images
PDF
EPUB

topics which were uppermost in men's minds. In the earliest period there are the narratives of explorers, the contemporary accounts of settlers, and then more comprehensive descriptions of the American colonies, either by occasional sojourners, or by leaders such as Smith, Winthrop, Bradford or Hubbard.

In the colonies during the seventeenth century, as in old England at the same time, there was a great mass of religious literature, sometimes in the form of occasional sermons, sometimes polemical pamphlets, like those of Cotton, Williams and Penn, and occasionally attempts to show on a large scale the hand of God in New England's history, such as Johnson's "Wonder-working Providence and Mather's Magnalia Christi-Americana." At times the seriousminded writer tried to brighten his discourse with rhetorical or rhythmical decorations, as when Williams, writing of the Indian's customs, says:

[ocr errors]

وو

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Stedman and Hutchinson, "Library of American Literature," II; Lodge, "Short History of English Colonies," the alternate chapters on colonial life in 1760; histories of American literature, of printing and of journalism.

24 Williams, "A Key Into the Language of America," in Narragansett Club Publications, I, pp. 118, 178.

25 Printed, London, 1666; reprinted in Md. Hist. Soc. Fund Publications, No. 16; also, in part, in Hart, "Contemporaries," I, p. 267-271.

Other subjects which may be treated under the intellectual life are: the colonial newspaper, political literature after 1750, the knowledge of science," and the formation of libraries.

SOCIAL CONDITIONS AND CLASSES.27

Under this topic the aim is to give a concrete picture of colonial society. Much can be done in class-work by assigning topics to be studied by indi vidual students, such as professional life in New England, indentured servants in Maryland, slavery in South Carolina, amusements and social pleasures in colonial times, traveling in 1750, 28 costumes in the colonies,20 home-life,30 etc. With Lodge's "Short History of the English Colonies," if other works are not available, and a system of specific references, and topics, a clear idea of colonial life can be obtained.

ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES AND CONDITIONS.31 Colonial agriculture, not of the plantation type, warrants attention, especially in rural schools. Pictures of implements and tools may be studied; actual objects may be brought to the school by pupils; or visits may be made to local museums, of which the best in the country for agricultural implements and home utensils is that of the Bucks County Historical Society at Doylestown, Pa. Not only implements, but also local barns, rotation of crops and methods of preparing food may be noted. The Swiss barn, developed in a mountainous country of Europe, has an entrance for cattle on the lower hillside to a first floor, and an entrance for wagons on the upper hillside to the second floor. It has been copied in many parts of the country, an artificial hill often being made in order to reach the second story.

The plantation system of the South presents many points of contrast to the Northern farm. It is different in its wide extent, in its dependence upon one or two staple crops, in the relatively large propor tion of negro laborers, and the colonies or huts of

26 See lives of Franklin.

[ocr errors]

27 The alternate chapters in Lodge, "Short History of English Colonies," furnish a mass of information concerning social conditions about 1760. See also Hart, "Contemporaries," II, 224-243, 291-311; James, Readings in American History," 106-125; Caldwell and Persinger, "Source History," 107-122; the various works of Alice Morse Earle; S. G. Fisher, "Men, Women and Manners in Colonial Times."

28 See A. M. Earle, "Stagecoach and Tavern Days; " also Dunbar, "A History of Travel in America," I.

29 See A. M. Earle, "Two Centuries of Costume in America."

30 See A. M. Earle, "Home Life in Colonial Days."

[ocr errors]

31 It is impracticable to do more than give the few refer ences on this topic which are most accessible for high school work. Coman, Industrial History of United States," Chap. 3; Bruce, "Economic History of Virginia; " Weeden, "Social and Economic History of New England; " Greene, "Provincial America" (American Nation Series), 270201; Doyle, "English Colonies in America," V, 3-48, 115125, 153-162; Lord, "Industrial Experiments in the Colo nies;" Callender, "Economic History of United States," Chaps. 2, 3; Hart, "Contemporaries," II, 244-254.

2

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

the slaves. It is different too in that its principal crops were raised for a far-distant market, and that the income was expended largely in 'foreign countries or England.

Forests both in New England and North Carolina furnished a great source of wealth, and in the former led to the development of the ship-building industry. The fisheries furnished the greatest industry of New England. Salt fish were sold either to 'the West Indies slave plantations or to the Catholic countries of Europe. Whales furnished oil for illuminating purposes, superior to the lard oil or the tallow dip of the day. The fur trade was of great value in the earliest history of the colonies, but as the frontier was pushed

facturing industries and manufacturing centers of the middle and New England colonies. In many cases the language could not have been stronger if it had been used in describing Fall River, Mass., or Philadelphia in the twentieth century. Evidently here is the evil of text-book and classroom generalization; it furnishes no concrete picture of a colonial town and its industries; the mind holds only a memorized group of words.

Colonial commerce deserves a prominent place in the study of the economic life of the day. In its imperial aspects it will be treated in another paper. In its local phases, the subject should include: (a) the articles exported and how a surplus supply of

This Indenture MADE the Thud wonth Day of Inay?
in the Year of our Lord one thoufand, feven hundred and BETWEEN
Well of Broughshaine interferenty of Antuan Tayler
by mens aid County Gepard doth hereby covenant, promife
of the one Part, and Joe Dicked of Cully barthey
WITNESSETH, that the faid ex
and grant, to and with the faid John Buhu

of the other Part,

[ocr errors]

Adminiftrators and Ah-in America, and after for and during the Term

the of the Date hereof first and next

of

[ocr errors]

Years to ferve in fuch Service and Employment as the faid or his Affigns fhall there employ according to the Cuftom of the Country in the like Kind. In Confideration whereof the faid

[ocr errors]

doth hereby covenant and grant to and with the faid Alex to pay for Paffage, and to find allow himMeat, Drink, Apparel and Lodging, with other Neceffaries, during the faid Term; and at the End of the faid Term to pay unto him the ufual Allowance, according to the Custom of the Country in the like Kind. IN WITNESS whereof the Parties above-mentioned to there Indentures have interchangeably put their Hands and Seals, the Day and Year first above written.

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered,

in the Prefence of

Etter Dillon
John. Wir

Alex Beard
John Dakez

A REPRODUCTION OF A SERVANT'S INDENTURE.
Loaned by President Cheesman A. Herrick, Girard College,
Philadelphia.

back, and a permanent population established, this trade declined relatively in importance.

Manufactures were rudimentary, designed to meet local needs, and never were allowed by England to become serious competitors of the mother country's industries. The restrictive legislation belongs properly to the topic, "English Colonial System," which will be treated in another paper in this series; or it may be taken up in connection with the causes of the Revolution. It is a serious mistake for the pupil to picture the Northern colonies as manufacturing communities; yet in a group of fifty entrance examination papers in American history read a few days ago by the writer, almost every one described in broad generalities the contrast between the plantation system of the Southern colonies and the manu

[blocks in formation]

economic needs, and are to be compared with the organization of labor in present-day industry. Slavery in South Carolina and Georgia may be compared with that in Virginia and in New England. The actual text of one of the slave codes would be interesting for class study, but so far as known, none of the source books has reprinted these laws.33 The picturesque features of runaway slaves and servants, with the measures adopted for their capture and punishment, are usually treated in the textbooks.34

For apprentices, indentured servants and redemptioners, who played such a large part in the labor of colonial times, the actual text of local indentures should be used. If these are not available, a typical one like the following may be studied and analyzed:

[ocr errors]

This Indenture Witnesseth That Peter Smith of his own free will . . . Hath bound and put himself, and by these Presents Doth bind and put himself servant to the sd Edwin Vallette to serve him his Executors Administrators and Assigns from the day of the date hereof for and during the full term of Three years from thence next ensuing-During all which said term the said servant fully shall serve, and that honestly and obediently in All things, as a good and faithful servant ought to do. And the said Edwin Vallette his Executors Administrators and Assigns during the said term shall find and provide for the sd Servant sufficient Meat Drink Apparel Washing and Lodging-and also to give him 18 weeks' Schooling-And at the expiration of his term the said Servant to have two complete Suits of Clothes, one whereof to be new-And for the true performance the Covenants and Agreements aforesaid the Said Parties bind themselves unto each other firmly by

at the very beginning of the course, since no textbook as yet has been written from the standpoint here given. Later in the course, when the text-book is used, it will be with no feeling of reverence and awe, and throughout the year it will be easy to transfer the classwork from text-book to collateral reading. Finally, the method proposed gives the student an idea of the continuity of history, and a knowledge of the sources of our institutions which he may not gain in any other work.

BIBLIOGRAPHY.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

No extended list of books on colonial history can be given here. The references printed above are mainly to easily accessible works which can be found in school or public libraries. The sum of ten dollars would purchase a working set of books on this period. For detailed references the teacher should use Andrews, Gambrill and Tall, "A Bibliography. of History for Schools and Libraries (Longmans, Green); Channing, Hart and Turner, ' Guide to the Study of American History" (Ginn & Co.); Root and Ames, "Syllabus of American Colonial History" (Longmans, Green); Hart, "Manual of American History, Diplomacy and Government (Harvard University); the bibliographical chapters in each volume of the American Nation Series (Harpers); the bibliographies in Winsor, "Narrative and Critical History of America" (Houghton, Mifflin); Larned, "Literature of American History," and the volumes entitled "Writings on American History," published annually since 1905.

[ocr errors]

these Presents. In Witness Whereof the Said Parties The History Teacher's Magazine

have interchangeably set their Hands and Seals here

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

Such a study of the colonial period as that outlined can readily be conducted in the opening days of the American history course. It is not essential that each topic be studied in great detail, nor is it desirable that this period be emphasized to the exclusion of equally important periods in the later history of the United States. It is suggested that the material here presented be used for not more than seven or ten class periods.

The method has a number of advantages over the routine study of discovery, exploration, settlement and colonial wars. In the first place it presents to the student a new group of facts which are likely to hold his attention and interest. Secondly, it shows him at the outset of the American history course that there is a great deal more in American history than he learned or could learn in the elementary schools. Thirdly, it furnishes an excellent opportunity to develop methods of work independent of the text-book 33 See Hening, "Statutes at Large of Virginia,” III, 447459; IV, 126-134; VI, 104-112.

34 See West, "Source Book."

35 Geiser, "Redemptioners and Indentured Servants in the Colony and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” p. 113.

Published monthly, except July and August,

at 1619-1621 Ranstead Street, Philadelphia, Pa., by MCKINLEY PUBLISHING CO.

EDITED UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF A COMMITTEE OF THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION, composed of:

PROF. HENRY JOHNSON, Teachers College, Columbia Uni versity, Chairman.

PROF. FRED. M. FLING, University of Nebraska.
MISS Anna B. THOMPSON, Thayer Academy, South Brain-
tree, Mass.

PROF. GEORGE C. SELLERY, University of Wisconsin.
PROF. ST. GEORGE L. SIOUSSAT, Vanderbilt University.
DR. JAMES SULLIVAN, Boys' High School, Brooklyn, N. Y.
ALBERT E. McKINLEY, Ph.D., Managing Editor

SUBSCRIPTION PRICE, two dollars a year; single copies, twenty cents each. REDUCED RATE of one dollar a year is granted to members of the American Historical Association, and to members of local and regional associations of history teachers. Such subscriptions must be sent direct to the publishers or through the secretaries of associations (but not through subscription agencies).

POSTAGE PREPAID in United States and Mexico; for Canada, twenty cents additional should be added to the subscription price, and for other foreign countries in the Postal Union, thirty cents additional. CHANGE OF ADDRESS. Both the old and the new address must be given when a change of address is ordered. ADVERTISING RATES furnished upon application.

[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

gar

of t

[ocr errors]

American Biography as a College Freshman Course

BY MILLEDGE L. BONHAM, JR., LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY.

As an experiment, in the summer session of 1913, Professor Walter L. Fleming, head of the department of history at Louisiana State University, offered a course in American biography, for which no pre-requisite was exacted. The demand for the course and the interest displayed caused its incorporation into the regular curriculum as "History 11-12, American Biography." For the session of 1918-14 the course was given by Dr. Fleming, and during the present session it is being given by the writer.

1

With regard to content and method, the course inde cludes a summary view of the lives, characters and services of about twenty of the leading factors in American history, who (in the words of the catalogue) "have contributed in a marked degree to the formation or development of the Union. Special attention is given to matters of character and personality, and an effort is made to arrive at a proper ap(preciation of each individual as an influence in American history and as a product of his environment." The subjects are arranged in a roughly chronological order, those of a dominantly national interest being grouped in the first term's work as History 11, American Statesmen." Such names as Washington, Franklin, Webster, Lincoln, etc., etc., appear therein. "History 12, Southern Leaders," continues the course during the second term. It includes no one whose life was not of import to American history as a whole, but names included are those of men dominantly Southern in their sympathies or sphere of work, e.g., Davis, Yancey, CalPL houn, Benjamin, etc., etc. Where a good biography of the requisite length and price is available it is used, for example Thayer's John Marshall" and Brown's "Andrew Jackson." Each student is expected to hand in on the day a man's career is taken up, an outline of his life based on such sketches as can be found in encyclopedias and biographical dictionaries. In addition, each student must do a considerable amount of collateral reading in books taken from a carefully selected list of biographies, memoirs, histories, etc. Reports on this reading are also required which sometimes take the form of definite topics, such as Calhoun as Secretary of War," Jackson's Invasions of Florida." At other times the student may be required to report on a certain work, for instance, Tarbell's "Lincoln;" again the student is occasionally permitted to select that phase of the subject's character or life which appeals most and treat that. These reports are frequently read and discussed in class, at other times merely turned in for the instructor's inspection. Where he deems it necessary he criticises and returns them.

[ocr errors]

"

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

In any

case, the student is responsible for a certain amount of work and study on each man's life. The class is required to recite on the events in the lives of the

men studied, the recitations being based on the textbooks (where used) and the parallel reading. The necessary "background" of the current history of the period involved (e.g., the war of 1812 in studying Clay and Jackson) is supplied by the instructor, though in no case does he consume as much as a whole period by lecturing. Rather, by comment and criticism, he fills in the hiatuses left by the students. This class meets thrice weekly, and from four to six periods are devoted to each subject.

Such a course supplies several needs in our freshman class. In the first place, a large number of students enter college at the beginning of the second term (February 1), and it is not desirable to have them enter the prescribed course, History 2 (Modern) without the background of History 1 (Medieval). Yet in many cases there is no freshman course which serves so well as an introduction to the use of the library as history. Since there is no pretense at continuous narrative in History 11-12, a student can enter at any time and keep abreast of the work. The preceding paragraph will show how the course compels the student to acquaint himself with the nature and use of the contents of the library. Next, we have students who are anxious to make history their major work, and come to college with that intention, but as History 1-2 is naturally the prerequisite to all the other courses, the freshman had no chance at any more history before his sophomore year until History 11-12 was instituted. As no prerequisite is demanded, it can be elected by freshmen, whether they enter in the fall or the spring. Of course we usually have a few in the course who are not freshmen, but the latter constitute the bulk of the class. This course also serves as a preparation for the more intensive study of American history offered in various courses. Having a speaking acquaintance with some of the leading makers of the nation," with a slight background of the events and associates of their times, the students who take this course can enter more easily into the problems of a continuous course. Naturally we have some students who are not particularly interested in American history and would not ordinarily elect such a course as the onc in the general history of the United States, but are glad of such an elective as History 11-12, and from it gain a slight insight into American history from the college standpoint which otherwise they would not obtain. A course in American history suitable for freshmen would be so much like what they have just had in the secondary school that it would fail to interest them, while one that was really worthy of a college course would be over their heads. History 11-12 seems to us the happy medium.

[ocr errors]

The students show much more interest in it than in the average freshmen history course, so as a result of our experience with it in one summer session and

two regular sessions, under two different instructors, we have come to the conclusion that it is a very desirable element in the work of our department. Though not primarily intended as such, it is also a help to the students as a preparation for the sophomore course in American government required by the department of political science. By acquainting the students with the literature of American political history and by the study of such topics as Jackson's struggle with the bank, Jefferson's purchase of Louisiana, Adams and the Alien and Sedition laws, Marshall's leading decisions, etc., etc., the way is paved for a systematic study of the principles underlying Federal and State governments. So far it is too early to note any marked effects on the students' work in the other courses in history and politics, and no attempt has been made at a comparative estimate of the work of those having had History 11-12 with that of those who have not. But it is

safe to assume that the former would have what the Herbartians call a greater "apperceptive mass." The ethical possibilities of such a course are obvious, but no effort is made to point a moral, the study of the deeds of the great men is left to do its own silent work.

66

The chief difficulty we have found has been the securing of suitable texts. In many cases the existing biographies are either too juvenile, as Scudder's "Washington," or too expensive, as Schurz's Clay." The latter would of course also be too long for our purpose. Where we can find no proper text-book, we have had to require a greater amount of parallel reading and direct it more specifically. It is also usually necessary for the instructor to do more of the discussion than where a text is available. The members of the history department would appreciate any comments and suggestions from their coworkers in other institutions.

History in the Grades

BY T. A. HUTTON, HEAD OF HISTORY DEPARTMENT, STATE NORMAL SCHOOL, SPEARFISH, S. D.

A little girl was one time asked if she could tell what sort of a man Alexander the Great was. She replied, "Why, no, I thought he was just one of those historical characters."

There are so many of those so-called "historical characters" in elementary history as it is taught today. It will be at least one of our objects in this paper to give some suggestions, if possible, whereby more real life may be put into our teaching.

We have every reason to congratulate ourselves on the increasing attention that is being given to the study of history in the elementary grades. At the Madison Conference of 1892 it was reported that then there was an average of only one year of history in the grammar schools of the country. The Ameri

can Historical Association of 1905 was the first prominent organization to receive an official report on the elementary school. At this meeting, such suggestions as the following were studied:

1. Suggestions for a course of study in history for the first four grades.

2. Suggestions for a course of study for the last four grades.

3. The European background.

4. Elementary history in European schools. 5. Relation of history to geography and literature. 6. Suggestive methods, text-books and supplementary material.

7. Civics in elementary schools.

8. What preparation for the teaching of history should be expected of the teachers in the grades.

9. What has thus far been accomplished in the formation of a course of study in history for the elementary schools. Since that time, then, history teaching in the grades has been receiving some of the attention really due it.

I need only suggest to you what you already know -that the most important factor in the school room is the teacher. It is an easy matter, of course, for any so-called teacher to watch his pupils as they pass from one paragraph to another in their recitation, and if the pupils ask no questions there is little danger of the teacher telling an untruth. If history is to be of any educational value, and if pupils are to be given an insight into real social life, and a vital interest in books and facts is to be aroused, then the teacher must have character and enthusiasm and not a little knowledge. These are absolutely essential if he is going to vitalize the subject for his pupils. Children should be made to see that the world is the

product of past ages, and they should learn the value of handling books, and to think and speak clearly of human affairs and the doings of the human race. Whether you have ever seen a poor teacher or not, you will agree that good teachers are more essential than good text-books, for a poorly equipped teacher can, and too often does, nullify the results to be obtained from the very best text-books.

Teaching of the best quality calls for as much knowledge of the pupil as of the subject-matter. Many of our very scholarly men and women fail in the class room because they lack a sympathetic insight into the needs, interests, capacities and knowledge of the pupils. The successful teacher is always in possession of such insight and sympathy.

May we now outline in a general way what we think should constitute the study of history in the grades? You are all doubtless more or less familiar with the "Report of the Committee of Eight," which is simply a study of history in the elementary schools and a report on this study to the American Historical Association. This report was published in 1909, and is the last official word on this particular study.

« PreviousContinue »