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When Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published in 1852, it ignited a great debate over the practice of slavery in America. A best seller that sold more than one million copies, the novel tells the stories of Tom, a field slave, and Eliza, a household servant, and how they dealt with the horrors of slavery....
After the Civil War, the United States government commissioned several surveys of the American West. Photography was widely used to document the region's unusual geography, and it was this visual evidence that spurred Congress to create the national park system.
All images are from the Gilder Lehrman Collection
The Lincoln-Douglas debates were a series of seven joint discussions between Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, and Stephen A. Douglas, a Democrat, held during the summer and fall of 1858 in Illinois. Lincoln and Douglas had been debating each other for more than twenty years before their famous contest for the US Senate in 1858. They were longtime rivals with contrasting styles and sharp differences in philosophy. But from the beginning almost everyone realized the 1858 debates would be historic.
Take a look at Lincoln, Douglas, and...
Quaker schoolteacher Josiah Forster first published this broadside, Christian Discipline: Or Certain Good and Wholesome Orders for the Well-Governing of My Family, in 1751, thirty years after the death of its author, William Penn, the Quaker founder of Pennsylvania.
During the time of the American Revolution, much of the land in the colonies was not mapped. In his early years, George Washington was a surveyor and measured land to figure out the location of property.Materials Rope or string measuring 10- to 12-feet long Stakes—if working on grass Tape—colored if possible Graph, centimeter, or one-inch grid...
Benjamin Franklin was a scientist and an inventor. As he got older, he noticed he needed glasses for reading and seeing things far away. Franklin solved this problem by inventing bifocals, which were glasses made with two different lenses, one for seeing things up close, and the other for seeing things far away.
Water acts just like corrective lenses made of plastic or glass. The water refracts or changes the direction of a light beam. A water lens is known as a convex lens because it curves out in the middle....
Much of what is known about early Wampanoag history comes from archaeological evidence, the Wampanoag oral tradition (much of which has been lost), and documents created by seventeenth-century English colonists.
The Wampanoag people have lived in southeastern New England for thousands of years. In 1600 there were as many as 12,000 Wampanoag who lived in forty villages. Both oral tradition and archaeological evidence suggests that Native peoples lived in the area for 10,000 years. Wampanoag...
The inauguration of a new service, the Pony Express, on April 3, 1860, promised the fastest communication ever from the Missouri River to California. How long did a Pony Express message take to go from its starting point in St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California? How many years was the Pony Express in existence? How many riders were employed? What hardships did the riders experience? Finding the answers to these questions and many more like them captivates youngsters, encouraging them to read...