Grade 5 – Mapping the New World: Dutch Maps of the Colonies


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Environment, Exploration and Discovery, Native Americans
Theme
The Impact of Geography on History
Town
Guilford, Hartford, Watertown, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Colonist, Colonization, Colony, Explorers, Geography, Natural Resources, Indigenous People, Dutch, Map
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 5 – Early United States History

Historical Background
In 1614 Dutch explorer Adriaen Block sailed along the Connecticut coast and up the Versche (Fresh) River—the Dutch name for the Connecticut River—as far as what is now Hartford. In 1633 the Dutch established a fortified trading post there. It was called the Huys de Hope—the House of Hope. For decades there was conflict between the Dutch in New Netherland and the English who came to settle in the same area. In 1650, the Dutch finally gave up their lands in Connecticut to the English.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

How did the physical geography of New England affect how the colonies developed? 

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What resources were available in the different colonies and how were those resources used?
  • How did the colonists’ use of natural resources and establishment of permanent settlements affect the indigenous people of the region?
  • Why were the New England colonies focused on trade?
  • In what ways, and for whom, was America a land of opportunity during the 1600s?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Willem Blaeu (Dutch), Nova Belgica et Anglia Nova, 1635 - This map is held in the collections of the Connecticut Historical Society and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library
Willem Blaeu (Dutch), Nova Belgica et Anglia Nova, 1635 – This map is held in the collections of the Connecticut Historical Society and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library

This map was based on a map drawn by Adriaen Block. It is oriented with west at the top. The map shows “Nieu Pleimouth” (Plymouth) and the Noord (North) Rivier (today called the Hudson), as well as the Versche (Fresh) River. It also includes images of native animals (probably never seen in real life by the artist), examples of Native American canoes and fortified villages, and European-style sailing ships.

Novi Belgii Novæque Angliæ
Nicolaes Visscher (Dutch), Novi Belgii Novæque Angliæ, 1685 – Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division

This later map features some of the same pictures and details as Blaeu’s map. It also includes the Fort de Goede Hoop (another name for the House of Hope) and some English settlements, such as Herfort (Hartford), Gilfort (Guilford), and Watertuyn (Watertown).

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Using the Library of Congress’s Primary Source Analysis process, give students time to examine the first of the two maps, and ask them to OBSERVE, REFLECT, and QUESTION.

  1. Observe: Describe what you see. What do you notice first? What information does the map provide? What geographic elements are included? Which way is north/south/east/west, and how do you know? What places are shown on the map? Are there words on the map? Pictures? What are they?
  2. Reflect: Why do you think this map was made? What do you think was important to the people who made this map? Does the map give us any clues about the time in which it was made?
  3. Question: What does this map make you wonder?

Repeat with the later map and have students compare and contrast.

You may then choose to address some of the supporting questions (above) or focus on the questions that students have developed as part of their inquiry.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  1. Using evidence from the historic maps, as well as additional information gathered through readings and classroom discussions, students will make their own map of Connecticut showing the natural resources that attracted European colonists to the area. Start with a blank outline map like this one. Have students draw in major rivers and hilly regions, and then add simple images for fish/shellfish, woods/timber, beavers (for fur), other native animals, farmland, etc. in appropriate areas of the map.
  2. Using evidence from the historic maps, as well as additional information gathered through readings and classroom discussions, students will imagine that they are sailors on Adriaen Block’s ship, the Onrust, during its exploration of the Connecticut coast and the Fresh (Connecticut) River. They will write fictionalized letters home to a loved one in Amsterdam describing their experiences and observations.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
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Grade 5 – To Join, or Not to Join, George Washington’s Army

Detail of a recruitment poster for George Washington’s Continental Army

TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Revolutionary War
Theme
The Role of Connecticut in U.S. History
Town
Norwich, Statewide
Related Search Terms
American Revolution, Continental Army, Black Soldiers, Recruitment Posters, Equality, Valley Forge
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 5 – Early United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

 Why do people enlist in the military?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • How did the Continental army get recruits to join?
  • Why would a young man want to enlist in the Continental army?
  • How might an enslaved man feel about serving in the Continental army?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Recruitment poster for George Washington’s Continental army
Recruitment poster for George Washington’s Continental army – Connecticut Historical Society

This poster uses much hyperbole, including a “truly liberal and generous…bounty of TWELVE dollars, a fully sufficient supply of good and handsome clothing, a large and ample ration of provisions” and the chance for one to “embrace this opportunity of spending a few happy years in viewing…this beautiful continent,…return with pockets FULL of money and his head COVERED with laurels.” (Note: students may need to be told or reminded that many 18th-century documents used the “long s,” which looks like an “f,” at the beginning or in the middle of words in place of the familiar “s.”)

Slave Backus Fox enlistment document, 1781
Slave Backus Fox enlistment document, 1781 – Connecticut Historical Society

Certification that Beriah Bill purchased a slave named Backus Fox and enlisted him in the Continental Service in Norwich, Connecticut. Note that “enlisted for a class” means that Backus counted towards the town’s quota of soldiers they were required to provide to the army. Sometimes enslaved men who enlisted were allowed by their owners to keep a portion or all of their wages earned, but this document makes no reference to any such agreement. This is a hand-written, notarized statement.

Slave Backus Fox enlistment document, 1781 – Transcriptionpage

Transcription of the above document for students who may have difficulty deciphering the 18th-century handwriting.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Start by showing students the recruitment poster and asking them (as a group, individually, or with a partner) to generate observations and questions about it. Have students share their observations and questions.

Some questions that might be addressed include:

  • What is the purpose of the poster?
  • Who is the target audience for this poster?
  • What words, phrases, or images does the poster use to persuade recruits to join?

Next, show or distribute the Backus Fox document (and transcription) and ask students to share or note down:

  • What facts they know for sure from the document
  • What guesses they can make based on the evidence in the document
  • What questions they have

Some questions for discussion might include:

  • Why would the author of the document enlist an enslaved man in the Continental army?
  • How were the quotas for each town determined? What was the quota for our town? How can we find out?
  • How might the enslaved man feel about serving in the army?

Wrap up with a class discussion of the differences in perspective of free recruits and enslaved soldiers.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

Students can write historical fiction letters home from the war from the point of view of either a free or enslaved recruit about enlisting in the Continental army, researching historically accurate details. Students should explore motivations and expectations that led to their enlistment. They may also choose to write from the point of view of someone who paid a substitute to serve in his place, writing to explain his decision. If you wish to display the letters, final copies could be written on parchment-type paper.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles to READ

Grade 5 – The Pequot War


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Native Americans, Pequot War
Theme
The Role of Connecticut in U.S. History
Town
Griswold, Groton, Ledyard, North Stonington, Preston, Stonington
Related Search Terms
Pequot War, 17th century, Pre-colonial, Colonization, Indigenous People, Colonists
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 5 – Early United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

How does colonization affect indigenous people?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What issues or cultural practices contributed to the conflict between indigenous peoples and European colonists in Connecticut?
  • What was the Pequot War about?
  • How do the primary sources left behind affect our knowledge or understanding of a conflict?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

The figure of the Indians' fort or palizado in New England and the manner of the destroying it by Captayne Underhill and Captayne Mason / RH, 1638 - Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
The figure of the Indians’ fort or palizado in New England and the manner of the destroying it by Captayne Underhill and Captayne Mason / RH, 1638 – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

The image shows the attack on the Pequot village at Mystic, Connecticut, by English soldiers and their allies, including the Narragansett. This was one of the major battles of the Pequot War (1636-1637). The image is included in John Underhill’s account of the Pequot War. John Underhill was second in command to John Mason, the commander of the Connecticut colonial forces during the Pequot War. This birds-eye view depicts the destruction of the village, which left over 400 Pequot men, women, and children dead.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Start by showing the image and asking students to share their observations about what they see. If students begin to make inferences, encourage them to use the visual evidence by asking, “What do you see that makes you say that?”

You may wish to guide the looking by suggesting students “read” the image from the inside/center out, ending with the words in the upper left corner.

After discussing students’ observations and guesses based on the evidence, ask students to develop their own questions based on the image. Have students discuss their questions, fine-tune them, and think about what other resources (primary or secondary) they could use to find answers.

Some questions for discussion might include:

  • Who created this image and why?
  • Who are the figures?
  • What are the structures?
  • What is going on?
  • From whose perspective is it drawn? What are the clues?
  • How might the image be different if it had been drawn from the Pequot perspective? Or the Narragansett perspective?
  • Where could we learn more?
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

After examination of the image and further research, have students consider the Pequot War from the perspective of a Pequot man, woman, or child; the perspective of an English soldier; or the perspective of a Narragansett man allied with the English. Presentations could take the form of a dramatic dialogue or skit, a letter written 20 years after the conflict, or an alternative illustration of the events in Mystic.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles to READ

Grade 8 – Accused: 17th-Century Witch Trials

by Christine Jewell
Fairfield Museum and History Center, Fairfield


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Belief, Crime & Punishment
Theme
The Struggle for Freedom, Equality, and Social Justice
Gender Roles in Economic, Political, and Social Life
Town
Fairfield, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Witch Trials, 17th Century, Witchcraft, Salem, Witch Hunts, Puritans
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 8 – United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

What factors led to the 17th-century witchcraft trials in Connecticut?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • Were religious or social differences tolerated in the 1600s?
  • Did everyone have equal protection under the law at the time?
  • Why were women particularly targeted as witches?
  • Could something like this happen today?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Detail from Saducismus Triumphatus or, Full and Plain Evidence Concerning Witches and Apparitions by Joseph Glanvil. Library of Congress.
This image comes from a very popular book published in London in 1689. It claimed to record “true” supernatural events and probably influenced many colonial thinkers, including Cotton Mather, the author of the 1693 book, The Wonders of the Invisible World: Being an Account of the Tryals of Several Witches Lately Executed in New-England: and of Several Remarkable Curiosities Therein Occurring. In this detail, women gather with the devil in a wooded area.
Illustration from The Kingdom of Darkness by Nathaniel Crouch. London, 1728. World Imprints Collection, Connecticut Historical Society.

 

Although it was published more than 30 years after the last of the Connecticut witch trials, this image illustrates the enduring belief, shared by most New Englanders in the 1600s, that the devil could influence witches to use magic against others.
Elizabeth_Clawson_Mercy_Disbrough
Charges of Catherine Branch against Elizabeth Clawson (Elizabeth Clauson), Mercy Disbrough (Mercy Disbrow) and Goody Miller, 1692. Samuel Wyllys papers, Connecticut State Library.
Transcription from the Connecticut State Library: cathoran branch aged seventeene years or theare abouts/ testifieth and saith that som time this last somer shee saw {good}/ {wif} and felt good wife closon and marcy disbrow afflict/ hur not together but apart by scraching pinching and wringing/ hur body and further saith that good wife {cason} \clason/ was the first/ that did afflict hur and affter wards marcy disbrow and/ after that somtimes one of them and som times \the other/ {crossed out} of them/ and {crossed out} in her affliction: though it was night yet it appearing/ as light as noone day sworn in court septr 19: 1692 attest J Allyn secyr/
Elizabeth_Seagar
Case of Goodwife Seager (Elizabeth Seagar), Testimony Of Robert Sterne, around 1662-1665. Samuel Wyllys papers, Connecticut State Library.
Transcription from the Connecticut State Library: Robt Sterne Testifies as/ followet[h]./ I saw This woman Goodwife Seage/ in the woods w[i]th three more wome[n]/ and wit[h] them {these} I saw two/ black creatures like two Indians/ but taller I saw likewise a Kettle/ there over a fire, I saw the wome[n]/ dance round these black Creatures/ and whiles I looked upon them one/ of the women G Greensmith sai[th]/ lookr who is yonder and then they/ ran away up the hill. I stood still/ and the black things came towards/ mee and then turned to come/ away: He further sait[h] I know the/ F[a]lons by their Habits or clothes/ haveing observed such clothes on/ them not long before:/
Katherine_Harrison_Smith_testimony
Case of Katherin Harrison (Katherine Harrison), Testimony of Rebecka Smith (Rebecca Smith), 1668. Samuel Wyllys papers, Connecticut State Library.
Transcription from the Connecticut State Library (excerpted): Rebeckka Smith aged about 75 theares testefieth as followes/ that … Goodwife Gilbert the wife of \Jonathan Gilbert/ … had/ a black Capp which shee had lent to Katherin Harrison, and Katherin/ Harrison desired {desired} to have the saide capp, but Gooddy Gilbert/ refused to sell it to Katherin, after Goodwife Gilbert wore the saide/ capp and when shee had the capp on her head her shoulders and head was/ much afflicted, after the capp beinge pulled of, Gooddy Gilbert saide/ she was well, again \a certain time/ after Gooddy Gilbert wore, or put on the saide/ Capp: then shee was afflicted as before; the saide capp beinge/ againe pulled of Gooddy Gilbert againe saide shee was well, thus/ beinge afflicted severall times, it was suspected to be by witchcraft/ after the saide Rebecca Smith, herd say the capp was burned./
Katherine_Harrison_testimony
Case of Katherin Harrison (Katherine Harrison), testimony of John Welles. Samuel Wyllys papers, Connecticut State Library.
Transcription from the Connecticut State Library: when my father lived in the house where Joseph/ wright liveth some evenings our cows were late/ before they came hom and my mother sent me/ to see if I could mete them I went once or twice/ but the second time I was sent I went about half/ way crosse the street and could goe no further/ my legs were bound to my thinking with a nap/ kin but could se nothing I looked foward {for}/ {ward} the cattle that were in the street by good/ man nots shop and I saw good wif harrison rise/ up from a cow that was non of her owne with/ a pail in her hand and made hast home and/ when she was over her own stile I was loosed/ June 29:1668/ This was about 7 or 8 years ago John welles/ / This was owned and acknowledged/ by John wells before me Samll welles/
page Because the language in the court documents can be difficult for students to read (little punctuation, inconsistent or archaic spelling, etc.), a PDF with slightly adapted transcriptions is provided HERE.
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

For background information about the witchcraft trials in Connecticut, download the Fairfield Museum’s “Accused: Fairfield’s Witchcraft Trials” Educator Guide (www.fairfieldhistory.org/education/teacher-resources/) prior to teaching the lesson.

Begin the activity by having students examine one or both of the historic images as a class, in small groups, or individually.

  • Describe what is going on in the image(s). What is the setting? Who are the figures? What are the activities?

Break students into smaller groups, each with one of the court documents (including the transcription).

  • What details can be gleaned from each document?
  • Who is being accused? What can you learn about this person from the text?
  • Who is doing the accusing? What can you learn about this person from the text?
  • What are these people being accused of?
  • What can you infer from the testimony about why this person has been accused?
  • What beliefs or values held by the accused or the accuser are suggested by the testimonies?

Have each group share their discoveries and note similarities and differences.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

Have students supplement their conclusions from the inquiry activity with information from additional resources (see below for some suggestions) to help them develop answers to the compelling and supporting questions posed at the beginning. Conclude with a discussion or writing activity based on the questions: Could something like this happen today? Does it?

For a further connection, investigate with students accusations of witchcraft in contemporary Africa and Asia.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles to READ

Grade 3 – Account Book of James Stewart’s General Store

by Gigi Liverant 
Colchester Historical Society, Colchester


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Business & Industry, Everyday Life
Theme
Using Evidence to Learn About the Past
Town
Colchester, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Primary Source, James Stewart, Colchester, Colonist, Bulkeley, Caleb Pendleton, Reverend M. Worthington, Colonial, Everyday Life, Trade
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 3 – Connecticut & Local History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

How do we trade goods and services?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • How do we get things we need to live?
  • What resources were available in Colchester?
  • How was colonial life different/similar to life now?
  • How does Colchester contribute to Connecticut’s story?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

A sampler of pages from the account book of James Stewart’s general store located in Colchester, Connecticut, 1740 and continues through 1769.

DavidFoote
Ledger page 42, dated 1740, Account of “David Foot of Colchester”, also “Seth Wetmore of Middletown.” Items entered on ledger page include; “Sundrys”, “Silk Hanky”, and “Cash paid him at Hartford page” – Colchester Historical Society
FreedomChamberlain

Ledger page 31, dated 1740. Account of “Freedom Chamberlain of Colchester” indicating the purchase of “brimstone”, “knitting needles”, “beaver hat”, “broom”, “2 knives & forks” and “22 apple trees” – Colchester Historical Society
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Using close-reading of the documents, have students generate a list of items one would purchase at James Stewart’s general store. Have the list shared among the students as each page contains different items.

  • How did people get to the general store?
  • What is the difference between these lists and their family shopping list?
  • What kind of currency are they using?
  • What are “sundry?”
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

Determine the differences between the credit and barter accounts. Ask students to give modern-day examples of credit and bartering in daily life. Where in their school do they make decisions like this?

Have a class simulation where students are given different “commodities” to trade or barter. Have four students sit out and each of these students represent a town commodity, such as, beaver hats, jack knives, sewing silk, or cotton handkerchiefs. One person can be the store owner. What would they trade or barter to get these new products? How would the store owner acquire new products?

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Websites to VISIT
Articles to READ

Grade 5 – George Washington’s Slave Census

by Laura Krenicki
William J. Johnston Middle School, Colchester


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Slavery & Abolition
Theme
Cultural Diversity and an American National Identity
Town
Statewide
Related Search Terms
George Washington, President, Slaves, Slavery, Enslaved
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 5 – Early United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

What did the Founding Fathers really think about slavery?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • How were slaves treated? Were all slaves treated the same?
  • What steps did some slave-owners take to protect slaves?
  • George Washington visited Connecticut on more than one occasion. How might he have encountered slavery here?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

1799-slave-census-first-page
The first page of the slave census in George Washington’s 1799 will. – Mount Vernon

George Washington Slave Census

George Washington died in 1799, and according to his will, all of his slaves were to be freed upon his death. His wife, Martha, however, had been married before, and she had slaves from her first marriage. According to the law, slave ownership passed along the male line, meaning Martha’s son from her first marriage managed the rights of those slaves. As some of the slaves intermarried, George’s “freed” slaves would not have wanted to leave their non-freed spouses or children.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Have students do a close-reading of the slave census. Have students investigate:

  • How many different jobs can you identify on the slave census? Do these jobs appear to be farm jobs or skilled trades?
  • What is the relationship between the gender of the slave and the job that he or she performed?
  • Is there any evidence that children worked at Mount Vernon?
  • How might the work of slaves been different in Connecticut than in Virginia, and why? Or was it different?
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

Divide students into different groups and have each group decide what type of slave job they would perform. Randomly pass out cards with either G or M on them. Let students know the G means they are George’s slave or M is Martha’s. Now that George’s slaves are free, what would that mean for the rest? Have students decide what to do in each group and report out to the rest.

Extension: Group students into 3 or 4 and make them family groups. Have students decide how their family groups would be made up (for example, have mother, father, children, older family, etc.) Do the same as above with the G and M cards. How would this be different than the job activity? Have groups report out and compare to the earlier task.

Have students research slavery in Connecticut and compare it to slavery in Virginia. Are there similarities? Differences? Why do they think that is?

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT