HS – Black World War I Veterans Demand Civil Rights

W. E. B. Dubois in the office of The Crisis

by Christine Gauvreau, Project Coordinator, Connecticut Digital Newspaper Project
Connecticut State Library


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
World War I
Theme
The Struggle for Freedom, Equality, and Social Justice
Town
Bridgeport, Statewide
Related Search Terms
African Americans, Veterans, Civil Rights, World War One, The Great War, Equal Rights, W.E.B. Dubois
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

How did World War I impact the struggle for civil rights in Connecticut and America?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • From the primary sources provided, what can you deduce about African Americans’ access to “places of public accommodation” (facilities used by the public—hotels, restaurants, stores, parks, movie theaters, hospitals, etc.) in Connecticut in 1919?
  • What arguments for Connecticut Senate Bill 199 did its supporters present?
  • Based on his 1920 speech in Bridgeport, Connecticut, what did W. E. B. Dubois believe the World War I experience meant for African Americans?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Colored Men Lodge Protest
Detail of the article “Colored Men Lodge Protest,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, March 3, 1919. Click on the image to read the entire article.  – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “Colored Men Lodge Protest,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, March 3, 1919, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article “Colored Men Lodge Protest,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, March 3, 1919, or click on the image above to link to the article.
image Download an image of the photostat – “An Act Concerning Equal Rights in Places of Public Accommodation, Amusement, Resort, Refreshment, and Education, and Providing Penalty for the Violation Thereof,” [photostat of page 1. Page 2 missing in bill room files, Connecticut State Library], SB 199-2-1-C (1919).
page Download a pdf of the photostat – “An Act Concerning Equal Rights in Places of Public Accommodation, Amusement, Resort, Refreshment, and Education, and Providing Penalty for the Violation Thereof,” [photostat of page 1. Page 2 missing in bill room files, Connecticut State Library], SB 199-2-1-C (1919).
Plea for Equal Justice
“Plea for Equal Justice,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, March 1, 1920 – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “Plea for Equal Justice,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, March 1, 1920, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article “Plea for Equal Justice,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, March 1, 1920, or click on the image above to link to the article.
W. E. B. Dubois in the office of The Crisis
“W. E. B. Dubois in the office of The Crisis.” – New York Public Library Digital Collections
page Download the excerpted article by W. E. B. DuBois, “Returning Soldiers,” The Crisis, May 1919.

In the spring of 1919, black World War I veteran J. L. Morgan, accompanied by Connecticut African American leaders, appealed to the state legislature to grant his community equal access to “places of public accommodation” (facilities used by the public—hotels, restaurants, stores, parks, movie theaters, hospitals, etc.) and education.  The proposed civil rights bill was defeated by both houses in April 1919.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Have students read the first two sources (“Colored Men Lodge Protest” and page 1 of SB199) individually, with a partner, or as a class.

  • What information can they gather from these sources?
  • What can they deduce/infer about the civil rights of African Americans in Connecticut following World War I?
  • What is the significance of the timing of the proposal of SB199 (immediately following World War I)?
  • What questions do they have after reading the sources?
  • How might students find answers to their questions?

For further inquiry, have students read  W. E. B. DuBois, “Returning Soldiers,” The Crisis, May 1919 and “Plea for Equal Justice,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, March 1, 1920.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • The legislative debate over SB199 (and even half of the text of the bill) is lost to us. Students will use what they have learned from the inquiry to complete the cut-off paragraph that begins at the bottom of page 1, in which penalties for denying access are spelled out. – OR – Students will create their own protest signs that might have been brought to the capitol in 1919. Signs should make a clear, catchy, historically accurate argument relevant to the bill.
  • Students will research civil rights issues affecting veterans and members of the military today and use their new understanding of the historical context to enrich a letter to the editor or to legislators.
  • Students will develop strategies or guidelines for identifying biases in newspaper accounts, both historical and contemporary, and then practice using these in future research and assignments.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT

This TeachITCT.org activity is sponsored in part by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region Program, coordinated by Waynesburg University.

Grade 8 – Myron D. Webster Civil War Haversack

by Joe Milositz, Robyn Proto, Carrie Evans
Six to Six Interdistrict Magnet School, Bridgeport


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Civil War
Theme
The Role of Connecticut in U.S. History
Town
Woodstock, Statewide

Related Search Terms

Haversack, Broadside, Artifacts, War, Soldier, Solider’s Life, Homefront, Union, Civilians, Daily Life, American Civil War, Civil War Knapsack

Social Studies Frameworks

Grade 8 – United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

How does an entire society participate in war? 

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What are the needs of soldiers during war?
  • Who provides supplies to meet soldiers’ needs?
  • How did civilians participate in the war effort?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Myron D. Webster's gear fro his service in the Civil War - Connecticut Historical Society
Myron D. Webster’s gear from his service in the Civil War – Connecticut Historical Society

The Myron D. Webster collection is an example of a typical Civil War soldier’s gear. It includes personal belongings which include military-issued items and things he brought from home.

 

Broadside: Blankets Are Wanted  for the Army!, ca. 1860 - 1869 - Connecticut Historical Society
Broadside: Blankets Are Wanted for the Army!, ca. 1860 – 1869 – Connecticut Historical Society

The Starr broadside solicits blankets from the home front to be used by Union soldiers and shows the need for civilian support during the war.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Students should examine artifacts belonging to Myron D. Webster from the Connecticut Historical Society.

  • What are the different items in the picture?
  • Who might use these items?
  • When might the items have been used?
  • What were the items used for?
  • Based on these artifacts, what were the needs of a solider during the Civil War?
  • Where did the items come from and how do you know?

Students will read the broadside and answer the following questions.

  • Who wrote this?
  • Who are they writing to?
  • After examining the broadside, what does this artifact tell you about what was expected of the civilian population during the Civil War?
  • What is the relationship between civilians and the military today, and how have their roles changed or stayed the same?
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

Students will share their specific evidence in response to the compelling question.

Have students research and identify the needs of soldiers today.

  • Students will organize a supply drive.
  • Students will create an advertisement for supplies for soldiers (i.e.: PSA, broadside, social media, etc)
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles to READ

Grade 5 – Nathan Hale: A Connecticut Hero

Last Words of Captain Nathan Hale

by Rachel DiSilvestro


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Nathan Hale, Revolutionary War
Theme
Cultural Diversity and an American National Identity
Town
Coventry, East Haddam, New London, Norwalk, Statewide
Related Search Terms
American Revolution, Hero, Patriot, Spy
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 5 – Early United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

What makes a hero?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What actions make a hero?
  • What characteristics describe a hero?
  • How can words and pictures make people perceive someone as a hero?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson:

  Document commissioning Nathan Hale a Captain

Document commissioning Nathan Hale a captain in the nineteenth regiment of foot command by Colonel Charles Webb. Signed by John Hancock – Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Last Words of Captain Nathan Hale
Last Words of Captain Nathan Hale, the Hero-Martyr of the American RevolutionNew York Public Library Digital Collections, The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Start by asking students to define a “hero.” What characteristics or actions make a person a hero?

Have students examine the document commissioning Nathan Hale as a captain in the army of the United Colonies.

  • Look for words in the document that describe Hale’s character or the expectations for his behavior. (Students may need assistance defining unfamiliar terms or expressions.)
  • Students should discuss these terms and compare with their previous definition of a hero.

Show students the illustration (created much later–in the 1850s) depicting the last words of Nathan Hale, just prior to his hanging by the British.

  • What do students see/notice in the image?
  • How would they describe the various characters in the image?
  • What questions do they have about what they see?
  • What guesses can they make about what is happening?

Explain that the image was created about 75 years after the events shown.

  • What do you think the artist’s purpose was in creating the image?
  • What did the artist want you to feel about Nathan Hale?
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

Students will discuss why Connecticut chose Nathan Hale as the state hero, considering important American values and how these contribute to our American identity. Students will then investigate other people who played “heroic” roles in the American Revolution or in Connecticut’s history, and present their findings through a “Museum of Heroes” (posters, songs, role-playing, etc.).

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Articles to READ

Grade 5 – Caleb Brewster & The Culper Ring

by Nick Merullo


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Revolutionary War
Theme
The Role of Connecticut in U.S. History
Town
Bridgeport, Fairfield
Related Search Terms
American Revolution, Caleb Brewster, The Culper Spy Ring
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 5 – Early United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

 In what ways did “ordinary” Americans contribute to the American Revolution?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • Why did the Continental army rely on contributions from civilians?
  • How did women contribute to the Revolution?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

A-H of the Culper Spy Ring Code - Library of Congress and MountVernon.org
A-H of the Culper Spy Ring Code – Library of Congress and MountVernon.org

The image above is a page from the coding index used by the Culper Spy Ring, a group of colonist civilians working as spies who gathered and reported intelligence to George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Caleb Brewster was a key member of the organization. Brewster served as a courier delivering messages to agents in Connecticut and Long Island across the Long Island Sound. His long—standing friendship with Benjamin Tallmadge, Washington’s chief intelligence officer, and his reputation as an expert seaman, made him the perfect man for the job.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Have students do a close reading of the page and consider:

  • What words can they recognize on the page?
  • Why might some of these words need to be written in code?
  • What are some benefits of using numbers instead of words?
  • How might the results of the Revolution changed if these messages were discovered by the enemy?
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

Have students research the Culper Ring and present findings:

  • Create a map detailing one of Brewster’s excursions from the coast of Connecticut to Long Island.
  • Write a letter from the perspective of General Washington to Caleb Brewster.
  • Have students create their own coding system and write a secret message between spies.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Things to DO
Articles to READ
Field Trips and Programs

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

 

Grade 8 – Abolition and African Americans in Connecticut

Nancy Toney

by ConnecticutHistory.org


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Slavery & Abolition
Civil War
Theme
The Struggle for Freedom, Equality, and Social Justice
Town
Statewide
Related Search Terms
Reconstruction
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 8 – United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

In what way did the abolition of slavery indicate progress, or decline, for the lives of African Americans?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What were the causes and effects of the abolition of slavery?
  • What role did Connecticut play in the abolitionist movement?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Attributed to Osbert Burr Loomis, Nancy Toney, oil on canvas, ca. 1862 - Photograph from the collection of the Loomis Chaffee School Archives, Loomis Chaffee School, Windsor, Connecticut This painting of Nancy Toney is attributed to Osbert Burr Loomis, oil on canvas, ca. 1862 – Photograph from the collection of the Loomis Chaffee School Archives, Loomis Chaffee School, Windsor, Connecticut
Download image as a pdf
Download image as a jpeg
Map from the Underground Railroad in Connecticut by Horatio Strother, 1962 Map of the Underground Railroad routes in Connecticut from the book Underground Railroad in Connecticut by Horatio Strother, 1962
Download image as a pdf
Download image as a jpeg
way2 Article describing Frederick Douglass’s speech to 29th and 30th Colored Volunteers, page 9, The Connecticut War Record, New Haven, February 1864 – Connecticut State Library, Newspapers of Connecticut
Download image as a pdf
Download image as a jpeg
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Divide students into small groups of three or four people. Choose one student to be the notetaker and write down their group’s thoughts and observations.

Using the three primary sources, students will answer the following questions:

  1. What role did Connecticut play in the abolitionist movement?
  2. What can you determine about slavery in Connecticut by examining the following sources?
  3. What is the author communicating about slavery in Connecticut?

Discuss observations with groups and with the class.

Have the students find commonalities and differences.

Share ideas about what the sources reveal.

Share answers/perspectives with the class.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

Students can address their responses to the compelling question(s) using a variety of different formats, including (but not limited to): An essay, a poster, or presentation.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Websites to VISIT