Monthly Archives: June 2008

Post-departure bureaucracy.

Just a reminder: I’d like to see a wrap-up post on your blog in the next few days. Also, those of you who haven’t hit the required twelve posts have some additional reflecting to do. The blogging really has been great this year. I look forward to reading all those new posts soon!

When your (mostly self-contained) lesson plan is done, e-mail the electronic version to me and Matt simultaneously. Also print off a paper version and send it snail mail to Matt at:

Colorado State University – Pueblo

2200 Bonforte Blvd.

Pueblo, CO 81001

See y’all back in Pueblo some time!



All, we’ll board the bus tomorrow (Thurs) at 7:45AM and depart by 8AM.  See you then!



Lesson Plan Topics (Philly Edition) [Updated x2].

This list will be updated as the come in via e-mail or in the comments below:

Becky Valencia – Quakers and Amish

Ryan Boyd – Historical Art Works

Dana Ferguson – Franklin’s Occupations

Brett Bridgeman – Franklin’s Experiments

Crystal Campbell: Amish v. Menonites

Lauren Gonzales: Washington’s Crossing and the Battle of Trenton

Connie Prewitt: Joseph Plumb Martin

Denyse Kunz: Colonial and Revolutionary Era Children

Dave Buckallew: Valley Forge

Staci Rodosevich: Gettysburg

Chris Jones: Bill of Rights

Elizabeth Aragon-Blanton: Women of the Revolutionary Era

Kelsey Moore: The Geography of Philadelphia

John Hutchins: Benjamin Franklin and the Post Office

Kelli Archuletta: Franklin as Enlightenment Philosopher

Donna Batt: Fugitive Slave Act

Wendy Shipley: Gender in Colonial/Revolutionary America

Marie Schwager:  Basic Constitutional Principles

The Crisis of the Union Electronic Archives.

The Civil War Era web site that Bob Engs was telling us about this morning, the Crisis of the Union Electronic Archives, is here.

I’ve been doing some sampling already. Click the picture to see it better.

Here’s the envelope Bob showed during his lecture (on the web site it’s in color):

Here’s an anti-feminist cartoon from the Reconstruction Era:

The caption is “How it would be if some ladies had their own way.”

And finally, we gotta have some Abe:

This really is an incredible resource for teachers at all grade levels, including me.

Rules to Find out a Fit Measure of Meat and Drink

If thou eatest so much as makes thee unfit for Study, or other Business, thou exceedest the due Measure.

If thou are dull and heavy after Meat, it’s a sign that thou hast exceedest due Measure; for Meat and Drink ought to refresh the Body, and make it cheerful, and not to dull and oppress it.

If thou findest these ill Symptoms, consider whether too much Meat, or too much Drink occasions it, or both, and abate by little and little, till thou findest the Inconveniency removed.

– Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard for 1742) in Benjamin Franklin on the Art of Eating, (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society Press, 2006), 44.

See, I can do colonial blogging!

Harris’s recommended books for the Philly Trip

1.  Walter Isaacson, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (Simon & Schuster, 2003)–a wonderful overview of BF’s life, written in clear, lucid prose.  Lots of good “fodder” for lecture.

2.  Sheila Skemp, ed., Benjamin and William Franklin: Father and Son, Patriot and Loyalist (Bedford Books, 1994)–this is a collection of letters between Patriot-father and Loyalist-son.  At the end of the book, there’s a list of questions you can have your students answer.  This is very appropriate to assign in high school classes, although teachers of middle school and jr. high school will find appropriate materials they can read to their class as well.

3.  Gordon Wood, The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin (Penguin Books, 2004)–if you have a good grounding on Franklin, and you want something more sophisticated than Isaacson, then I’d go with Wood’s book.  For those of you who plan to take my graduate seminar this fall, we’ll read this book.  It’s very good.

4.  Read Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography–you can find this online or you can buy it at any bookstore, including our Barnes and Noble in Pueblo.  There’s nothing like this wonderful story, written for BF’s son.

5.  James Delbourgo, A Most Amazing Scene of Wonders: Electricity and Enlightenment in Early America (Harvard Univ. Press, 2006)–this interesting book traces Americans fascination with electricity in early America.  It discusses BF, but also a host of other interesting characters.

6.  Edmund Morgan, Benjamin Franklin (Yale Univ. Press, 2002)–if you’re a diplomacy buff then this is the book for you.  The title is misleading, because it’s not a biography but rather an account of BF’s diplomatic efforts in France during the War.

7. Bernard Cohen, Benjamin Franklin’s Science (Harvard Univ. Press, 1996)–the best book on the subject!

8.  Pauline Maier, American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence (Alfred Knopf, 1997)–this wonderful book traces the debates that led to the writing of the Declaration of Independence.  It also has a list of Jefferson’s rough drafts of the D of I in the Appendix.  I’ll assign this book in my grad seminar this fall.

9.  David Waldstreicher, Runaway America: Benjamin Franklin, Slavery and the American Revolution (Hill and Wang, 2005)–examines BF’s role in slavery and forces us to rethink just what that role was

10. There are lots of books on the Constitution–see me if you want something other than Carol’s book.

11. Allen Guelzo, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America (Simon & Schuster, 2005)–a wonderful book on the topic, written in clear prose.  The author teaches in Gettysburg.

12.  James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford Univ. Press, 2003)–this is the best overview of the Civil War, written by the preeminent scholar of the War.  It won the Pulitzer Prize for History.

13.  Charles Royster, A Revolutionary People at War: The Continental Army and the American Character, 1775-1783 (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2006)–arguably the best book on the subject

14.  David Hackett Fischer, Washington’s Crossing (Oxford Univ. Press, 2005)–covers GW’s daring trek across the Delaware River in Dec. 1776 and then the Battles of Trenton and Princeton.  Won the Pulitzer Prize–a great read.

15.  Joseph Ellis, His Excellency (Alfred Knopf, 2005)–a well-written character study of George Washington

16. Edward Lengel, General George Washington: A Military Life (Random House, 2005)–the best account of GW’s leadership during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution

17.  James Flexner, Washington: The Indespensable Man (1994)–a popular bio of GW

18.  John Ferling, Almost a Miracle: The American Victory in the War for Independence (Oxford Univ. Press, 2007)–this author makes the compelling argument that the American victory during the War was a fluke, esp. when you consider that GW lost almost every battle he fought.  A must read for you Revolution buffs!

19.  J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter, 6 vols.

Richard Nixon’s favorite Democrat.


On Sunday morning, Mark, Paul and I went to the Italian Market in South Philadelphia. There we saw this mural of the late Mayor of Philadelphia, Frank Rizzo. Rizzo, a Democrat, was elected in 1971 and served two four-year terms. When I was in college he tried his first comeback as a Republican. It was then that I became familiar with his legendary career as a provocateur. Ironically, I recently finished Rick Perlstein’s fabulous new book Nixonland, which I still have with me on the trip so I’m in an excellent position to share.

Here are some quotes from Perlstein’s book to give you an idea what he was like:

p. 521: “[Police] Chief Frank Rizzo, mulling a 1971 run for mayor, said they [the Black Panthers] “should be strung up.” He added, “I mean, within the law.”

p. 732: “[Nixon] made a “non-political” visit to Philadelphia as a guest of Mayor Rizzo–who told his political machine…”either the President wins in their areas or they look for another job.”

Perlstein never used the most famous Frank Rizzo quotes. You can find a few of them here.

Rizzo died suddenly during his 1991 comeback campaign, which might explain the memorial to him in South Philly. However, it is also a sign that Rizzo-ism, what Perlstein calls Richard Nixon’s attempts at “positive polarization,” namely creating tensions between Democratic constituencies in order to improve the chances of Republican candidates, lives on.

Somehow I doubt the people who own the building with the Rizzo mural on it will be voting for Obama in November. It will be interesting to see if that matters.