A gentle reminder ...

The goal of this blog initially was for Mr. Mc to show his students and friends what he doing while in Pennsylvania and DC in 2011. Now it's being used as a place for him, travelling colleagues and former students to discuss edumacation and history related "stuff" as well as ... well, anything which pops into his head. Mr. Mc would never knowingly embarrass either the school he loves or the family he is devoted to. By joining in the discussion, he expects the same of you.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Walking in the steps of grieving father at Oak Hill Cemetery

The afternoon included a hike through a cemetery and a lively discussion of primary sources. The hike was to find Willie Lincoln’s temporary tomb. Willie died in 1862 when he was 11 and, understandably, it devastated both of his parents. Mary Todd Lincoln couldn’t even go to the funeraland never went to the tomb. Lincoln went several times. Willie Lincoln was exhumed and his remains were taken to Springfield, Illinois with Lincoln’s body. To be in such an intimate place for President Lincoln was humbling. Thereis no marker at the site anymore and it took some detective work and the aid of Lord Google to find it. BTW-William Thomas Carroll was the clerk of the Supreme Court at the time and loaned President Lincoln a spot in their family mausoleum.
The afternoon sessions included a discussion of primary and secondary sources and I would have thought it would be more cut and dry than itwas. There are some things which are primary sources. A letter from George to Martha Washington we were shown while at Tudor Place, for example. A book on George and Martha Washington is a secondary source. But what about a newspaperaccount or a map? Can (or when can) a modern reproduction be considered aprimary source? Can a secondary source become a primary source? The discussionwas heated and a heck of a lot of fun. This group is passionate and smart and you want to rise to that level of intelligence. Tomorrow is Fredrick Douglass’house so I have no doubt the back and forth with continue.

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