Monday, December 28, 2009

Closing Out the Year in Hawaii: Reflections from 1845

Reflections On the Close of the Year 1845

The Friend, Honolulu: January, 1846 Edition

Momentous thought! another year

Has winged its rapid flight,

'Tis past with all its sights and scenes

Forever from our sight-

'Tis gone with all its hopes and fears-

Its joys and sorrows-smiles and tears.

Vail mortals! insects of an hour,

How fleeting is your life,

How hard you toil for wealth and power,

All eager for the strife;

Why would ye grasp an empty name

A tyrant's or a miser's fame?

My youth's companions, where are ye?

And thou, the fondly loved-

The world's a dreary waste to me

Since from your midst I roved;

Have ye run out life's latest sands,

Or gone like me to foreign lands?

Alas! for many a saddened heart

Will mourn the year that's gone,

To whom the world can ne'er impart

The joys forever flown;

Nor bring them back, the loved-the lost-

The beautiful-the parent's boast.

Blest is the man whose mental eye,

Looks far beyond the world,

He sees the glories of the sky

Harmoniously unfurled-

Bright vision of eternal youth,

Eternal as the God of truth.

Honolulu, Dec. 31st.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Sailor in College: 1864

The following appears in the November 1864 edition of The Friend, the Honolulu-based publication of Samuel C. Damon of the American Seaman's Friend Society:

The valedictorian at Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, Jacob W.H. Ames, Newport, N.H., at eighteen years of age, was a sailor before the mast, not acquainted with much more than his letters.

At twenty-four he has graduated at the head of his class, competing with twenty-three good scholars, all of whom, doubtless, have enjoyed the usual educational advantages.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Supreme Court Historical Society, Washington, D.C.

Many people -including historians and history teachers- are unaware that the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., has its own historical society.

"a private non-profit organization, is dedicated to the collection and preservation of the history of the Supreme Court of the United States. Incorporated in the District of Columbia in 1974, it was founded by Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, who served as its first honorary chairman. The Society's headquarters is located at Opperman House, 224 East Capitol Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20003. Opperman House has two important resources: The Goldman Library and the Membership Lounge. The Goldman Library has a conference table suitable for small meetings and luncheons. The books housed therein have been collected through the efforts of Professor James B. O'Hara, a Trustee of the Society, and comprise one of the finest collections of judicial biographies, Justices' writings, and histories of the Court. The collection also includes materials relating to Solicitors and Attorneys General and Presidents of the United States. The Membership Lounge is a meeting space located on the third floor sufficient in size for small receptions and luncheons.

"The Society accomplishes its mission by conducting educational programs, supporting historical research, publishing books, journals, and electronic materials, and by collecting antiques and artifacts related to the Court's history. These activities and others increase the public's awareness of the Court's contributions to our nation's rich constitutional heritage."

The Society's web site connects visitors with various educational resources for use in and outside of the classroom. We particularly call attention to the History of the Court, How the Court Works, Publications, and the Learning Center.

Air Force Historical Foundation Awards

The Air Force Historical Foundation stimulates interest in America’s air power history and heritage by sponsoring awards that honor the making – and documentation – of Air Force history.

The History Education Council of Hawaii refers our news-blog visitors to this link for a listing of awards sponsored by the Foundation. Please save this link to your bookmarks or favorites.

Junior Statesmen of America: 2010 Summer School Courses Announced

The Junior Statesmen of America is proud to announce its summer 2010 program offerings. We continue our long-time partnership with Georgetown, Princeton, and Stanford universities to offer a three-week residential summer school experience. Students enroll in one college level government or speech course that is supplemented by JSA’s signature Congressional Workshop. Summer 2010 course offerings include: AP U.S. Government, AP Macroeconomics, International Relations, War & Diplomacy, Political Communication, Constitutional Law, and Media & Politics.

Additionally, we have several special programs including an extended four-week AP U.S. History program at Princeton, a Freshman Scholars program for rising high school freshmen, and the JSA Diplomat program in Beijing, China! Students in the JSA Diplomat program will earn college credit and take courses in Modern Chinese History & Politics and Beginner’s Chinese. Our summer school programs are the pinnacle of the JSA experience and attract hundreds of student leaders annually. We are committed to getting JSA members to summer school.

To that end, we are offering a JSA member tuition rate of $3,750 (non-member rate: $4,500) to make summer school more affordable for JSA members. Click here to nominate an outstanding student leader for summer school.

Weeklong leadership institutes complete JSA’s summer offerings. They include: The Gene Burd Institute on Media & Politics (UCLA), generously endowed by alumnus Professor Gene Burd; Energy & the Environment (Stanford); Texas Institute on Leadership & Politics (UT Austin); Northeast Institute on National Security (Columbia); and the Arizona Institute on State & Local Government (Arizona State). These programs give student unparalleled access to elected officials and leaders private, public, and non-profit sectors. To learn more about our programs, visit

Foreign Policy Research Institute Education Programs

Founded in 1955, the Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization devoted to bringing the insights of scholarship to bear on the development of policies that advance U.S. national interests. FPRI adds perspective to events by fitting them into the larger historical and cultural context of international politics.

The History Education Council of Hawaii calls attention to FPRI's education programs and recommends them to Hawaii educators.

The Wachman Center is dedicated to improving international and civic literacy.

The History Institute
In 1996, the Wachman Fund inaugurated a series of weekend History Institutes for secondary school teachers, chaired by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Walter McDougall and FPRI Senior Fellow David Eisenhower. In addition to papers and audio/video from past conferences, a selection of classroom lessons submitted by participants is available.

The Beveridge Family Teaching Prize (K-12)

Established in 1995, this prize honors the Beveridge family’s longstanding commitment to the AHA and K-12 teaching. Friends and family members endowed this award to recognize excellence and innovation in elementary, middle school, and secondary history teaching, including career contributions and specific initiatives. The prize will be awarded on a two-year cycle rotation: in even-numbered years, to an individual; in odd-numbered years, to a group.

The next prize will be awarded to a group. To be eligible, the group must be composed of a majority of K-12 teachers. The group can be recognized either for excellence in teaching or for an innovative initiative applicable to the entire field. The prize carries a cash award of $1,500 for the group project (plus travel expenses for the group leader) and will be awarded at the annual meeting in January 2011. See past winners of this award.

Each letter of nomination must include the name and address of an individual in the group that can be contacted. After receipt of this nomination letter, this individual will be contacted and asked to submit the following electronically or by mail: vita (no more than 3 pages) of the primary participants, an essay of no more than five pages in length describing the contribution or product, discussing the achievement or innovation in approach and development, and summarizing the historical scholarship utilized. Up to ten pages of appropriate supporting materials can be included (i.e. letters of support and course materials, excerpts from a text book, or other evidence of contribution).

Only the letter of nomination should be mailed (no faxes) to:

Beveridge Family Teaching Prize
American Historical Association
400 A Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003-3889

The deadline for the letter of nomination is March 15, 2010.

William Gilbert Award for the Best Article on Teaching History

The William Gilbert Award for the Best Article on Teaching History recognizes outstanding contributions to the teaching of history through the publication of journal articles. The prize was endowed by a generous gift from Mrs. William Gilbert in memory of her husband, a distinguished member of the history department at the University of Kansas.

Eligible for consideration in a given year are articles by members of the AHA, published in the United States between June 1, 2009 to May 31, 2011. Journals and individual members may submit nominations on the teaching of history (including scholarship of teaching and learning, methodology and theory of pedagogy) for each biennial cycle of this award. Journals, magazines, and other serials can submit up to two articles for each award cycle. Each nominator is required to provide a brief letter of support (no more than two pages) with the article. See past winners of this award.

One copy of each letter of support and article must be sent for each member of the Committee on Teaching Prizes.

Entries must be postmarked by July 15, 2011. Entries will not be returned. No faxes will be accepted.

Send six copies of your completed entry to:

Gilbert Award Coordinator
American Historical Association
400 A St. S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003

Aerospace History Fellowship: American Historical Association and NASA

The American Historical Association (AHA) annually sponsors at least one Fellow for one academic year to undertake research related to aerospace history.

This fellowship is supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). It will provide a Fellow with an opportunity to engage in significant and sustained advanced research in all aspects of the history of aerospace from the earliest human interest in flight to the present, including cultural and intellectual history, economic history, history of law and public policy, and the history of science, engineering, and management.

Here is a link to a list of past fellowship award recipients, the term of their fellowships and research topics.

The History Education Council of Hawaii highly recommends that Hawaii historians and educators with an interest in aerospace history apply.

It should be remembered that Ellison Onizuka, who died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, was from Kealakekua, Kona, Hawaii.

For more information including eligibility, residency requirements, application procedures and stipends click this link to the AHA web page.

Applications and letters of recommendation must be postmarked by March 5, 2010.

Submit to:
Fellowship in Aerospace History
American Historical Association
400 A Street, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003

Thursday, December 17, 2009

International Conference: Museums and the Web 2010

Museums and the Web 2010 is an annual international conference for culture and heritage online. The 2010 conference is scheduled for April 13-17 and will be held in Denver, Colorado USA.

Early registration (and lower rates) ends tomorrow, December 18. Go to this link for early registration.

It is not too late to participate in the conference. The deadline for demonstration proposals is December 31, 2009. Go to this link for more information including an online proposal form.

Virtual Museum: Mission Houses Museum, Honolulu

Honolulu's Mission Houses Museum features a "virtual exhibit" comprised of objects derived from its collections and exhibitions.

Mission Houses Museum connects the story of the American Protestant missionaries and their descendants to the history and culture of Hawai'i, in order to give present generations of residents and visitors a deeper understanding of, and appreciation for, Hawai'i's rich and complex history.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Generations Defined

Generations Defined

Traditionalists: Born 1925-1945
Generational personality: Hardworking, stable; reluctant to buck the system.

Baby Boomers: Born 1946-1964
Generational personality: Driven, team players; judgmental of those who see things differently.

Generation X: Born 1965-1980
Generational personality: Adaptable, technoliterate; poor people skills, cynical.

Millenial Generation/GenerationY: Born 1980-2000
Generational personality: Optimistic, tenacious; need supervision and structure.

History's Habits of the Mind (Bradley Commission)

History's Habits of the Mind

The perspectives and modes of thoughtful judgment derived from the study of history are many, and they ought to be its principal aim. Courses in history, geography, and government should be designed to take students well beyond formal skills of critical thinking, to help them through their own learning to:

  1. understand the significance of the past to their own lives, both private and public, and to their society.
  2. distinguish between the important and the inconsequential, to develop the "discriminating memory" needed for a discerning judgment in public and personal life.
  3. perceive past events and issues as they were experienced by people at the time, to develop historical empathy as opposed to present-mindedness.
  4. acquire at one and the same time a comprehension of diverse cultures and of shared humanity.
  5. understand how things happen and how things change, how human intentions matter, but also how their consequences are shaped by the means of carrying them out, in a tangle of purpose and process.
  6. comprehend the interplay of change and continuity, and avoid assuming that either is somehow more natural, or more to be expected, than the other.
  7. prepare to live with uncertainties and exasperating, even perilous, unfinished business, realizing that not all problems have solutions.
  8. grasp the complexity of historical causation, respect particularity, and avoid excessively abstract generalizations.
  9. appreciate the often tentative nature of judgments about the past, and thereby avoid the temptation to seize upon particular "lessons" or history as cures for present ills.
  10. recognize the importance of individuals who have made a difference in history, and the significance of personal character for both good and ill.
  11. appreciate the force of the nonrational, the irrational, the accidental, in history and human affairs.
  12. understand the relationship between geography and history as a matrix of time and place, and as context for events.
  13. read widely and critically in order to recognize the difference between fact and conjecture, between evidence and assertion, and thereby to frame useful questions.

Habits of Mind taken from:

Bradley Commission on History in Schools. Building a History Curriculum: Guidelines for Teaching History in Schools. Westlake, OH: National Council for History Education, 1995. p. 9.

History's Vital Themes and Narratives (Bradley Commission)

History's Vital Themes and Narratives
In the search for historical understanding of ourselves and others, certain themes emerge as vital, whether the subject be world history, the history of Western civilization, or the history of the United States.

Civilization, cultural diffusion, and innovation
The evolution of human skills and the means of exerting power over nature and people. The rise, interaction, and decline of successive centers of such skills and power. The cultural flowering of major civilizations in the arts, literature, and thought. The role of social, religious, and political patronage of the arts and learning. The importance of the city in different eras and places.

Human interaction with the environment
The relationships among geography, technology, and culture, and their effects on economic, social, and political developments. The choices made possible by climate, resources, and location, and the effect of culture and human values on such choices. The gains and losses of technological change. The central role of agriculture. The effect of disease, and disease-fighting, on plants, animals, and human beings.

Values, beliefs, political ideas, and institutions
The origins and spread of influential religions and ideologies. The evolution of political and social institutions, at various stages of industrial and commercial development. The interplay among ideas, material conditions, moral values, and leadership, especially in the evolution of democratic societies. The tensions between the aspirations for freedom and security, for liberty and equality, for distinction and commonality, in human affairs.

Conflict and cooperation
The many and various causes of war, and of approaches to peacemaking and war prevention. Relations between domestic affairs and ways of dealing with the outside world. Contrasts between international conflict and cooperation, between isolation and interdependence. The consequences of war and peace for societies and their cultures.

Comparative history of major developments
The characteristics of revolutionary, reactionary, and reform periods across time and place. Imperialism, ancient and modern. Comparative instances of slavery and emancipation, feudalism and centralization, human successes and failures, of wisdom and folly. Comparative elites and aristocracies; the role of family, wealth, and merit.

Patterns of social and political interaction
The changing patterns of class, ethnic, racial, and gender structures and relations. Immigration, migration, and social mobility. The effects of schooling. The new prominence of women, minorities, and the common people in the study of history, and their relation to political power and influential elites. The characterisitics of multicultural societies; forces for unity and disunity.

Vital Themes and Narratives taken from:

The Bradley Commission. Building a History Curriculum: Guidelines for Teaching History in Schools. Westlake, OH: National Council for History Education, 1995. pp. 10-11.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Remembering Pearl Harbor 68 Years Later

It was 68 years ago today that military forces of Japan's militarist dictatorship bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, igniting American involvement in World War II.

In today's Honolulu Advertiser a news story features ceremonies held at Ewa Field. It was here, and not Pearl Harbor itself, where American forces first defended the nation against the attack. Click here for a link to the story. The story mentions:

About 200 people gathered yesterday at a cracked, potholed, weedy strip of concrete at 'Ewa Field, where part of the opening salvo in that long, brutal fight was fired.

'Ewa Field has a history that time has obscured. When the carrier-launched warplanes of the Japanese Empire roared in to attack Pearl Harbor, they also hit the Marine Corps Air Station in 'Ewa, where several hundred Marines were stationed and nearly 50 aircraft were on the ground at 'Ewa Field. Four Marines and two civilians at nearby 'Ewa Plantation were killed, one of them a 6-year-old girl.

In two strafing waves and other sporadic attacks, Japanese planes destroyed or damaged most of the aircraft on the tarmac. None got into the air. Machine gun and 20mm strafing gouges and burn marks can still be seen on the concrete area where the planes were tied down.

'Ewa Beach historian John Bond, who is spearheading efforts to preserve the battle site, said the attack at 'Ewa Field may have preceded the Pearl Harbor bombing by a few minutes. So it is possible that the first U.S. shots fired at Japanese forces in World War II were at 'Ewa Field. features a story about John Bond's leadership and efforts to save Ewa Field from demolition and development. Click here for a link to that story.

Historic Hawaii Foundation has also listed Ewa Field as one of Hawaii's nine most endangered historical sites. Click here for a link to Honolulu Magazine.

For teachers there are a number of resources online. Scholastic's 'My Pearl Harbor' is here.

The National Endowment for the Humanities is sponsoring Landmarks in American History and Workshop for Community College Faculty, focusing on Pacific War sites in the Honolulu area, particularly Pearl Harbor. Click here for more information on the 2010 workshops.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thomas Jefferson Foundation: Barringer Research Fellowship for Teachers of American History 2010

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation is pleased to announce the Barringer Fellowship for Teachers of American History, which is designed to provide individual teachers an opportunity to research and study at Monticello and the Jefferson Library. The fellowship will allow teachers to work on Jefferson-specific projects such as lesson plans, curricular units, resource packets, or syllabus outlines that will enhance their classroom teaching. Fellowship recipients will spend two weeks in independent research and consultation with Monticello scholars on projects that relate directly to Thomas Jefferson and that will enhance their classroom presentations.

The successful applicants will be chosen by a selection committee according to evidence of their success as a teacher; demonstration that the fellowship will relate to the teaching skills and needs of the applicant; and the commitment and qualifications of the applicant to undertake a concentrated study relating to the life and times of Thomas Jefferson.

Fellowships will be awarded to qualified elementary and secondary teachers who are employed full-time in the classroom. The Barringer Fellowship grant will include: a stipend of $1,500; travel costs up to $1,000; up to $1,400 for lodging in a local hotel; and up to $50 per day for food. The grant can be taken at any time during the recipient's summer vacation, with Foundation approval.

Fellows will be asked to turn in a copy of their research project as well as a lesson plan suitable for publication on the Monticello Digital Classroom. To access the portal for students click here, and to access resources for teachers click here.

The Barringer Research Fellowship Program was made possible by a generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Paul B. Barringer II.

For more information:
Filing deadline: February 5, 2010.

High School Research Papers: A Dying Breed by Jay Mathews

Doris Burton taught U.S. history in Prince George’s County for 27 years. She had her students write 3,000-word term papers. She guided them step by step: first an outline, then note cards, a bibliography, a draft and then the final paper. They were graded at each stage.

A typical paper was often little more than what Burton describes as “a regurgitated version of the encyclopedia.” She stopped requiring them for her regular history students and assigned them just to seniors heading to college. The social studies and English departments tried to organize coordinated term paper assignments for all, but state and district course requirements left no room. “As time went by,” Burton said, “even the better seniors’ writing skills deteriorated, and the assignment was frustrating for them to write and torture for me to read.” Before her retirement in 1998, she said, “I dropped the long-paper assignment and went to shorter and shorter and, eventually, no paper at all.”

Click here for the remaining text of this insightful article.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving: 1789 Proclamation by President Washington

New York, 3 October 1789

By George Washington, the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be– That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

How to Become a Millionaire: 1867

How to Become a Millionaire

From the December, 1867 edition of The Friend, published monthly in Honolulu by Rev. Samuel C. Damon, Chaplain, American Seaman’s Friend Society:

John McDonough, the millionaire of New Orleans, has engraved upon his tomb a series of maxims he had prescribed as the rule for his guidance through life, and to which his success in business is mainly attributed. They contain so much wisdom that we copy them:

Rules for the Guidance of My Life, 1804:

Remember always that labor is one of the conditions of our existence.

Time is gold; throw not one minute away, but place each one to account.

Do unto all men as you would be done by.

Never put off till tomorrow what can be done today.

Never bid another to do what you can do yourself.

Never covet what is not your own.

Never think of any matter so trifling as not to deserve notice.

Never give that which does not first come in.

Never spend but to produce.

Let the greatest order regulate the transactions of your life.

Study in the course of life to do the greatest amount of good.

Deprive yourself of nothing necessary to your comfort, but live in an honorable simplicity.

Labor, then, to the last moment of your existence.

Pursue strictly the above rules and the Divine blessing and riches of every kind will flow upon you to your heart’s content, but first of all remember that the chief and great duty of your life should be to tend, by all means in your power, to the honor and glory of our Divine Creator.

The conclusion to which I have arrived is, that without temperance there is no health, without virtue no order, without religion no happiness, and that the aim of our being is to live wisely, soberly and righteously. JNO. McDONOUGH.

Mr. McDonough might have known how to make a million, but he did not know how to dispose of it when made. His large property was left to poor relatives, public charities and city corporations, and for twenty years has been the source of legal prosecutions. When will rich men learn to become the executors of their own charities? They will screw, turn, pinch and worry to make money, and their heirs and executors will screw, turn, pinch and worry to spend it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hagley Prize in Business History: Hagley Museum and Library

The Hagley Museum and Library and the Business History Conference jointly offer an annual prize for the best book in business history, broadly defined. The next Hagley Prize will be presented at the annual meeting of the Business History Conference at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, March 25-27, 2010.

The prize committee encourages the submission of books from all methodological perspectives. It is particularly interested in innovative studies that have the potential to expand the boundaries of the discipline.

Scholars, publishers, and other interested parties may submit nominations. Eligible books can have either an American or an international focus.

They must be written in English and be published during the two years (2008 or 2009) prior to the award.

Four copies of a book must accompany a nomination and be submitted to the prize coordinator:

Carol Ressler Lockman
Hagley Museum and Library
P.O. Box 3630
298 Buck Road,
Wilmington DE 19807-0630

The deadline for nominations is December 31, 2009.

Eugene Asher Award for Distinguished Teaching: AHA

The American Historical Association (AHA) is accepting nominations for the Eugene Asher Award for Distinguished Teaching.

The award recognizes outstanding teaching and advocacy for history teaching at two-year, four-year, and graduate colleges and universities. The award is named for the late Eugene Asher, for many years a leading advocate for history education. The Society for History Education shares with the AHA the sponsorship of this award.

The award is intended for inspiring teachers whose techniques and mastery of subject matter made a real difference to students of history. Nominations of mentors or teaching colleagues are appropriate. An individual may not nominate his or her thesis adviser (current or within the past five years). At the time of nomination, a nominee must still be alive but may be retired or emeritus. Each letter of nomination must include the address (home & work) of the nominee.

Letters of nomination (no more than two pages each) should be submitted to the AHA. The prize committee will select a short list of finalists, each of whom will be asked to electronically provide five copies of a short curriculum vitae (CV) and a syllabus or syllabi, and a teaching statement to a total of 15 pages or less.

The recipient will be invited to attend the award presentation at the 2011 annual meeting in Boston and will receive a $1,000 award.

The letter of nomination must be postmarked by April 15, 2010. Only the letter of nomination should be mailed -not faxed- to:

Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award,
American Historical Association
400 A Street, SE,
Washington, DC 20003-3889

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Looking Behind and Looking Ahead: Election Day Editorial from Hawaii, 1888

Pacific Commercial Advertiser: Monday, November 5, 1888

The choice of an executive and a legislature by the votes of the people to be ruled, cast in an orderly and peaceable manner, can never be to anyone who looks below the surface of things, other than an interesting and suggestive spectacle.

But when the result of the election is to be the choice of the rulers of fifty millions of the most intelligent and enterprising people of the world, and the deciding for four years of the public policy of one of the great powers of the earth, the occasion rises fairly into the region of the sublime.

When we reflect that on the same day, at the same hour, throughout a region extending thousands of miles from ocean to ocean, millions of men are assembling at thousands and even tens of thousands of places, in crowded cities and quiet country villages, far up on mountain slopes and out on wide and breezy prairies, beside the rattle and whirl of busy factories and in secluded mining camps to decide such vast and possibly far-reaching issues by the quiet and simple process of dropping little pieces of printed paper into a box, we realize, in some measure, the vast progress the world has really made in substituting the peaceable processes of law and reason for the reign of violence and brute force.

When we remember further, that the result of this election, whatever it may be, will be accepted and submitted to, quietly, peaceably and as a matter of course, we are inspired with a new faith in the possibilities of human nature, and feel that those who wrought and suffered for the establishment of popular government and liberty under the restraints of self-imposed law were not constructing an edifice of cardboard and cobwebs, but erecting an enduring temple upon a foundation of solid rock.

The election of President of the United States; the fact that there is such an occasion, that it is so vast, that it is conducted as is, and has such results is full of encouragement for all who desire the enfranchisement and elevation of their fellow men.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

150th Anniversary of John Brown's Raid at Harper's Ferry

On October 16, 1859 Americans across the continent and around the world would be shaken by the events surrounding John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. This coming Friday, October 16, 2009 marks its 150th anniversary.

This weekend the Harper’s Ferry National Historic Park plans to hold observances as reported in the October 15 edition of the Wall Street Journal.

“Four states and four counties have begun preparations to commemorate the 2009 Sesquicentennial Anniversary of abolitionist John Brown's raid on the arsenal at Harpers Ferry. The John Brown 150th Anniversary Quad-State Committee, comprised of various historians and officials from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland, are planning and coordinating a range of commemoration events. Officials responsible for organizing the commemorations say that events will include re-enactments, dramatic productions, art exhibits, academic lectures, special tours and much more.” Go here to the official web site events, educational resources, helpful links and more.

The Public Broadcasting System (PBS) also features a web site with an explanation of the man and the raid he led. The web link also features a teacher resource guide.

John Brown and the Valley of the Shadow features more about the John Brown story, including texts of period articles from Virginia newspapers.

From the Press Room of the New York-based Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History comes this:

As we quickly approach the 150th anniversary of John Brown’s history-making raid, the New-York Historical Society and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History present the exhibition John Brown: The Abolitionist and His Legacy, exploring the beliefs, activities and continuing significance of this critical figure, vilified by some as a murderer and venerated by others as a martyr.

On view from September 15, 2009 through March 25, 2010, this exhibition of rare materials from the Gilder Lehrman Collection and the New-York Historical Society also sets the stage for the culminating presentation of the Historical Society’s Lincoln Year, with the landmark exhibition Lincoln and New York, opening October 9, 2009.

The Institute’s web site features a newly-released podcast on John Brown by David Reynolds of the New York Historical Society.

No events are scheduled to be held in Hawaii. However, the History Education Council of Hawaii can furnish the following from Hawaii sources.

The clipper ship Webbfoot, 12 days out of San Francisco and commanded by Captain Hodge, brought to Honolulu shores a number of newspapers in late 1859. From these coveted local newspaper editors were able to glean news of the outside world, and in turn bring the news to residents throughout the Hawaiian Islands.

The Polynesian, published weekly in Honolulu by Charles G. Hopkins, reported in its December 3, 1859 edition: “An attempt at an insurrection was made at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, in which 19 white men and some fifty blacks had been concerned. The insurgents took possession of the Arsenal and at one time had the town at their mercy; but troops and volunteers having poured in from the surrounding counties, the revolt was speedily put down, but after obstinate fighting. The whole blame is laid upon one man’s crazy ideas about abolitionism, a man named Brown who had lost two children and his right senses in the late Kansas troubles.

“It is said that the affair at Harper’s Ferry is the first case of the kind which has ever occurred in this country, involving at the same time both State and Federal jurisdiction. While the State is affected as to slavery and locality, the General Government is interested with regard to public property, it having exclusive control over the arsenal grounds, independently of the State, also, with regard to the mails. Already in distinguished quarters, the question of jurisdiction is discussed, as Gov. Wise will, it is said, claim the prisoners now held by the United States troops, to be dealt with according to the laws of Virginia.

“The following is the number of killed and wounded during the recent insurrection: killed: 5 citizens, and 15 insurgents. Wounded: 3 insurgents. Prisoners: 3 insurgents.

“The prisoners have been committed to the Charlestown jail to await the notion of the grand jury, when they will be indicted and tried in a few days.

“The arrangement about the jurisdiction has been settled this way: The local authorities are to try the prisoners for murder, and in the meanwhile the United States authorities will do so on the charge of treason.

“The news in last night’s dispatches is of great importance. It traces the insurrection at Harper’s Ferry, and the movements of old Brown, to a well-organized conspiracy, having its ramifications in the Free States of the Union and Canada. Names are given, among them Gerrit Smith, of New York, whose letter, enclosing a $100 check for the cause, was found. As early as the latter part of August, Secretary Floyd was advised, by a letter from Cincinnati, of the existence of secret associations in various parts of the country, having in view the liberation of the slaves in Virginia and Maryland –their plans were disclosed, just as they turned out- and no doubt can longer exist that men who have heretofore figured extensively in the country, in various ways, will be shown to have had a connection with this diabolical conspiracy.”

The December 17 edition of The Polynesian continued its coverage of the raid and subsequent events. "The trial of JOHN BROWN, the insurgent, closed at Charlestown on Monday, Oct. 31. After a short interval, the Jury returned with a verdict of guilty upon all counts of indictment; namely, for treason, for inciting insurrection, and for murder. Brown is sentenced to the hung Dec. 2."

On December 31 The Polynesian reported that "The Harper's Ferry trials were over, and the excitement through the country had pretty much subsided." Later in the same column it was reported that sermons had been preached on the raid. "Two sermons were preached in New York on the John Brown rebellion -one by Dr. Cheever, of the Church of the Puritans, and the other by the Rev. H.H. Blair, of the Associated Presbyterian Church. The remarks of the first-named divine were couched in his usual style of bitter invective against slavery and a slavery-ridden church and closed with a declaration that if 'the men of peace will not apply God's law against the sin of slave-holding, in the shape of argument and earnest truth, the men of war will put it in the shape of bullets, and fight it out.'"

"Mr. Blair," the story continued, "was more quiet in his language, but nonetheless severe in his denunciation of the Kansas pro-slavery outrages which made John Brown what he is, and finally lead to the Harper's Ferry outrage. He drew a parallel between Moses and John Brown, contending that Brown had been to the negro race what Moses was to the Israelites."

On January 7 ramifications of the raid on Harper's Ferry was reported in The Polynesian. "The Harper's Ferry affair continues the great topic of discussion, and from the press, pulpit and rostrum monopolizes general attention. The hot and bitter blood engaged in its discussion leads to many extravagancies. In Washington disunion is openly discussed on the street, and all over the Union a tone of sentiment is indulged which is to be regretted. In the South, we have nothing but alarm movements, and in the North, nothing but ridicule of the South.

"It was rumored that 600 to 1000 men were arming in Ohio, for the rescue of the prisoners.

"Gov. Wise left Harper's Ferry this morning for Richmond, after receiving a dispatch from Gov. Parker of Pennsylvania, tendering services of 10,000 men, and offering to station a guard along the dividing line between Pennsylvania and Maryland.

"On Saturday night, November 19th, a meeting was held at Tremont Temple in Boston, as advertised, for the benefit of John Brown. Upwards of $4,000 was collected, according to a dispatch dated the 22d. The dispatch from Boston on the night of the 19th represents the number of persons present to have been 2,000. Proceedings were ultrafanatical, according to a condensed report in the newspapers. Wendell Philips and Ralph Waldo Emerson were present"

News of Brown's hanging was reported in the January 21, 1860 edition of The Polynesian. "John Brown, the chief of the Harper's Ferry outrage, was hanged, in terms of his sentence, at Charlestown, Va, at 11 1-4 o'clock A.M., of 2d December. The New England and Western States had showed great sympathy, and been ringing bells and delivering speeches, &c., as tokens of condolence and indignation over the fate of John Brown. Virginia is slowly getting over her fright."

Also published on's Friday, October 16, 2009 edition. Our thanks to Malia Zimmerman.

“Never Too Old To Learn”

From the September, 1860 edition of The Friend, published monthly in Honolulu by Rev. Samuel C. Damon, Chaplain, American Seaman’s Friend Society:

Socrates, at an extreme age, learned to play musical instruments.

Cato, at eighty years of age, thought proper to learn the Greek language.

Plutarch, when between seventy and eighty, commenced to study Latin.

Boccaccio was thirty-five years of age when he commenced his studies in polite literature; yet he became one of the three great masters of the Tiscan dialect, Dante and Petrarch being the other two.

Sir Henry Spelman neglected the sciences in his youth, but commenced the study of them when he was between fifty and sixty years of age. After this he became a most learned antiquarian and lawyer.

Colbert, the famous French minister, at sixty years of age returned to his Latin and law studies.

Ludovico, at the great age of 115, wrote the memoirs of his own times, a singular exertion, noticed by Voltaire, who was himself one of the most remarkable instances of the progress of age in new studies.

Ogilby, the translator of Homer and Virgil, was unacquainted with Latin and Greek till he was past the age of fifty.

Franklin did not commence his philosophical pursuits till he had reached his fiftieth year.

Accorso, a great lawyer, being asked why he began the study of law so late, answered that indeed he began it late, but he should therefore master it sooner.

Dryden, in his sixty-eighth year, commenced the translation of the Iliad; and his most pleasing productions were written in his old age.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Thought for the Day: Teaching as a Pilgrimage

"I believe that the American teacher is the most solid supporter of democracy and that education ought to be teacher-centered as well as child-centered. Teaching can never be mediocre or it becomes self-defeating. Teaching must be great, yet greatness has many dimensions. It is not a possession, but a pilgrimage. It is measured by consequences -its influence on the lives of students and on culture."

Frederick Mayer

Recipe for Education from Teacher's Treasury of Stories



1 cup of thinking
2 cups of dreams
2 to 4 years of youth
3 1/2 cups of persistence
3 teaspoons of ability
1 cup of cooperation
1 teaspoon of borrowing
1 cup of good books, lectures, and teachers
1 cup of health
1 cup of plans made and followed through


Cream the thinking and the dreams.
Add the years and beat until creamy.
Sift persistence and ability together and add alternately, with cooperation, to the first mixture.
Add borrowing, books, lectures, teachers, health, and plans.
Fold in the years of youth, beaten stiff.
Bake in any moderately good college or university.
Time in college: 4 or more years, depending on how you like your finished product.
Temperature: plenty hot.

Servings will last for life.

Friday, September 25, 2009

ABC World News: Holocaust Survivors Reunite with WWII Liberators

On this evening's broadcast of ABC World News the impact history teachers can have on their students was featured in the Person of the Week segment.

In 2001 Matt Rozell, a history teacher in the small town of Hudson Falls, New York started an oral history project focusing on stories from World War II. His students ended up discovering a nearly-forgotten chapter in history. Click here for the text of the story on ABC World News.

Here is a similar story from the Associated Press. Click here. And here on ABC 33/40 Talkback.

We also furnish for our visitors the Hudson Falls High School World War II Living History Project. Click here.

You can also view the broadcast via the ABC News channel on YouTube. Click here.

Our congratulations are extended to Matt Rozell and his students for a job well done.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The J. Franklin Jameson Fellowship in American History

The Franklin Jameson Fellowship in American History is offered annually by the Library of Congress and the American Historical Association (AHA) to support significant scholarly research for one semester in the collections of the Library of Congress by scholars at an early stage in their careers in history.

The fellowship is named in honor of J. Franklin Jameson, a founder of the Association, longtime managing editor of the American Historical Review, formerly Chief of the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, and the first incumbent of the Library's Chair of American History. It is designed to assist scholars early in their careers.

Research Grants from the American Historical Association (AHA)

The American Historical Association (AHA) has published a list of available research grants. Please note that only AHA members are eligible to apply for these grants, all of which are offered annually and are intended to further research in progress.

Preference is given to advanced doctoral students, non-tenured faculty, and unaffiliated scholars. Grants may be used for travel to a library or archive; microfiliming, photography, or photocopying; borrowing or access fees; and similar research expenses.

Applications are all due on February 15, 2010 for the following:

The Albert J. Beveridge Grant for Research in the Western Hemisphere are available to support research in the history of the Western hemisphere. Individual grants do not exceed $1,000.

The Michael Kraus Research Grant in colonial American history, with particular reference to the intercultural aspects of American and European relations, offers cash awards of up to $800.

The Littleton-Griswold Grant offers grants of up to $1,000 for resear4ch in U.S. legal history and the field of law and society.

The Bernadotte Schmitt Grants support research in the history of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Individual grants will not exceed $1,000

For more information click this link.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Thought of the Day: Andrew Carnegie

"Only in popular education can man erect the structure of an enduring civilization."
Andrew Carnegie

AHA Calls for Nominations: Nancy Lyman Roelker Award

The American Historical Association has published a ‘Calls for Nominations’ for the Nancy Lyman Roelker Award in the September 2009 edition of Perspectives on History.

This award was established to honor history teachers “who taught, guided, and inspired their students in a way that changed their lives. Mentoring is as important to the discipline of history as fine scholarship and good teaching. The ideal mentor is forthright, supportive, and constructively critical, committed to the student as a person, regardless of age or career goals.”

The Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award is given on a three-year cycle for graduate mentors, undergraduate mentors and secondary school teachers. The 2010 award is for secondary school mentors and carries a cash award.

Nominations should include:

1) A completed cover sheet and checklist.

2) A minimum of five letters supporting the nomination. These letters can be from students, former students, parents, colleagues, and others. There is no set proportion or formula for the “right” mixes of letters. Individuals organizing nominations should solicit a cross section as appropriate to address the essential elements noted above. Preferred maximum length of letters is two pages.

3) The nominee’s vita highlighting educational experience and student mentoring (publications and professional activities should be summarized in no more than 2 pages). The preferred maximum length of a c.v. is two-to-five pages.

Mail to: Roelker Mentorship Award, AHA, 400 A Street S.E., Washington, D.C. 20003.

Coversheet and checklist, all letters supporting the nomination, and vita must be postmarked no later than March 31, 2010.

The 2010 award will be announced at the January 6-9, 2011 AHA 125th annual meeting in Boston.

The History Education Council of Hawaii recognizes that there are many qualified secondary-level history teachers and mentors and urges Hawaii educators to pursue this opportunity.