Friday Cat Blogging with Pepper the Crazy Cat

Ah, rest and relaxation. After a difficult night of destroying Mom’s stuff, I settle in for a long daytime nap in my specially constructed cat chair. Mom is really upset about her fountain pen, whatever that is. I didn’t mean to break it. But she should have played with me, rather than leaving me to find my own fun.

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R.I.P. O Fountain Pen!

I received a beautiful Waterman fountain pen for my sixteenth birthday. Since then the pen has been my constant companion: I guarded it all through high school; I brought it to college with me, where I flowed debate rounds and wrote a first draft of my senior thesis in elegant style; I brought it to graduate school, where it assisted me in making notes on the many, many books I read, and I have in file folders a complete fountain pen draft of each of my dissertation chapters.

I had my pen out last night as I was writing a lecture. I have up the ghost around 10 and went to bed, leaving the pen out on my desk.

Now His Royal Highness Prince Pepper has been disgusted with me for the last few days. I’ve been so busy with the start of the school year and all the work that entails that I have not, I regret, had much time to spend dragging around a bunch of feathers on a stick for HRH. This is an activity upon which we usually spend a half an hour every evening before I go to bed. Pepper was clearly angry at my lack of attention last night, for during the night he cleared my desk: he knocked off the papers, pens, coasters, books, articles, flashlight, and telephone. The only items remaining on my desk were my laptop and the desk lamp. Alas, on the floor this morning I found the battered corpse of my fountain pen. I’m not sure if the impact with the floor caused it to crack, or if Pepper took out additional frustrations on it after he had pawed it off the desk, but there you have it. I discovered it in a small puddle of (appropriately) red ink, looking like the mortal remains of a soldier abandoned on a battlefield.

I’m not sure how I’ll write the Amazing Mr. Book without my fountain pen. I’m very distressed. And Pepper is…well, he’s in the dog house for sure.

Friday Cat Blogging with Pepper the Crazy Cat

If you find this picture confusing, and you can’t tell where I’m hanging out, maybe this will help:

What can I say, I love high places! Mom is resigned to me hanging out up here. I know this because she put a cushion up there. How nice!

Monday Kitten Blog

This is Tabitha (although I think her new family is going to give her a different name!). I trapped her in my backyard after feeding her for about two and a half weeks. The vet said she was probably 8-10 weeks old, which means she was probably on her own from the age of 4 or 5 weeks. I found no evidence of a mamma cat or any siblings, so I imagine she was tossed out of a moving vehicle (apparently a popular method in Houston for dumping unwanted kittens and puppies).

At any rate, it only took her about 24 hours to figure out I was the person with the food. She warmed up to me almost immediately, and developed a love of snuggling. As soon as her ear mites were under control, I let her play with Pepper. Pepper was very patient (although I don’t think he wants another cat in the house).

On Saturday evening, Tabitha left for her forever home with my friend Rebecca. I’m sure she’s going to have a marvelous life!

Friday Cat Blogging with Pepper the Crazy Cat

Here I am helping Mom work. My assistance comes chiefly in the form of sitting on her notes and typing my own comments onto the computer. Last night I typed 7777777777777666tr. I think that was enormously helpful.

You see, I’m trying to remind Mom how indispensable I am. She has another creature in the house, a little kitten she trapped outside. The kitten lives in the bathroom at the moment but I’m afraid she’s going to displace me. So here’s my plea: Mom! Get rid of the interloper! Now! Meow!

Welcome to History 117: America to 1848

Here’s my first stab at teaching a survey class. I’m not using a textbook, although I’ve made one available as a security blanket for students who want one. I’ve formatted it so that I lecture at least twice a week, there are seven classes dedicated exclusively to discussion, and in my own planning I’ve built in some flexible time for discussion of relevant primary sources. Wish me luck!

HIST 117 America to 1848
E Pluribus Unum? In Uno Plures?

E Pluribus Unum (out of many, one) is the motto of the United States, but in some ways In Uno Plures (many in one) is a subtly different yet perhaps more accurate rendering of American history and of the American people. Students will consider the appropriateness of each phrase while learning how historians think about important questions and major themes in American history. This course examines the America’s colonial beginnings, the founding of the nation we now call the United States, and the early years of the Republic, as the United States sought to expand and cover the entire continent. The course will conclude at the end of the war between the United States and Mexico, and consider what it meant to be an American in 1848.

Grading:

1st Short Paper…………………..10%
2nd Short Paper………………….10%
3rd Short Paper…………………..20%
Occasional quizzes………………20%
Midterm…………………………15%
Final Exam……………………..25%

The first short paper will deal with the first two primary sources we read for the class (Cabeza de Vaca and William Bradford). The second paper will be a book review of either The Unredeemed Captive or Pox Americana. The third paper will involve your analysis of a portion of the online documents collection America’s Historical Newspapers. You will receive more detailed assignments for each paper later.

You’ll see in the syllabus that seven times in the semester we have a class period especially dedicated to “discussion.” In these sessions, you will be asked to participate in an in-depth analysis of our readings. Please come prepared: this means you must not only finish the reading but also spend some time thinking about it. Come to class ready to ask questions and make arguments!

The occasional quizzes will be unscheduled. They will cover your reading. Thus it is a good idea to make sure you stay on top of each week’s readings, even if we don’t have a discussion scheduled for that week.

Required Readings:
∑ Alvar Nuñez Cabeva de Vaca, Castaways (California, 1993)
∑ William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation (McGraw-Hill, 1981)
∑ John Demos, The Unredeemed Captive (Vintage, 1995)
∑ Elizabeth Fenn, Pox Americana (Hill and Wang, 2001)
∑ Adam Rothman, Slave Country (Harvard, 2005)
∑ Elliott West, The Contested Plains (Kansas, 1998)

A copy of each of these books is available on reserve, or you may purchase them in our bookstore (or online if you prefer—be sure you get the right editions). I will also be handing out various primary sources in class. Make sure you keep these—I suspect some might turn up on exams. J You’ve probably noticed that I don’t use a textbook. I generally think textbooks are a huge waste of students’ money, so I don’t assign them. However, I have put a standard American history textbook on reserve at the library. If you feel like you need a refresher course on names, dates, places, facts, and figures, feel free to check it out. Nothing from the textbook will be discussed in class or on exams.

Expectations:

You will note that there is no percentage for participation. This does not mean, however, that your presence in class and active involvement in our discussions is not expected. Many aspects of your work rely on collaboration with your classmates, and so unexcused absences harm everyone in the class, not just yourself. I take attendance at each class; after three unexcused absences your final grade, based on the percentages listed above, will fall by one letter grade. Your grade will fall by another letter grade for each unexcused absence after the third. That means even the perfect A student will fail the course after six absences. So, the moral of the story is…come to class!

If you are sick, or if you have a personal emergency that requires your absence from class, provide the appropriate documentation and I will excuse you. You may come to office hours or make an appointment with me to discuss material you missed.

I will NOT accept late papers. Papers are due at the beginning of class on the due date (unless otherwise noted)…not halfway through the class, not at the end of class, not slipped under my office door sometime after the start of class. Only illness and personal emergency are suitable excuses for turning in a paper late with no penalty. Papers turned in late without verification of illness or personal emergency will receive a grade of ZERO.

If you are traveling on the day a paper is due for an athletic event or other college event, you must make arrangements with me to turn in your paper before you leave. I do not accept emailed papers (as we all know, attachments sometimes get lost—there is no substitute for a hard copy!).

All assignments in this course are covered by the honor code. You may NOT work together on writing assignments or on the final paper.

Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments or accommodations must speak with me during the first two weeks of class. All discussions will remain confidential. Students with disabilities should also contact Disabled Student Services in the Ley Student Center.

Week 1: Reading, Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, Castaways, xv-xxx, 1-45
Monday August 27: Introduction
Wednesday August 29: Native North America
Friday August 31: The Columbian Exchange

Week 2: Reading, Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, Castaways, 47-127.
Monday September 3: Labor Day (No Class)
Wednesday September 5: Settling North America
Friday September 7: Discussion: Castaways

Week 3: Reading, William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, chapters 9-15, 27-32.
Monday September 10: English North America
Wednesday September 12: Tobacco and Furs
Friday September 14: Discussion: Of Plymouth Plantation

Week 4: Reading, John Demos, The Unredeemed Captive, 1-166.
Monday September 17: From Servitude to Slavery, part I
First short essay due by the beginning of class, Monday 17 September
Wednesday September 19: From Servitude to Slavery, part II
Friday September 21: Essay discussion

Week 5: Reading, John Demos, The Unredeemed Captive, 167-252.
Monday September 24: Imperial Clashes
Wednesday September 26: The Seven Years’ War (1754-1763)
Friday September 28: Discussion: The Unredeemed Captive

Week 6: Reading, Fenn, Pox Americana, ix-166.
Monday October 1: Frustrated Empire
Wednesday October 3: Independence and War
Friday October 5: What Independence Meant

Week 7: Reading, Fenn, Pox Americana, 167-277.
Monday October 8: Republic
Wednesday October 10: Discussion: Pox Americana
Friday October 12: MIDTERM EXAM (Dr. Goetz in Nova Scotia)

Week 8: Reading, Rothman, Slave Country, ix-70.
Monday, October 15: Midterm Recess (no class)
Wednesday October 17: Of Factions
Friday October 19: Another Revolution? The United States in 1800

Week 9: Reading, Rothman, Slave Country, 71-163.
Monday October 22: Jefferson’s America
Wednesday October 24: The War of 1812
Friday October 26: The Cotton Frontier and the Old South

Week 10: Reading, Rothman, Slave Country, 164-224.
Monday October 28: Discussion: Slave Country
Wednesday October 30: No Class (Dr. Goetz in Richmond, VA)
Friday November 1: No Class (Dr. Goetz in Richmond, VA)
Second Short Essay due to the History Office by 4pm, Friday, November 1

Week 11: Reading, Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, pages TBA.
Monday November 4: Jackson’s America
Wedneday November 6: From Awakening to Reform
Friday November 8: Discussion: Democracy in America

Week 12: Reading, West. The Contested Plains, xv-xxiv, 1-62.
Monday November 11: Jackson and Removal
Wednesday November 13: Urban America
Friday November 15: Immigrant America

Week 13: Reading, West, The Contested Plains, 63-170.
Monday November 18: Industrializing America
Wednesday November 20: Slavery and Freedom
Friday November 22: No Class (Thanksgiving)

Week 14: Reading, West, The Contested Plains, 171-271.
Monday November 26: A Texas Revolution, and Statehood
Wednesday November 28: War with Mexico
Friday November 30: The Great Plains, Gold, and Indians

Week 15: Reading, West, The Contested Plains, finish.
Monday December 3: Discussion, The Contested Plains
Wednesday December 5: America in 1848: E Pluribus Unum? In Uno Plures?
Friday December 7: Conclusions, and final exam information.
Third Short Essay due at the beginning of class, Friday, December 7

Welcome to History 465!

I’m really excited about this syllabus. I think Jamestown and all the historical issues surrounding it are fascinating, and I’m looking forward to exploring them with students.

History 465: From Roanoke to Jamestown: English Colonization of North America, 1550-1650

The first English settlements in North America—at Roanoke in the 1580s and in Jamestown starting in 1607—are the stuff of myth. Who hasn’t heard of the Lost Colonists of Roanoke, the triumphal settling of Jamestown, and Pocahontas saving John Smith from a grisly execution? The trouble with myths, though, is that they usually ignore or distort historical evidence, and they obscure the actual experiences of the people involved in iconic events. In this course, we’ll read many original sources as well as historians’ interpretations of them in order 1) to rethink those myths, and 2) to answer important questions about English ideologies of colonization. We’ll also think about how we should understand Indian responses to the English invasion, and how Jamestown should be commemorated. Overall, this course will be governed by two overriding questions: what happened at Jamestown? And, why does Jamestown matter?

Required Readings:
∑ Karen Kupperman, Roanoke: The Abandoned Colony, 2nd ed. (2006)
∑ Thomas Hariot, A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia Britannia (1590)
∑ James Horn, A Land as God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America (2005)
∑ Rountree, Powhatan, Pocahontas, Opechancanough: Three Lives Changed by Jamestown (2006)
∑ Edward Wright Haile, ed., Jamestown Narratives: Eyewitness Accounts of the Virginia Colony (1998)

Grading:
1st short writing assignment…………..10%
2nd short writing assignment………….20%
Proposal and presentation…………….10%
Final writing assignment………………40%
Participation…………………………..20%

Please note the meaning of “participation” is not showing up to class and sitting like a lump on a log. Your presence in class requires active involvement in our discussions: asking questions of the readings, commenting on readings, and responding to your classmates’ ideas. Your participation grade also includes the class session in which you lead our discussion (we’ll talk more about that as soon as enrollment is stabilized).

A note on absences: Many aspects of your work rely on collaboration with your classmates, and so unexcused absences harm everyone in the class, not just yourself. I take attendance at each class; after three unexcused absences your final grade, based on the percentages listed above, will fall by one letter grade. Your grade will fall by another letter grade for each unexcused absence after the third. That means even the perfect A student will fail the course after six absences. So, the moral of the story is…come to class!

If you are sick or have a personal emergency that requires your absence from class, please provide the appropriate documentation and I will excuse you. You may come to office hours or make an appointment with me to discuss material you missed.

The two short writing assignments will be 3-5 pages in length, and will respond to visual materials we discuss in class. The final writing assignment, for which you will also write a short proposal and give a short presentation in class, will be on a topic of your choosing and will be 12-15 pages in length. We’ll discuss that in greater detail later in the semester.

I will NOT accept late papers. Papers are due at the beginning of class on the due date (unless otherwise noted)…not halfway through the class, not at the end of class, not slipped under my office door sometime after the start of class. Only illness and personal emergency are suitable excuses for turning in a paper late with no penalty. Papers turned in late without verification of illness or personal emergency will receive a grade of ZERO.

If you are traveling on the day a paper is due for an athletic event or other college event, you must make arrangements with me to turn in your paper before you leave. I do not accept emailed papers (as we all know, attachments sometimes get lost—there is no substitute for a hard copy!).

All assignments in this course are covered by the honor code. You may NOT work together on writing assignments UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments or accommodations must speak with me during the first two weeks of class. All discussions will remain confidential. Students with disabilities should also contact Disabled Student Services in the Ley Student Center.

Tsenacommacah and its Environs, 1550
Tuesday August 28 Introduction and syllabus
Thursday August 31:
∑ Helen Tanner, “The Land and Water Communication Systems of the Southeastern Indians” in Waselkov, Wood, and Hatley, eds., Powhatan’s Mantle, 27-42 (on reserve).
∑ John F. Scarry, “The Late Prehistoric Southeast” in Hudson and Tesser, eds., The Forgotten Centuries, 17-35 (on reserve).

Ajacán, 1567-1571
Tuesday September 4:
∑ Lewis and Loomie, Spanish Jesuit Mission in Virginia, 3-64 (on reserve).
∑ Letters of Quirós, Segura, and Rogel in Lewis and Loomie, Spanish Jesuit Mission in Virginia, 85-122 (on reserve).

London, 1584
Thursday September 6
∑ Richard Hakluyt, Discourse on Western Planting (1584) (on reserve).
Everyone will read the introduction (xv-xxxi); we will divvy up the other 21 chapters for discussion.

Virginia, 1585-1589
Tuesday September 11
∑ Hakluyt, Discourse of Western Planting, conclude.
∑ Kupperman, Roanoke: The Abandoned Colony, 1-85.
Thursday September 13:
∑ Thomas Hariot, A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia Britannia (1590), read the English version and examine the engravings.
∑ Kupperman, Roanoke, 87-178.
Tuesday September 18:
∑ Hariot, A Briefe and True Report, conclude.
∑ Kim Sloan, A New World, 51-64. Look carefully at the watercolors, 93-147 (on reserve).
Thursday September 20: Why did Roanoke matter?
First Short Writing Assignment due

Jamestown, 1607
Tuesday September 25
∑ Horn, A Land as God Made It, 1-72.
∑ Gabriel Archer, “A Relation,” in Jamestown Narratives, 101-123.
∑ George Percy, “Observations Gathered out of a Discourse,” in Jamestown Narratives, 85-100.
Evening movie: Nightmare at Jamestown
Thursday September 27
∑ Horn, A Land as God Made It, 73-130.
Tuesday October 2
∑ John Smith, “A True Relation,” in Jamestown Narratives, 142-182.
∑ Carville Earle, “Environment, Disease, and Mortality in Early Virginia,” in Tate and Ammerman, eds., The Chesapeake in the Seventeenth Century, 96-125 (on reserve).

A Kindler, Gentler Colonialism? Jamestown, 1608-1609
Thursday October 4
∑ Horn, A Land as God Made It, 131-156.
∑ William Strachey, A Historie of Travail into Verginia Britannia (1610), in Jamestown Narratives, 563-689. (We’ll divide this one by chapter.)

The First Anglo-Powhatan War, 1609-1614
Tuesday October 9:
∑ Horn, A Land as God Made It, 157-224.
∑ J. Frederick Fausz, “ ‘An Abundance of Blood Shed on Both Sides:’ Virginia’s First Indian War, 1609-1614” VMHB 98 (1990), 3-56. (on reserve)
∑ George Percy, “A True Relation,” in Jamestown Narratives, 497-519.
∑ Thomas Dale, “Lawes Divine, Morall, and Martiall, in Jamestown Narratives, 27-37.

Tsenacommacah, 1607-1614
Thursday October 11: (Dr. Goetz in Nova Scotia)
∑ Watch Pocahontas Revealed.
∑ Horn, A Land as God Made It, 225-290.
∑ John Rolfe, “The Pocahontas Letter,” in Jamestown Narratives, 850-856.
Tuesday October 16: No Class, Fall Recess
Thursday October 18:
∑ Rountree, Pocahontas, Powhatan, Opechancanough: Three Lives Changed by Jamestown, xi-175.
Second short writing assignment due

Détente, 1614-1618
Tuesday October 23:
∑ Rountree, Pocahontas, Powhatan, Opechancanough, 175-238.
∑ Karen Robertson, “Pocahontas at the Masque” in Signs (Spring 1996), 551-583 (JSTOR).

The Tobacco Revolution: Englishmen at Jamestown, 1614-1622
Thursday October 25:
∑ The Letters of Richard Frethorne (handout in class)
∑ Emily Rose, “The Politics of Pathos: Richard Frethorne’s Letters Home” in Appelbaum and Sweet, eds., Envisioning an English Empire, 92-108 (on reserve).
∑ Peter C. Mancall, “Tales Tobacco Told in Sixteenth-Century Europe” Environmental History vol. 9, no. 4 (via History Cooperative).
Tuesday October 30
∑ Edmund Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom, 108-195 (on reserve).
∑ Engel Sluiter, “New Light on the ‘20.Odd Negroes’ Arriving in Virginia, August 1619” WMQ vol. 54, no. 2 (1997), 395-398 (JSTOR).
∑ John Thornton, “The African Experience of the ’20. And Odd Negroes’ Arriving in Virginia in 1619” WMQ vol. 55, no. 3 (1998), 421-434 (JSTOR).

The Second Anglo-Powhatan War, 1622-1644
Thursday November 1 (Dr. Goetz in Richmond, VA)
∑ Watch documentary on Martin’s Hundred
∑ Edward Waterhouse, “A Declaration of the State of the Colony…” (London, 1622) (EEBO).
∑ “Chauco,” in the Dictionary of Virginia Biography (handout).
Tuesday November 6
∑ Ian K. Steele, Warpaths, pages TBA (on reserve).
∑ Letter of William C. Capp, Records of the Virginia Company of London (handout).

Life in Tobacco Virginia, 1625-1660
Thursday November 8—Professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich!
Tuesday November 13
∑ Selections from Hening’s Statutes (handout).
∑ The Case of Alice Boyse (handout).

Towards an English Tidewater, 1644-1660
Thursday November 15
∑ McCartney, “Cockacoeske, Queen of Pamunkey: Diplomat and Suzeraine” in Waselkov, Wood, and Hatley, eds., Powhatan’s Mantle, 243-266 (on reserve).
Tuesday November 21: final project presentations
Thursday November 23—No Class THANKSGIVING RECESS

What Happened at Jamestown? Why does Jamestown Matter?
Tuesday November 27
∑ John Smith, The Generall Historie, in Jamestown Narratives, pages TBA.
∑ Robert Beverley, A History and Present State of Virginia (handout).
Thursday November 29
∑ Rasmussen and Tilton, Pocahontas: Her Life and Legend, entire (on reserve).
∑ Pocahontas plate
∑ Custalow Linwood, The True Story of Pocahontas, pages TBA (on reserve).
∑ Fahrenthold, “A Dead Indian Language is Brought Back to Life” (handout).
Tuesday December 4
∑ Explore the Jamestown 2007 website: http://www.jamestown2007.org/
∑ Watch the ad (URL tba).

The New World, The Movie
Thursday December 6: food, movie, discussion.