Choose a primary source to analyze from the list below.
Letter from Carolina, 1682
Accusations of Witchcraft, 1692 and 1706
Rose Davis is Sentenced to a Life of Slavery, 1715
Virginia Codes Regulating Servitude and Slavery, 1642-1705
Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings, Chapter II
Venture Smith, A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture, 1798
Advertisement for a Slave Sale, Charleston, c. 1770s
Pontiac’s Speech to an Ottawa, Potawatomi, and Huron Audience, 1763
Jonathan Edwards Revives Northampton, Massachusetts, 1741
George R.T. Hewes, A Retrospect of the Boston Tea-Party, 1834
Women in South Carolina Experience Occupation, 1780
Put the source into historical context. (Length: 0.5 page, double-spaced)
Utilize at least one of the following secondary sources from the syllabus to help establish the context for your chosen source.
Livia Gershon, “A Puritan War on Wigs,” JSTOR Daily
Matthew Wills, “When Native Americans Were Slaves,” JSTOR Daily
Livia Gershon, “The Lost History of Early Muslim Americans,” JSTOR Daily
Matthew Wills, “Slavery and the Church,” JSTOR Daily
Erin Blakemore, “Funerals Once Included Swag,” JSTOR Daily
Chi Luu, “When Did Colonial America Gain Linguistic Independence?” JSTOR Daily
American Yawp (Ch 3, Ch 4, or Ch 5, Parts I-V)
In a succinct, complete paragraph, establish key details about the setting and time period of your chosen source. In order to construct this paragraph, you may consider answering the questions below. However, these should be complete paragraphs, NOT bullet points. (Length: 0.5-1 page, double-spaced)
Time: What do you know about the time period in which the source was written? What were the relevant conflicts, events, and/or trends taking place at the time?
Place: What region does the source originate from? What do you know about the region? Are there any unique characteristics of the region we’ve covered in lecture or mentioned in your textbook?
What background information is most necessary to fully understand the significance of your chosen source?
Analyze the source itself.
In two complete, succinct paragraphs, analyze your source in detail. In these paragraphs, you are exploring why this particular source is significant and what it specifically reveals about the historical context in which it was written. You may use the questions below to guide your analysis. Pick which question or questions you think will help you highlight the most interesting aspects of your source, and build your analysis from there. These should be complete paragraphs, NOT bullet points. (Length: 1-1.5 pages, double spaced)
Purpose: What was the author’s message or argument? Is the message explicit, or are there implicit messages as well?
Methods: How does the author try to get his/her message across? What methods does he or she use to communicate that message/argument?
Author: Who is the source’s author? What do you know about his/her place in society? Does the author’s race, sex, class, occupation, religion, age, region, or political beliefs impact the source’s purpose or methods? How and why?
Audience: Who constituted the intended audience for this source? Was this source meant for the public?
Other Implications/Conclusions: What else can the source tell you? What are the important metaphors or symbols? What do we learn from the author’s choice of words? What does the author choose not to talk about, and why might that be important?
Total length: 1.5-2 pages, double-spaced.
Indicate your chosen primary source at the top of the first page.
Cite your sources. Examples of parenthetical citation format:
Lecture Slides – (Module #)
American Yawp textbook chapters – (American Yawp Ch #, Part #)
JSTOR Daily articles – (Author’s last name, “Abbreviated title of article;” Ex. Gershon, “Wigs”)
American Yawp primary sources – (Author’s name, Ch #)
Other primary sources – (Author’s name, page #)
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