Category Archives: Public/Community Presentation

Suffield Academy’s Presentation to Suffield Historical Society

The American Studies class presented highlights from their fifteen week investigation about the history of Suffield’s homefront during WWI at the April meeting of the Suffield Historical Society.The program was also open to the public, and attendees entered the room hearing popular songs of the era, including the 1915 hit, “I didn’t raise my boy to be a soldier” as well as the iconic rally cry written just after our entry into the war in 1917, “Over There,” by George M. Cohan. The class presented over 130 slides of information, many of which were archival materials from Suffield Academy and the Suffield Historical Society. While many in the audience knew a good deal about the evening’s topic, many of the seniors wrote in their reflective writing assignments that they “enjoyed presenting to the Historical Society because this was a topic that they were interested in and they were able to learn new things from us.” Working together as teammates in a project-based learning environment, the students engaged well with the community audience and appreciated most the question and answer period and further discussions over refreshments. Please add your reaction to comment section on this post, and the class will get back to you with a response.

Screen Shot 2018-04-22 at 9.52.40 PMMany in the class play varsity sports, and Myles leveraged that spirit and stepped up to be a captain on the spot by helping everyone focus and leading the introduction gracefully. His contributions about Connecticut culture and the role of Connecticut manufacturing elicited great dialogue after the presentation. His insights about the anti-war movement, in particular about Carl Sandburg’s contribution to the peace movement was appreciated. Later in the presentation while he was elucidating trends in propaganda posters, Ben Sylvester also explained how the two above songs served as cultural markers that showed first the country’s stance for isolationism and then the spirit to enter the war and fight “Wilson fight for democracy.” Each student also conducted family research to how many ancestors were involved in WWI, and Senior Sedley Benitz pursued research similar to her ancestors’ services, such as ambulance driving and nursing. Along with researching espionage, a topic related to his own family research, Rory Tettemer also pursued important Connecticut history topics such as the 1920s census, the 1916 election, and the sinking of the Lusitania; the closest figure to Suffield from the event turned out to be one the heroines, Theodate Pope. Chase Moran adroitly explained how partisan politics polarized Wilson’s neutrality stance throughout the early years of the war against a strident national preparedness movement. While many in town knew that Suffield Academy was called Suffield School during WWI, they learned how Suffield School was one of the first schools in the area to order uniforms for students and have experienced officers conduct military training exercise. After Michael Burch explained how Sgt. Stubby (now a motion picture), was the first war dog in the history of the American Military, he shared the campaign that he, Rory, and Chase helped launched on Twitter (#BringStubbyHome) to request from the Smithsonian that Stubby be installed during this commemoration year in a Connecticut Museum. Michael explained how much the class learned of the request protocol of the Smithsonian Museums from their thoughtful response and how the campaign enhanced our Twitter network among Connecticut historians. He then illuminated how the class discovered an unwritten Connecticut chapter of history regarding the new national history being written about the “Hello Girls,” the untold story about America’s first female soldiers who were telephone operators along the front lines organized by the Signal Corps. While Owen shared narratives regarding the manufacture history of Connecticut and the national economy during the second decade of the twentieth century, he also explained his original research regarding data about an African-American enclave in Suffield from 1900-1930s. Using Stacey Close’s thesis from the seminal work, African-Americans Connecticut Explored, the class followed Rory’s insight to delve into Suffield’s 1920 census records as Professor Close explored Simsbury’s 1920’s census records to illuminate Great Migration trends in Simsbury. Owen reported the significant results when the class tested Professor’s Close’s thesis. Since the presentation, the class hopes to publish more content on this chapter later in the month on the classroom blog. Along with explaining the complex causes of WWI as well as each significant turn at the Battle of Seicheprey, Connecticut’s finest day in WWI, Dylan Chase leveraged his past courses on presentations and digital mediums and communicated some of our most challenging topics with clarity and confidence. On his reflection prose he appreciated the experience to share our learning in an authentic setting with an audience who turned the questions period into an engaging dialogue. Dylan was a great academic ambassador during the subsequent conversations that occurred over refreshments. Dylan’s reflection prose also captured the spirit of the night as the class had not had the time because of our recent schedule to rehearse the whole presentation in one setting. “I really enjoyed the presentation and getting the chance to be a part of a class that worked so well collectively. Everything really came together last night, and I can speak for everyone when I say I’m proud of our work.”

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Join Our Inquiry into Women’s History

Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 1.07.33 PMWhat famous Connecticut women made history in your community? Who is making history now? What significant woman’s contributions to your community history has been overlooked? Forgotten? Undervalued? Start researching and writing about your local history. We will plan to do the same research and share research methods when we published our discoveries on this CAISCT PBL blog. Bill Sullivan’s class will also be putting on a community presentation to the town’s historical society in April of 2019 where the students will share what they learn and show how they learned it. In some ways, CAISCT students and teachers can find their own venues to add more depth of authenticity to the way they share their local history discoveries with their community. Perhaps it is best to consider this work as another form of service learning.

Curious about using a classroom blog and student-operated Twitter account to accommodate project-based learning? Plan to join our day hike for the 2018-19 academic year and dive into this authentic, local history challenge. Any CAISCT learner is welcome to collaborate on the CAISCT-PBL blog and Twitter account. So provide your students the opportunity to write history and appreciate the discipline form another perspective. They will soon learn that Connecticut’s history is complex, and one ingredient of our historic inquiries acknowledges that a local history perspective will CAISCT learners shed a new light in the historiography of Connecticut’s narratives. Lisa Leveque from Rectory School and Bill Sullivan from Suffield Academy will share their students’ learning experiences while working on one blog during the 2016-17 academic year in which they investigated freedom and slavery in the pivotal year of 1774 as well as the 2017-18 academic year, which pursued homefront issues of WWI.

Bring your day hike bag and learn about next year’s inquiry into Women’s history and set your students on an adventure course where they explore possible nominees for the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame in their community. http://cwhf.org/induction-ceremony/induction-process#.WvxbmNMvzaY

Suffield Academy Students Present: WWI Homefront

Screen Shot 2018-04-22 at 9.52.40 PMWhen the American Studies class began its investigation in December with a trip to the Suffield Academy archives, students were very curious to find young students one hundred years ago were wearing military uniforms. After researching our local and national history, the students are ready to share insights about the preparedness movement in Suffield, the region, and nationwide to help explain how Suffield School (now Suffield Academy) was one of the first schools in the area to start such a military prep program that provided students military uniforms and training. While following the research methods of Connecticut Historian, Stacey K. Close, the American Studies students used his chapter in African American Connecticut Explored as a model to look for patterns of the Great Migration here in Suffield. Close’s chapter, titled “Black Southern Migration and the Transformation of Connecticut, 1917-1941,” centers around migration trends in Simsbury. Please join us to learn how the American Studies students discovered similar patterns in Suffield. The class will present during the Suffield Historical Society meeting, which is open to the public, on Tuesday night, April 24th, 7-8pm at the Suffield Senior Center on 145 Bridge St, Suffield, Ct. Finally, like everyone in Connecticut who is excited to learn about the story of Sargent Stubby and see the newly released film, Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero, find out about four of the WWI veterans from Suffield who served in the famous 102nd of the Yankee Division, alongside “Stubby,” the first service or therapy dog. For more on the movie that was just released, click here: http://www.stubbymovie.com/

Suffield.Academy.Presentation.Flyer4.24.18

Suffield Academy Students Present at Suffield Historical Society Meeting on April 18th

Flickr_-_USCapitol_-_Boston_Tea_Party

Boston Tea Party Painting from US Capitol

What Happened in Suffield during 1774?

A free lecture from 7:00-8:00pm on April 18th at Suffield’s Senior Center, 145 Bridge Street. Suffield Academy Students will present about the complexities of 1774 during the Suffield Historical Society Meeting.

In response to the Boston Tea Party (1773), Parliament drafted the Coercive Acts in 1774, and residents throughout the thirteen colonies protested these acts in various ways. In the western town of Sheffield, Massachusetts, Colonel Ashley hosted citizens at his house, and that group composed the Sheffield Resolves. Interestingly, one of his slaves, Elizabeth Freeman, also known as Mum Bett, was inspired by these conversations of protest and later sued successfully for her own freedom.

What happened in Suffield during the pivotal year of 1774? What part of the population supported the growing patriot cause in Boston? What portion of citizens accepted the dictates of the British Parliament? Who was neutral? The year 1774 also marked the highest recorded number of slaves in Connecticut, 6,464. What effect did these turbulent times have on the 37 enslaved Africans in Suffield?

Suffield Academy’s American Studies class looks forward to sharing what they learned about the complexities of freedom and slavery in Suffield during 1774. All Society meetings are open to the public, and newcomers are most welcome. SA.Presentation.Flyer-4-18-2017

CT HUMANITIES: JOHN HOOKER

An abolitionist, lawyer, and judge John Hooker (1816-1901) lived in Farmington and Hartford. With his brother-in-law, Francis Gillette, he purchased 140 acres in 1853, and they established the neighborhood known as “Nook Farm”. Nook Farm was the home of reformers, politicians, writers and friends; and Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain are the most residences there.

In John Hooker’s memoir Some Reminiscences of a Long Life, he mentioned that he was the son of Edward Hooker, who was the fifth in direct descent from Thomas Hooker, the first minister of the First Church of Hartford. (What page is this source? Please supply.)  (During Hooker’s youth, he was inspired by his ancestor of being reformers of Connecticut; he also had the sense of responsibility to help reform the local community.) John Hooker also experienced Amistad case first hand in Farmington, Connecticut. His memoir alludes to the fact that his law office in Farmington on the store’s second floor in the 1840s. His office was also next to an African men from Amistad captives. The building was originally on Main Street next to the Deming’s house, and later moved to the Mill Lane in the 1930s.

Farmington residence wanted Hooker to stay there and become the minister to preach; however, Hooker decided to move to Hartford to further his legal John Hooker was an active abolitionist throughout his legal career. For instance, he was instrumental in helping Reverend James Pennington gain his freedom from his Maryland slave owner for $150 when Reverend Pennington was a minister at the Talcott Street Congregational Church. This financial arrangement helped Pennington feel safe in the north, and Reverend Pennington returned from exile in Europe. John Hooker was also the president of an anti-slavery committee in Hartford and organized the liberty convention on October 27th, 1846.

Hooker and Beecher raised three children in their home in Nook Farm at the corner of Forest and Hawthorn Streets. Under his wife’s influence, he fought for women’s right and  supported Harriet Beecher Stowe during the initiation of her activist career. John and Isabella Beecher Hooker composed “A Woman’s Property Bill”, published in 1877. (page 13 print out)

John Hooker served as a congregational deacon but with his curiosity, he accepted the Spiritualism belief that it was possible to communicate with spirits.

External Links section (WEBSITES)

 

-Nook Farm page (that we need to make) and this house: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_at_36_Forest_Street

https://www.harrietbeecherstowecenter.org/hbs/nook_farm.shtml

-Thomas Hooker. Is he a descendant of this great figure of #CTHistory?

 

-Charter Oak (no wikipedia page)

http://cdm15019.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15019coll9/id/18049/rec/1 (page that mentions Hooker)

http://connecticuthistory.org/black-history-month-resources/

http://cslib.cdmhost.com/cdm/landingpage/collection/p15019coll9 (connecticut history.org)

-A Woman’s Property Bill https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/Notebooks/Pathfinders/HWProperty.PDF

-Tempest- Tossed: The Spirit of Isabella Beecher Hooker, Susan Campbell

https://books.google.com/books?id=4bX3AgAAQBAJ&pg=PA49&lpg=PA49&dq=john+hooker+abolitionist&source=bl&ots=1Sw9zPl0O9&sig=vkQNVaBRLkMRyXtJ65XYA9Ej6cM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjUysbuhsHJAhUCVT4KHViIDIcQ6AEIPzAF#v=onepage&q=john%20hooker%20abolitionist&f=false

446, Labor, Slavery, and Self-Government, Volume 11, Herbert Baxter Adams,

https://books.google.com/books?id=bEY_AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA446&lpg=PA446&dq=john+hooker+connecticut+slave&source=bl&ots=yESupIdLuQ&sig=Ek18tQG5PJUKGcaSYrmPOi79fxA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjU_IXA68DJAhWI4D4KHVEQAHIQ6AEIRjAI#v=onepage&q=john%20hooker%20connecticut%20slave&f=false

-Hartford Historical Society

http://www.hartfordhistory.org/

-Farmington Historical Society

http://farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/

Slides From Our April 19th Presentation

Thank you to all the great questions from the Suffield Historical Society members as well as honored guests from out of town. We’re planning to post documents from Hanchett’s trials with Exeter in similar slide format so that others can view the materials with us. Thank you for filling out the paper evaluations. Please click here to fill out the online version of the evaluation. http://tinyurl.com/hg9dcec

As we move forward and begin to boil down our research and refine our discoveries into coherent narrative, please feel free to comment on specific blog posts. And follow us on Twitter, especially the #CTUtold!