Page:American History Told by Contemporaries, v2.djvu/52

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24
[No. 8]
Use of Sources

tion marks ; and that all omissions within such a quoted extract should be shown by points or stars ( . . . * * * ). Exact dates should be noted, with especial observance of the fact that dates between January I and March 25 fall in one year in "Old Style" reckoning, and in the following year in "New Style." In 1752 England accepted the new calendar ; hence all later dates are in "New Style." In old documents, since March is the first month, September is the seventh (as the name suggests), and December is the tenth. A common precaution (sometimes found in the original) is to give both years : as February 1, 173132 (see No. 21 below).

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8. Use of Sources by Teachers

OF the three offices of sources in teaching, supplying material, furnishing illustration, and giving insight into the spirit of the times, — all are important. It is not to be expected that any but the most highly-trained specialist will found all or his chief knowledge of history on sources ; but parts of the field may thus be underlaid by actual contact with the material. For example, such topics as the witchcraft delusion (Nos. 16-18), the founding of Georgia (ch. vi), the expulsion of the French from North America (ch. xx), or the naval warfare of the Revolution (Nos. 177, 194, 204), may be readily worked up from the narratives of the time ; indeed, even such a limited collection as this volume contains throws light upon them.

For illustrations and additions to the text-book in class work, teachers will find some use of the sources enlivening and interesting to the pupil. For example, Washington's quest of Palatines (No. 108) shows how the labor system of the colonies troubled practical men. Chastellux and Steuben (Nos. 176, 202) bring out the merits of the American army. Story and Wesley (Nos. 98, 99) show how other churches began to rise side by side with the Episcopal and Congregational. Brief extracts from such originals, or paraphrases of the narrative recounted to the class, will serve to rivet the more general events in the minds of the pupils.

Perhaps the most important service which sources perform for the teacher is to fill his mind, — and through him the pupil's mind, — with the real spirit of the age described. Franklin (No. 81) was a man writing to fellow-men, and while reading we cannot help sharing his experiences. The records of the Providence town-meeting (No. 78)