Pre-College Program in American History Summer 2021 History 212—Founders and Foundings Essay 3 – History vs. Memory Due Monday July 12 by 12am This essay is an investigation of the public legacy and/or historical memory of “your” founder at a historic site, museum, or monument. Think about the present status of this founder and their interpretation in that historic site, museum, or monument; whether or not that status or interpretation is historically authentic; and whether or not it ought to change (if so, how?). Utilize the insights and knowledge you gained from our virtual “visits” to public history sites throughout the course as well as your critically thinking skills to analyze the information you find in your research. 1. Locate “your” founder. Find a historic site related to your founding figure; this could be a statue, museum, house museum, or landscape. It is common for historical figures to be popular and well-known in the areas in which they lived and worked. Thoroughly explore the website operated by that historic site. In addition to your virtual “visit” to the historic site’s website, read reviews of this site on Google or Trip Adviser and search to see if there Instagram images, YouTube videos, or reviews posted on social media by people who visited the historic site. You may want to see how a city, county, or region promotes (or, in some cases, fails to promote) historic figures and events that took place in within the area. 2. Reflect on public and scholarly understanding. From your first two papers, you already know something about how professional historians interpret “your” founder and you have examined how they presented themselves in words during their lives or how they used material objects to create a public image. Does the interpretation of the person at this site fit with what you read and learned during your research in primary and secondary sources? Is your subject under- examined, misunderstood, or the opposite—perhaps over-emphasized and too widely celebrated, relative to others? How could this be remediated? 3. Write. In a 4-page essay, analyze the ways in which the historic site presents the person and to what degree it is appropriate. How could the presentation of the person be improved? Be sure that your final essay contains an argument about your figure’s interpretation in your earlier readings and at the site under consideration. You might consider the reason for or meaning of any gap between the two is likely to be. My founder is Harriet Beecher Stowe
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