National History Day 2016--Using Historic American Newspapers (Vermont-specific Content)
National History Day is an opportunity for students to delve into original historic research on a topic of their choosing. This year's theme is Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange. This document focuses on the use of historic American newspapers for National History Day research. Particular emphasis is on Vermont history topics and articles.
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - National History Day 2016--Using Historic American Newspapers (Vermont-specific Content)
What is Chronicling America? 10 million American newspaper pages, published between 1836-
1922 from 40 states and territories, text searchable online for free at
New History Day Award Category for projects that incorporate newspaper resources available at Chronicling America:
Visit the National Endowment for the Humanities
EDSITEMENT! website for a complete lesson plan on
how to use historic digital newspapers for National
History Day at:
Visit the Vermont Digital Newspaper Project’s website for more information, lesson plans,
and activities on our For Educators tab: library.uvm.edu/vtnp/
**Mini-lesson and PowerPoint on how to introduce Chronicling America to students:
http://library.uvm.edu/vtnp/?page_id=1904, under “Vermont Lesson Plans.”
Visit the Vermont Historical Society’s website for everything on Vermont History Day 2016!
Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), this prize is awarded in both the Junior
and Senior divisions to an outstanding entry in any category that utilizes the newspaper resources
that are available on the Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers website
All students who use Chronicling America content receive a ribbon!
Each content item from Chronicling America (article, image, etc.) used for the entry must be noted in the
Primary Sources section of the Annotated Bibliography and follow proper NHD citation guidelines for
Web content. It is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a long-term partnership
between NEH and the Library of Congress to digitize representative historic newspapers from all 50 states
and U.S. territories. Chronicling America currently has digitized newspapers from 38 state, Puerto Rico
and the District of Columbia, with new content added regularly, including newspapers published in foreign
languages starting with Spanish and French. Primary sources are not limited to newspaper articles, but also
include advertisements, images, literary prose, and other content that appears in historic newspapers. In
addition to providing basic factual details about an event or topic, historic newspapers can shed light on
local perspectives about a major historical event, insight into social or cultural practices, traditions,
political opinions, economic circumstances, and a wealth of other historical information. For more
information on NEH visit their homepage at http://www.neh.gov/. For more information on Chronicling
America visit the mini site at http://edsitement.neh.gov/what-chronicling-america.
Vermont-specific Content Examples on Chronicling America of
Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange:
The Long Trail (1910-1930): Exploration & Encounters
The Long Trail was a brand-new exploration of Vermont’s wilderness—it also allowed for new encounters
with Vermont’s landscape, nature, and wildlife. The Long Trail was a distinct project in Vermont in the early
twentieth century—a project resulting from a new emphasis on fresh air, exercise, and nature in the U.S.,
which was in direct reaction to the Industrial Revolution and the immense growth of cities, factories, and the
To find newspaper articles on Chronicling America
about the Long Trail, try searching the keywords of
James P. Taylor, Green Mountains, Long Trail, hiking,
camping, trail, footpath, mountain, Green Mountain
Club, and limiting your search to Vermont between
the years of 1900-1922.
See our blog post on the Long Trail, which uses
Visit the UVM Digital Collection of Long Trail
Visit the Vermont Historical Society’s page on the
Long Trail—and listen to oral history interviews!
Lodges, in addition to trails,
were constructed all along the Long Trail.
This lodge was completed in August 1919.
Middlebury register., August 01, 1919, Image 1.
What does this article tell you about the building of the Long Trail? How was
this an exploration of Vermont? Clipping from an article about the building of
the Long Trail from the Bennington evening banner., July 25, 1913, Page 4.
Example Chronicling America Articles:
“The Long Trail,” The Bennington evening banner., 15 Sept.
“A Pedestrian’s Paradise: James P. Taylor Speaks on New England
Trails,” The Bennington evening banner. 30 July
“Joys of the Skyline Tramp,” Burlington weekly free press., 30 Dec.
St. Albans Raid (October 19, 1864):
Encounters & Exchange
“The town is full of the wildest rumors, and speculation runs
rife,” reported the Vermont Transcript on October 21, 1864.
The Confederate surprise attack on the peaceful town of St.
Albans, Vermont, near the end of the Civil War, was the
northern-most land attack in the war. For many on the
home-front in Vermont, it was a tremendous shock. All of the
fighting during the war had been far removed from
Vermont—and while many, many Vermont men were away
fighting, this even brought home the reality of the war and first interactions with the Confederates. How did
the raid shape history? What were the immediate and later consequences of the raid? How might the Raid
have changed attitudes or perceptions of Confederacy? The Raid was certainly an encounter of the
Confederates—was there an opportunity for the exchange of ideas and views on the war, good or bad?
Newspapers offer first-hand, immediate accounts of
the attack on the town and the perspectives of both
the townspeople and the Confederates. To find
newspaper articles on Chronicling America about the
St. Albans Raid, try searching the keywords of St.
Albans Raid, rebels, Confederates, raiders, rebel raid,
banks, and limiting your search to Vermont between
the years of 1864-1866. Expand your search up to 1922
to explore the later consequences and impressions of
the raid. Expand your search beyond Vermont to see
national perspectives on the Raid and its aftermath.
See our blog post on the St. Albans Raid, which
uses newspaper images
Visit the St. Albans Raid website, created by the St.
Albans Historical Museum
This is an account of the raiders, who were staying in a local
inn, the Tremont House, from the Vermont Transcript, October
What does this article tell you about the encounter with the
Confederates who raided St. Albans? What were the
impressions of the townspeople? What might have been the
townspeople’s impressions of what Confederates looked like
before the raid?
Example Chronicling America Articles:
“Startingly Intelligence! Rebel Raid into St. Albans,”
Vermont watchman and State journal., 21 Oct. 1864.
“The St. Albans Raid,” The Vermont transcript. (St. Albans,
Vt.), 28 Oct. 1864. Chronicling America: Historic American
Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
“The St. Albans Raid—Statement of the Commander of
the Party,” Daily Ohio statesman. 24 Oct. 1864.
In 1909, St. Albans invited Bennett Young, a leader of the Confederate Raiders back in 1864, to speak at the
300th Anniversary of the discovery of Lake Champlain. This was a letter to an editor published in 1909 about
the invitation. Why do you think they invited one of the Raiders to the event to speak? What does this say
about changing perspectives on the war and north and south interactions?
Do you think it was a good idea to invite Young back?
From the Bennington evening banner., April 23, 1909, Page 2:
William Jarvis and the Merino Sheep
Exploration, Encounters, Exchanges
The Merino sheep craze in Vermont began in the
1810s, with the introduction of Merino sheep from
Europe by William Jarvis (1770-1859) in 1802. By 1837,
the “peak” of the craze, Vermont had 1.1 million
sheep, and about 75% of Vermont’s woodlands were
cut down to make room for pastures and various
other agricultural fields! By the 1840s the boom was
over, mostly due to a drop in wool prices. The
exploration of a new agricultural industry in sheep (and wool) in Vermont offered opportunities for new
encounters between the sheep and the land, and for farmers and merchants it opened up an exchange of
ideas and products across the country and the world!
Newspapers in Vermont and beyond offer a glimpse of
the Merino sheep boom through advertisements,
images, and agricultural articles on how to raise sheep
and produce wool. To find newspaper articles on
Chronicling America about the Merino sheep industry,
try searching the keywords of sheep, merino, sheep
industry, wool, Vermont sheep and limiting your search
to Vermont between the years of 1836-1860. Expand
your search up to 1922 to explore later trends or
consequences of Vermont’s sheep industry.
See our blog post on sheep farming in Vermont,
which uses newspaper images
View the Vermont Historical Society page on the
Merino sheep craze
Example Chronicling America Articles:
"Sheep," Vermont watchman and State journal.,
August 21, 1845.
"French Merino Buck 'King of Terrors,'" Vermont
watchman and State journal., June 24, 1852.
"Merino Sheep," Vermont farmer., February 28,
"Sheep," The Bennington banner., August 20,
Based on this article, published in 1852, how did the Vermont
Merino sheep industry encourage the exchange of ideas and
products across the world? Was the sheep industry good for
Vermont? Why or why not?