See previous posts on the 2018 Gilder-Lehrman Princeton Seminar here.
Today we dove into some content. After introductions and the showing of the classic colonial America historiography scene from Good Will Hunting, I introduced the teachers to Whig history and suggested why this is an awful way of understanding colonial America. We talked a lot about historical thinking and how such an approach to the past might change the way we think about the era.
After a short break, I introduced the students to the New Indian History. We talked about Dan Richter’s concept of “facing East,” James Merrell’s understanding of the “Indian’s New World,” and Richard White’s “middle ground.”
After lunch, my partner-in-crime Nate McAlister got to work with the teachers on primary source-based lesson plans on the colonial era.
We ended the day, following dinner in the Princeton dining hall, with a tour of colonial Princeton and Princeton university. Richard, our tour guide from the Historical Society of Princeton, taught the teachers about the history of colonial New Jersey, the development of 18th-century Princeton, and the history of the university. As always, Richard ended his tour at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room! We all ordered our favorite beverage and spent the rest of the night solving world problems!