You may have looked at the title of Paul Johnson’s reading and have wondered: Why are we reading an essay about someone who lived in 18th century New England?
The answer: Paul Johnson is a historian who deftly uses fragmentary evidence to tell a story about Mayo Greenleaf Patch, his family, and broader cultural and economic shifts taking place in colonial New England. I want you to think about Johnson’s approach to writing history as you consider topics for your own research paper.
When you read Paul Johnson’s essay on Mayo Greenleaf Patch pay attention to the characters in the story and the challenges that they face. Think about the way Johnson analyzes his sources and creates a historical argument.
I also want you to think about the diverse kinds of fragmentary evidence that Johnson uses. Read his footnotes. What kinds of evidence is he using? From where is he gathering primary sources?
Please read or skim Chapter 2 of Leloudis to understand the history of public higher education in NC before & after the Civil War. What are the motivations and contributions of Alderman, McIver, and Joyner?
We will use part of class to talk about James Whitted’s letters and we’ll also talk about the upcoming paper assignment.
We will have lots to talk about when we gather on Wednesday in Perkins 218
Professors Abel & Szabo