America's Reconstruction

Schedules & Assignments

 2018 Institute Schedule will be finalized by January 1, 2018.
2017 schedule is below.



July 9 - July 29, 2017


This is a three-week summer institute for K-12 school teachers of history, art, languages literatures and other subjects to be selected from applicants from across the country. The institute, which will be held in Beaufort, SC, at the University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB) is designed for educators to learn more about one of the most neglected and misunderstood periods in our nation’s history, the post-Civil War era of Reconstruction and to demonstrate how that history began in and was heavily influenced by people and events in the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia. We will closely examine three broad themes over the course of the institute, including: (1) the Old South and wartime “prelude” to Reconstruction (2) the political, social, and economic facets of the Reconstruction era and its aftermath, and (3) American historical memory, the “Second Reconstruction”(the modern Civil Rights Movement), and the place of Reconstruction’s memory in modern America. Each theme will offer unique insight into the most significant issues, events, personalities, and watershed moments during the postwar era.

The Reconstruction Era was quite literally a period of rebuilding—it entailed the reshaping of the ideologies of the defeated Old South and the physical re-construction of the region so desolated by the ravages of war, and, as a nation, developing policies that thoroughly remade and modernized America and laid the foundation for the Civil Rights Movements of the 1950s and 60s. The ending of slavery not only brought freedom to four million African Americans but also inaugurated a complex reshaping of fundamental American conventions ranging from the reach and power of the federal government, constructions of race, landownership, family structure, church organization, and the very definition of American citizenship itself. However, when politicians beat a hasty retreat in the late 1870s from the early idealism of Reconstruction, many of the political gains and advances in civil equality won by African Americans since the end of the Civil War fell by the wayside. Nonetheless, the Reconstruction Amendments to the US Constitution and an abiding commitment by a handful of progressive Americans to bring the nation in line with the egalitarian spirit of the Declaration of Independence and provided a durable foundation upon which the Civil Rights Movement of the next century rested.

            This institute will thoughtfully guide teachers through more than a century of American history—from the final years of the cotton kingdom in the South, through the tumult of the Civil War and struggles of Reconstruction, and up to the modern civil rights era. Each day, we will pose a series of key questions to participants for consideration and discussion. With these in mind, participants will compose a visual essay project over the course of the institute, providing a visual and period art component to demonstrate how images and visual culture were central to Americans’ understanding of contemporary events. Teachers will also utilize a wide variety of the primary source documents that provide the framework of the Reconstruction narrative and inform their understandings of the hopes, fears, ideologies, and motivations of those contemporaries who shaped the era.

The intensive scope of our topic will be most thoroughly explored by devoting one week each to our central themes: prelude to Reconstruction, the Reconstruction era and its immediate aftermath, and its legacy leading to the Civil Rights Movement of the mid-20th century and contemporary developments. The importance of place is also central to our analysis, and each theme has also been carefully mapped out around key locations to help the teacher scholars gain a fuller understanding of the issues and to personalize the story, giving teachers a valuable tool for making a historically distant topic relevant to students’ lives. The institute format will alternate through lecture, discussion seminars, and experience in the field. Much of our time will be spent on the USCB Historic Campus, in the heart of Beaufort’s historic district and itself once the headquarters of the Freedman’s Bureau. We will also be exploring some of the most historically important sites beyond Beaufort for understanding the complexity of the era: St. Helena Island, the birthplace of Reconstruction and home of Penn Center, the model for public education in America; Port Royal, the heart of the earliest experiments in free labor; Mitchelville, the nation’s first independent freedman’s community (on Hilton Head Island); Sapelo Island, GA, a central battleground over the issue of land redistribution in the postwar South; Charleston, the cultural nexus of both black and white life in South Carolina; and Summerton, where the grandchildren of freedmen became plaintiffs in Brown vs. Board of Education nearly a century later. Learning about the history of Reconstruction through the lenses of time, space, and place will provide teacher scholars with a real sense of the landscape and the physical environment in which this history occurred.

To assure the same exceptional results as our 2015 institute, we will rely on the support of the City of Beaufort, the University of South Carolina College of Education, the Southern Historical Collection at UNC Chapel Hill, the National Constitution Center, the National Park Service, the South Carolina Digital Collections (USC Special Collections), the Georgia Historical Society, the SC Historical Society, and the Beaufort Library District Collection to combine their internal resources and expertise around four goals that:

1. Prepare teachers in grades K-12 to be highly qualified to teach key themes and content about the Reconstruction Era.

2. Prepare teachers to use engaging and innovative instructional strategies to motivate students to learn about Reconstruction and other periods of American history.

3. Prepare teachers to use the tools of historical investigation to deepen and extend their knowledge of Reconstruction and American history.

4. Develop a collaborative exchange of practice between teachers and historians that improves their work and builds a repertoire of high-quality examples and resource materials.

            To ensure that our model of faculty development transfers beyond the 2017 institute,this intensive experience will be enhanced by web-based follow-up and follow-on support that is designed to deepen teacher content knowledge and models effective strategies for historical investigation and increased student learning. This online information center will provide universal access and be used to foster a collaborative exchange of practice. The institute will generate high-quality visual essays and lesson plans that will be published in hard copy and hosted on our webpage, There will be hours of high-definition video of faculty and teacher discussions available for download and classroom use. There will be a broad degree of dissemination because such a dramatic history lends itself well to being told far and wide.

To facilitate greater integration of Reconstruction materials and research into lesson plans that will appeal to a variety of learners and bring greater depth and understanding into classrooms we will work closely with primary sources during this institute. It is our aim to explore sources, narrative perspective and voice, cultural heritage materials such as museum objects, music, architectural remains, photographs, archival manuscripts, folk art, film and physical setting. In the process of exploring this content, we will consider how technology can assist with research, teaching, and help us tease out the meanings of this untold history.

            Two ways we will approach this are 1) ask presenting historians to select 1 or 2 primary sources that they think are engaging, connect to, and illuminate important themes, topics or stories, and then include those in the institute reading list, and 2) include exploring an archive as a reading task. For example, the recently released archive of Freedmen's bureau papers--teachers will explore, find one primary source (of a particular genre even--like a letter) and then record the url of the source and read it and write an analysis of it. The institute will take a close look at collections of primary sources edited by Eric Foner, J. Brent Morris, John W. Smith, as well as rich online collections curated by Penn Center, the Beaufort County Library, the South Carolina and the USC Carolinana Archival and Digital Libraries, the Georgia and South Carolina Historical Societies, the Gilder Lehrman Center, edsitement, and more that also have lesson plans using primary sources.

Beaufort County the place is an ideal resource for the study of Reconstruction. In Beaufort County, a remarkable history of Reconstruction is still evident through an abundance of surviving buildings from the nineteenth century. Beaufort County has numerous houses once occupied by Union officers, early churches, and homes built by freed slaves, schools established by missionaries, and buildings that served as the headquarters for the Freedman’s Bureau and the Freedman’s Bank. Additionally historical markers denote the place beneath large live oak trees along the Beaufort Rivers where the Emancipation Proclamation was read and the location on Hilton Head Island of the first freemen’s village. The survival of so many historical resources makes Beaufort County a strong location for telling the story of Reconstruction. The historical integrity of its buildings, the uniqueness of being the first area where blacks and whites worked together to initiate Reconstruction policies, and the fact that the area served as a stage for every aspect of the Reconstruction experience makes Beaufort County a powerful Reconstruction resource.(See Appendix B for list physical sources).

The institute will integrate the study of Reconstruction with highly functioning reading circles which will be self-directed under the rotating leadership of members of the group. The institute will establish a film room and provide films for optional film viewing in the evenings. (See Appendix C for list of films). All teachers will have a mandatory project assignment of creating a visual essay to be placed on the web site along with an accompanying lesson plan. The visual essay project will be introduced by Josh Brown of CUNY and guided by Dr. Thomas Thurston, Education Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center.


Expectations of NEH Summer Scholars

All NEH Summer Scholars will have as their goal a deepening of their knowledge of the Reconstruction Era. They will embrace our thematic approach and our resource inquiries. They will take advantage of having access to key scholars on Reconstruction History and work to advance their professional development. They will tap into the resources provided by the broader community and the scholarship presented by the institute and work to build new or improved curricular materials.

All participants will be expected to create a lesson plan (or greatly enhance one or more existing lessons in their courses) by incorporating Reconstruction content and infusing the classroom experience with more of a inquiry approach. In order to maximize the potential for these curricular revisions, NEH Summer Scholars will be expected to attend all presentations, lectures, workshops, study trips and do the reading assignments (completing some of them prior to arrival in Beaufort), participate in discussions about the readings and lectures, complete the visual essay projects, contribute to the final evaluation of the institute, and respond to later communications as projects and lesson plans are made available for sharing within the larger group of NEH Summer Scholars and beyond.

One of the principal institute requirements will involve NEH Summer Scholars working individually or in teams to create a new lesson plan for use in their own classrooms and, ideally, to make available to share with other teachers. Teachers will be encouraged to discuss ideas for integrating Reconstruction resource materials into their classrooms with the staff, guest scholars, and directors. NEH Summer Scholars may also take advantage of the time set aside for process and project work.


Required Projects

Proposal (2 pages): Under the guidance of Dr. Lemuel Watson, Dean, USC College of Education, individuals will prepare a 2-page proposal for a new or revised lesson plan, acurricular resource that incorporates content learned during the institute into their visual essay project and due at the end of the 2nd week of the institute. This proposal will include a topic statement, explore concerns and learning objectives they hope to address, and tell how the material will be used in the classroom along with the visual essay. Included in the proposal will be a list of sample primary sources and readings of the kind the teacher hopes to incorporate.

Projects will involve the incorporation of materials made accessible through the institute and knowledge gained. It will take advantage of the assistance in the interpretation of materials that representatives of resource institutions and guest speakers will provide. An improved version of the lesson plan will be expected to be delivered to institute staff by September 1, 2017 for publication on the institute webpage. If, after the unit is taught, teachers wish to submit a final, tweaked version, the institute will accept it and replace what we have put online with the final version. Visual Essays will be presented on the last Friday of the institute and teachers will have until September 15th to edit a final version and submit it for publication and website posting.

On the first day of the institute NEH Summer Scholars will have time in the Mac Lab to share technological expertise (editing images, preparing electronic slide presentations, making simple videos, etc). Select staff will be on hand to answer questions related to curriculum development. It is our hope that most NEH Summer Scholars will bring their own laptops and digital cameras, however we will have two computer labs available for their use and a staff photographer.

NEH Summer Scholars will be asked to share any multimedia curricular materials, photographs and writings they develop during the institute with other teachers, which we will place on the website. All NEH Summer Scholars will have access to the private social media page. This will be accessible only to the institute Summer Scholars faculty, and staff.




The USCB Office of Continuing Education will provide certificates for teachers to use back in their home schools. We will explore options with the USC College of Education to see if we can provide the opportunity to earn graduate-level academic credit for the summer institute. If possible, teachers will have the option of paying for the credits, supervised by Lemuel Watson, Dean, USC College of Education.


Expected Engagement


                ▪       55% = listening to presentations and taking notes, whether in the seminar classroom, or on buses, or on foot tours during excursions

                ▪       35% = active participation in discussions of lectures, readings, discussions about the application of content to teaching, and small-group activities.

                ▪       10% = watching film, work in the computer lab, attendance at special receptions and exhibits.

           Reading Preparation = 10 hours per week (minimum); some of this can be done in advance of arriving in Beaufort.

           Project Development = 5 hours per week (minimum);



Weekly Schedule of

Activities, Guiding Questions, and Core Readings:


WEEK 1, July 9-16

Theme: The Old South and Wartime Prelude to Reconstruction.  

Guiding Question: How was Reconstruction its success and failures a referendum on the meaning of war?

 Readings: Eric Foner, Forever Free, The Story ofEmancipation and Reconstruction; Willie Lee Rose, Rehearsal for Reconstruction: The Port Royal Experiment; W.E.B .DuBois,Black Reconstruction in America 1860-1880; Laura Townes’ Diary;Charlotte Fortens’ Diary;Lawrence Rowland, The History of BeaufortCounty, Howard Fast, Freedom Road: A New Edition.


Sunday, July 9, 8:00 am-2:00 pmTeachers willarrive, register and check-into accommodations. An optional walking tour of the downtowncampus will be provided at 3:00. At 5:00 the institute opens with a welcome reception hosted by USCB. Institute Director Dr. J. Brent Morris, the Mayor of Beaufort, the Chancellor of the University of South Carolina Beaufort, and the Dean of USC College of Education will welcome the teacher scholars to Beaufort and to the Institute. An opening address will be made by Dr. David Blight, Class of 1954 Professor of History at Yale University. USCB faculty and members of the Beaufort community will be invited to attend.


Day 1. Monday July 10: Daily question: How did emancipation change the stakes of the Civil War?

Monday Morning: 9:00 am: Introductions to each other, to the staff, to the institute projects and to institution resources. Overview of Institute and the University.

10:30: 15 minute Break

12:00: Lunch

Monday afternoon: 1:00 pm: History of Beaufort County, Lawrence S. Rowland. (USCB, emeritus)

2:00 15 Minute Break

3:00 pm: Time in the Mac Lab to share technological expertise (editing images, preparing electronic slide presentations, making simple videos, etc).

4:00 pm: Adjourn

Reading: Eric Foner, Forever Free, The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction

Primary Source: Selections from Edward Pierce Letter-books


Day 2, Tuesday, July 11: Daily question: How did the meaning of “Freedom” become apoint of conflict in the South?

8:30-4:00 All day tour of Reconstruction sites guided by USC public historian Dr. Page Miller

Reading: Lawrence Rowland, A History of Beaufort County

Primary Sources: List and visits to of physical locations in Beaufort County


Day 3, Wednesday, July 12: Daily Question: How can primary sources help with the challenges of understanding the Reconstruction era?

Readings: Wineburg, Martin and Monte-Sano: Reading Like a Historian, James W. Cook, "Seeing the Visual in US History" Journal of American History, 95:2 (September 2008); Morris, Yes, Lord, I Know the Road: A Documentary History of African Americans in South Carolina; John David Smith, A Just and Lasting Peace: A Documentary History of Reconstruction


8:30: Exploring Reconstruction with Primary Sources

Primary Source workshop with roundtable of Archivist to include: Faye Jensen, South Carolina Historical Society; Lynette Stoudt, Georgia Historical Society; Laura Brown, UNC Southern Collection; Kate Boyd, USC Digital Library; J. Saunden, USC Carolinana Archival Library, and Grace Cordial, Beaufort District Collection.

Workshop will be lead and facilitated by Daisy Martin (Stanford). During this session, teachers will learn that primary sources can provide a window into the past—unfiltered access to the record of social, political thought and achievement during Reconstruction, produced by people who lived during that period. Teachers will be brought into close contact with these unique, often profoundly personal, documents and objects that will give them a very real sense of what it was like to be alive during the Reconstruction era. The Lecture format will be used along with active learning in small groups. The archivist will condense the lecture content to short (ten minutes or less) segments and provide the participants with photocopies of the slides for reference. Each of the lecture sessions will be followed by an exercise. Dr. Martin will organize the teachers into groups of three and four and provide handouts – copies of newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, printed materials – accompanied by a set of key questions for the group to answer. In this way they will learn to identify and differentiate primary, secondary, and tertiary sources; how to evaluate these documents for audience and bias; and how to analyze documents For the final exercise each group will create a primary source activity specifically on Reconstruction using a set of primary and secondary sources.


1:00- 3:00 pm visual Essays with Josh Brown (CUNY) who will lead teachers in an exploration of Reconstruction with print, visual, and multimedia materials.


 Day 4, Thursday, July 13: A day at Penn Center. Daily Question: What far-reaching

changes did Reconstruction have on the South?

9:00 am: Emory Campbell. (Executive Director Emeritus Penn Center) will lead the teachers on a tour of Penn Center and the York W.Bailey Museum.

At 11:00 am he will provide a cultural view of the Sea Islands. (The institute will cover admission fees to the museum and a working lunch in the Penn Center Dinning Hall)

12:00 pm: Lunch Break

 Afternoon 1:00-3:00 Vernon Burton (Clemson) will present the history of Penn Center.

Readings: Willie Lee Rose: Rehearsal for Reconstruction: The Port Royal Experiment; Vernon Burton: Penn Center: A History Preserved; Emory Campbell: Gullah Cultural Legacies: A Synopsis of Gullah Traditions, Customary Beliefs, Art Forms and Speech on Hilton Head Island and the Sea Islands in South Carolina and Georgia

Primary Sources:Laura Townes’ Diary; Charlotte Forten’s Diary.


Day 5, Friday, July 14: Daily Question: Why did Union victory not result in large-scale revolutionary changes in the South?

9:00-12:00: Visual Essay Projects with Josh Brown and Thomas Thurston.(Gilder Lehrman Center)

1:00-3:00: Daisy Martin will lead a session on teaching with primary resources, contextualizing sources, evaluating sources and how to synthesize multiple accounts. She will use the recently released archive of Freedmen's bureau papers which teachers will explore, find one primary source (of a particular genre even--like a letter) and then record the url of the source and read it and write something about it. She will also take a close look at Eric Foner's collection of primary sources included in the latest edition of Fast, Freedom Road. The teachers will utilize sites like Gilder Lehrman, edsitement and more that have lesson plans using primary sources.

Reading:Howard Fast, Freedom Road: A New Edition.

Primary Source: Smith, A Just and Lasting Peace, Part II


Day 6,Saturday, July 15:Daily question: How did the Port Royal Experiment contribute to the Freedman’s concept of governing at Mitchelville?

8:30 am: Board bus for excursion to Hilton Head Island for field study trip to the Mitchelville site. (first self-governing settlement for freedman). Teachers will visit the site, and have a working lunch at noon with leaders of the project. Steve Wise (USCB) will help guide the field study with background information on the Port Royal Experiment.

Reading: Willie Lee Rose: Rehearsal for Reconstruction: The Port Royal Experiment

Primary Source: Selections fromThe Manuscripts of the American Missionary Society


Day 7, Sunday, July 16: Day of rest and relaxation. Participants can choose self-guided walking tours, visits to local church services, or excursions to Charleston, Hilton Head or Savannah. The institute staff will arrange for optional kayaking, crabbing, fishing, visits to Hunting Island Beach, and biking.


WEEK 2: July 16-July 22: Reconstruction and its Aftermath.

Guiding Question:Why has Reconstruction history undergone such fundamental reinterpretations?

 Readings: David Blight, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory;Douglas Egerton,Wars of Reconstruction; William S. McFeely, Sapelo’s People, A Long Walk Into Freedom; Russell Duncan, Freedom’s Shore: Tunis Campbell and the Georgia Freedmen; Tunis Campbell, Sufferings of the Rev. T.G. Campbell andhis Family in Georgia


Day 8, Monday, July 17:

Daily Question: How could the nation have dealt differently with the social, economic, and political evolution of Reconstruction?

9:00 am: Heather Cox Richardson. (Boston College) Lecture on the Politics of Reconstruction.

12:00: Lunch

1:00: Group discussion of key points of lecture and group activity centered around the incorporation of graphic novels and visual sources into the curriculum of Reconstruction.


Readings: Douglas Egerton: Wars of Reconstruction; Heather Cox Richardson,West from Appomattox: The Reconstruction of America after the Civil War

Primary Sources: Smith, A Just and Lasting Peace, Part III


Day 9, Tuesday, July 18:Daily Question: What were the limits of Black Freedom?

9:00 am: Edward Baptist (Cornell University) “The untold stories of Reconstruction.” Dr. Baptist will introduce the teachers to the narrative primary source accounts of former salves recorded by the WPA in the 1930s.

1:00 pm: Scholar Roundtable Discussion: “The Relevance of the Reconstruction Era to All American,” Panelists Baptist, Rowland, Duncan (Univ. of Copenhagen), Morris (USCB) Teachers will be divided into five groups of six, and each group will craft 3 questions for each member of the round table. At the end Dr. Morris will ask each round table scholar to give the whole group 3 ideas that they can take away with them.

Reading: David Blight, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory;

Primary Sources: 13, 14, 15 Amendments to the US Constitution, selected WPA slave narratives.


Day 10, Wednesday, July 19: Coast of Georgia and Trip to Sapelo Island

 Daily Question: How did the War and Reconstruction transform the Coast of Georgia? 9:00 am: Russell Duncan. Lecture on Reconstruction on the coast of Georgia and the politics of Tunis Campbell.

1:00 Depart for Sapelo Island.

Readings: William S. McFeely, Sapelo’s People, A Long Walk Into Freedom;

Russell Duncan, Freedom’s Shore: Tunis Campbell and the Georgia Freedmen;

Primary Source: Tunis Campbell, Sufferings of the Rev. T.G. Campbell andhis Family in Georgia



**SapeloAssignment and What to Bring**

While onSapelo Island, Georgia, Dr. Minuette Floyd (USC) will lead a project titled: “A Visual Story Through Landmarks and Landscapes.” Each participant will take photographs while on the island and select the image that they feel most captures the story of Sapelo.They will each present one minute stories based on the photographs through poetry or prose. on the last day on the island.

  • Books: William S. McFeely, Sapelo’s People, A Long Walk Into Freedom; Russell Duncan, Freedom’s Shore: Tunis Campbell and the Georgia Freedmen; Tunis Campbell, Sufferings of the Rev. T.G. Campbell andhis Family in Georgia; Cornelia Walker Bailey, God, Dr. Buzzard and the Bolito Man.
  • Other Readings: We will provide a sourcebook on music, language, storytelling etc. The more you read, the more fun you will have on Sapelo.
    • Comfortable clothing
    • Comfortable shoes (flat, walking, closed)
    • Hat
  • Rain Stuff ( umbrella, slicker etc)
    • Flashlight ( there are short walks between buildings) Red tape or plastic wrap to cover flash lights. ( It will be turtle season on the beach)
  • Anything Else: That you will enjoy relaxing with on the island, journal? sketchpad?
    • Outcomes:
  1. Content Knowledge: Teachers are expected to come away with a deeper understanding of Reconstruction on the coast of Ga.
  2. Teaching Skills: Teachers are expected to come away with a deeper understanding of how to:
  3. Use Primary and secondary sources to stimulate student dialogue
  4. Use primary sources to to help students make an emotional connection to historical events.
  5. Design activities that help students understand that Reconstruction history is found in multiple formats… music, cultural tradition, stories, land use, food ways and community memory.
  6. History as Story: Finally, teachers are expected to come away with a deeper understanding of the basic principal that people who write and teach history and all those who attempt to understand it can link the larger story of Reconstruction to the personal memory of places like Sapelo.

Arrive at Mederian Dock at for 3:30 Ferry

4:30-Check-in to lodging and unpack

6:00- Dinner and traditional music of the Macintosh County Shouters


 Day 11, Thursday, July 20:

Daily Question: Were Radical Republicans pushing the land issue with President Johnson in 1865, or were they more concerned about voting rights for former slaves? What did African American legislators say about the land issue?

8:00 am Breakfast.

9:00 am: All day tour of the island (sack lunch)

3:00: pm: Relax, cycle or visit beach before dinner. (optional)

5:00: Dinner

Readings: Sapelo Island: A Self Guided Tour; Cornelia Walker Bailey, God, Dr. Buzzard and the Bolito Man; William S. McFeely, Sapelo’s People, A Long Walk Into Freedom; Russell Duncan, Freedom’s Shore: Tunis Campbell and the Georgia Freedmen;

Primary Sources: Tunis Campbell, Sufferings of the Rev. T.G. Campbell andhis Family in Georgia; Crook, et. al., Sapelo Voices.


 Day 12, Friday, July 21:Floyd and Velma Thomas (Spelman College)

Daily Question: Who in Congress, or in the nation as a whole, advocated land grants or sales to Freedman?

8:00 am Breakfast.

9:00 am: Velma Thomas will guide teachers through her book, Freedom's Children, which tells the story of Reconstruction—its joys and its heartbreaking sorrows. The book is the second in a series of interactive books that bring history to life. Using primary documents, Freedom’s Children covers the period from Reconstruction to the 20th century, capturing the hopes, dreams, and challenges of new freedom. It will examine a text by which freedmen learned to read, provide an advertisement and a railroad ticket urging black people to "Go West" to establish towns where freedmen could live in peace, provide a copy of a land grant, the result of General Sherman's Field Order #15.

9:30 am: “First Freedom: A Case Study” In this session, teachers will analyze primary documents that reveal the life of one formerly enslaved –from his capture in Africa to life among freedmen in a close-knit Beaufort County community. Through slave bills of sales, freedmen’s testimonies, official service records and more, teachers will learn of the African who recalled the middle passage, served in the Civil War, weathered Reconstruction, and shared life with others hoping for a better day.

Reading: Velma Thomas, Freedom’s Children  

Primary Sources: A Third Reader textbook through which freedmen learned to read. An advertisement and a railroad ticket urging black people to "Go West" to establish towns where freedmen could live in peace. A copy of a land grant, General Sherman's Field Order #15.

11:00 Teachers will have the option of engaging in the traditional island fishing and crabbing or continuing to work on their picture presentations.

12:00 Native Islander and author of God, Dr. Buzzard and the Bolito Man, Cornelia Walker Bailey will join the teachers for a question and answer session over lunch.

1:00 pm: Teachers will present their one minute photo summaries of the island experience.

3:30: The institute will head to the dock to leave for the mainland on the 4:30 Ferry.


Day 13, Saturday, July 22:Daily Question: How did the control of Freedmen figure in the debate on Reconstruction?

 8:30 am. Board the Bus and travel to Charleston for study trip.

10:00 am: The teachers will meet at the College of Charleston and Dr. Bernard Powers (C of C) will provide a lecture on the journey from Reconstruction to the Civil Rights Movement.

Lunch: 12:00 pm

1:00 pm. Michael Allen (National Park Service) will provide a tour of Ft Sumter and discussion of NPS efforts to commemorate Reconstruction.

4:00 pm Return to Beaufort.

Reading: David Blight, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory

Primary Source: Selections from James Miller McKim manuscripts and letters


*Deadline for proposal for new or revised lesson plan/curricular resource


Day 14, Sunday, July 23: Day of rest and relaxation.


Week Three: Historical Memory and the Modern Civil Rights Movement.

Guiding Question: Why did it take a century for the promises made by Reconstruction and the 13, 14, and 15 Amendments to be kept?

Core Readings: Patricia Sullivan,  Lift Every Voice; Edward L.Ayers, The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction; Akhil Reed Amar, The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction.


 Day 15, Monday, July 24:Daily Question: What is the Legacy of Radical Reconstruction?

9:00 am.Morning: Patricia Sullivan (USC) will lead a lecture on the leadership during the Civil Rights Movement and their understanding of the promise of democracy.

12:00 Lunch

1:00 pm: Zoom session with the National Constitution Center and discussion on the “Second Founding” and the 14th Amendment. Kerry Kuntner, (Drexel)

Evening reception and photo exhibit at the USCB Art Gallery titled “History and Photography” with photographer Cecil Williams.

Reading: Patricia Sullivan: Lift Every Voice

Primary Sources: Selectedpapers of Joseph Delaine, and Modjeska Simkins, and I.DeQuincy Newman (SC Digital Collections)


Day 16, Tuesday, July 25:Daily Question: How has the shifting memory of Reconstruction left important parts of the story untold?

9:00 am - 3:00 pm: Process, projects, and lesson plans. Thomas Thurston

4:00:Presentation by Brent Morris, “The Historiography of Reconstruction”

Reading: Morris, “Constructing Reconstruction: Race, Memory, and Issues that Divide”

Primary Source: Selections from the Manuscripts ofWilliam Channing Gannett


Day 17, Wednesday, July 26:Daily Question: Was there collusion between federal and state governments in not protecting Black Civil Rights?

8:30: Board bus and travel to Summerton, South Carolina

10:30: Tour of Summerton area

12:00: Over a working lunch, engage in a question and answer session with the surviving children of the plaintiffs in the Briggs v. Elliott case. Session will be moderated by Patricia Sullivan. Minuette Floyd will have curated a display of photos, letters and family artifacts before the teachers arrive on the 26th.

Arrive back in Beaufort at 5:00 pm.

Reading: Patricia Sullivan,  Lift Every Voice; Blight, American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era.

Primary Sources: Selected papers of Joseph Delaine; Curated display of photos, letters and family artifacts.


Day 18, Thursday, July 27:Daily Question: How has Reconstruction “Memory” and “History” transformed America?

9:00 am - 3:00 pm Visual essay projects and lesson plans. Thomas Thurston

Reading: David Blight, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory.

Primary Sources: Photos, Images, Cartoons newspapers, illustrations: 13, 14, 15 Amendments to the US Constitution


Day 19, Friday, July 28: Daily Question: How did the images, cartoons and drawings during the Reconstruction era make such a lasting impact on America’s view of Reconstruction?

9:00 am: Visual Essay Project presentations.

12:00: Break for Lunch

1:00: Visual Essay presentations continued

3:00: Institute wrap-up, reflection, evaluation, and final input and suggestions for the website. Boxing of books and materials for mailing.

6:00: closing reception.


Day 20, Saturday, July 29,Guiding Question: Is an accurate understanding of Reconstruction necessary to achieve citizenship, rights, and democracy?

Institute concludes with remarks by Edward L. Ayers (President Emeritus, University of Richmond)and awarding of certificates.