When did we become the United States? Most Americans who know something of our history would probably say 1776; others might mention the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention in September of that year. And what of the rest of the world? When did widespread recognition of our sovereignty occur?
Most academies taught geography through an understanding of maps, perhaps influenced by Emma Willard’s teachings. Willard (1787-1870) declared maps “the written language of geography,” and persuasively argued for their use in the classroom. This often took the form of students creating a graphic representation, whether with pen, ink, and watercolors, or needle and thread, or some combination of the two.
Broadsides – single sheets of varying sizes printed on one side only – have been produced since the beginnings of printing in the West, with papal Bulls among the earliest examples. The Oxford English Dictionary notes the first use of the term in England as occurring in 1575. Also referred to as broadsheets, or handbills in the case of small examples, this printing form typically appears on a lower grade of paper as befits its largely ephemeral nature. Not unlike small posters announcing concerts or meetings that we encounter on utility poles and bulletin boards, these items would be posted in taverns, in shop windows, on doors, and in other public locations.
The 1704 raid on Deerfield, Massachusetts, during Queen Anne’s War resulted in the death of 57 settlers and militia, the captivity of 112 more, and the destruction of nearly half of the frontier settlement. Yet beyond tragedy and havoc, the raid created lasting ties between the small village and Native communities in Canada and northern New England who participated in the attack.