John Brown

Historical content: 
Slavery and Westward Expansion
Historical skills: 
Sourcing

Assessment

Directions: 

Use the image to answer the question below.

Source: 

This print titled, "John Brown--the martyr," was created in 1870 by Currier & Ives.

Question:

The print, "John Brown--the martyr," is a useful resource for historians who wish to understand the circumstances of the execution of John Brown in 1859.

Do you agree or disagree with this claim?

Briefly support your answer.

About the Assessment

Like The First Thanksgiving, this assessment measures students’ ability to source a document.  When historians interpret a document, they first look to find out who wrote it and when.  This information provides important clues about whether the source provides reliable evidence about the past.  This assessment gauges whether students understand an important aspect of sourcing: the time elapsed between when a document was produced and the event that it depicts.   

Students who understand the importance of when a document was produced will see that this painting is of limited use to historians who wish to understand the circumstances of John Brown's execution in 1859 because it was produced over 10 years later.