Cultural History Assignment

Cultural History Writing Assignment:  For our cultural literacy component in this course choose one of the projects below and write an essay (4-6 pages double-spaced, MLA format with a Works Cited page) that analyzes the relative experiences of the narrator and the experience and construction of race and culture in early and mid-19th century America.  This assignment will be due by  Friday of the fifth week of class.  It must be emailed to the instructor by that date.

Project No. 1.   The experience of African Americans who endured  slavery and their reflection upon and interaction with each other and white slaveholders, and religious clergy in the South.  In the following readings, consider two different accounts of how slavery and religion intersect in the final decades of Southern slavery.
Document No. 1:  Harriet Jacobs, Chapter 13 Harriet Jacobs - Church and Slavery.pdf  from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861).  Why does she reference Nat Turner's rebellion? How does Jacobs describe and suggest that a clash of position was taking place between different preachers selected to preach to slaves?  Why did slaveholders prefer certain preachers and certain denominations?  What was the response of slaves to these preachers and how did they form their own preferences and responses through religion?  What do the verses composed by slaves themselves, as reported by Jacobs, suggest about slave religion and resistance to conditions of slavery? 
Document No. 2:  Compare Harriet Jacobs' observations to the statements of Rev. Dr. Richard Furman: Exposition of the Views of the Baptists, Relative to the Coloured Population in the United States, 2nd ed, 1838.  How and why does the Rev. Furman provide a defense of slavery on Biblical principles? 
Document No. 3:  Frederick Douglass, (1817-1895): The Hypocrisy of American Slavery, July 4, 1852.  Why does Douglass proclaim that "This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn."? 

Project No. 2.    Reflect upon the experience of the Cherokee, Choctaw and Winnebago Indians of the Southeastern United States and their forced removal by the Federal Government after 1830.  In your essay consider their achievements and developments in the Southeast.  What cultural developments and status of civilization and coexistence within the new republic were manifest among these tribes?  Discuss the problem of their forced expulsion by the  federal government and the Trail of Tears exodus and relocation. (Feel free to research and comment on other documents that may be found in these archives at the Library of Congress website on the Indian Removal.)
Document No. 1.  Census report of 1828 as published in the Cherokee tribal newspaper, The Phoenix 
Document No. 2.  Article about the invention of the Cherokee alphabet, published in the Cherokee newspaper, The Phoenix (1820)
Document No. 3:  Resolution of the Cherokee Nation of 1838 (note that in the article "Mr. Guess," the inventor of the alphabet  is more commonly referred to and known by his Cherokee name, Sequoyah.  Click here for an article on Sequoyah and his alphabet. For a collection of other issues of The Cherokee Phoenix click here.  In particular look at the final issue of The Cherokee.  In what ways does it reflect the deep political and cultural awareness of the Cherokee nation?
Document No. 4:  President Andrew Jackson outlined his Indian removal policy in his Second Annual Message to Congress on December 6, 1830. Read Jackson's rationale and explanation of federal policy.  What were the stated motives for removal of Indian tribes?  To what degree does his rhetoric rely upon an acceptance of race as a cause of separation between settlers and Native Americans.  Note:  when you click on the hyperlink to the Library of Congress website, you'll have to advance to the next image to read the second page as well.
Document No. 5:  Letter from Steven Mack, dated January 1, 1833 to the Secretary of War regarding the condition of the Winnebago tribe and the material problems of hardship and emigration.  To what extent does Mack suggest that the Winnebago tribe was forced into accepting emigration and to what extent does Mack suggest that federal policy has abandoned their responsibility toward supporting the tribe?  Does this abandonment suggest a racialized policy? 

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