Samuel Chapman Armstrong on the Founding of the Hampton Institute, 1868
Samuel Chapman Armstrong was the son of missionary parents, who had worked in the mid-19th Century to educated native populations in Hawaii (which became a U.S. state in 1898). Armstrong was a lieutenant in the Union Army, who commanded a division of black men fighting for the Union and became interested in helping black Americans following the Civil War. He joined the Freedman’s Bureau, and then founded the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute.
I have posted a word document in which I have highlighted in bold print portions of this primary source (which we used in class for our small group discussion). You should focus on those sections of the document to respond to the following questions:
- Why was education for southern blacks important after the Civil War?
- What kind of education did Armstrong believe was the most appropriate for freed blacks and why did he promote it?
- How does this source help us to understand the problems of Reconstruction? In other words, why would historians find this source to be significant (or useful)? Please reference at least two other primary sources that were assigned to formulate your answer.
- Please pose at least one discussion question about this source. What do you think is important to talk about with regard to Armstrong’s effort to provide schooling to freed blacks in the South?
Responses will be graded according to the following criteria:
- Does the response address all the questions posed?
- Does the response demonstrate that the student has done a close and careful analysis?
- Does the response offer a thoughtful engagement with the source?
- Does the response demonstrate a concerted effort to think about the significance of the source and its relationship to course topics?
- Does the response make sense? Are the ideas within it clearly communicated?
- Is the response written in essay form, with a thesis, a set of paragraphs that each address a distinct argument in support of the thesis, and a conclusion?