Today is Juneteenth

What exactly is Juneteenth? It is a celebration marking the end of slavery in the United States.  The first time this holiday was celebrated was June 19, 1865.  After the Civil War ended Major General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas.  He quickly spread the news that the war had ended and that the slaves had been freed.   As you hopefully remember from reading Lincoln’s speeches, the Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves on January 1, 1863.  Sadly, it took two years from the time the Emancipation Proclamation became law until it could be enforced in Texas.  Every year since then, Juneteenth has been celebrated on June 19th with parades, parties, and other celebrations.

Harriet Tubman’s Greatest Achievement by Lana M.

Many people achieve many accomplishments in life. The only difference is that some have done a lot more than others, such as Harriet Tubman. Harriet Tubman was born into slavery, but escaped around the age of twenty. Throughout her years up until the age of thirty-eight, she went back to help free others from slavery. Afterwards, she still continued to helps others by participating in the Civil War with jobs such as a spy and nurse. The only job that really stuck with her for the majority of her life was care taking. She took care of the people that others generally didn’t want to take care of. Though Tubman’s life has mostly been explained, there are still a lot of questions that haven’t been answered, and yet no one knows what was her greatest achievement. The achievements that I have decided that are the most important to the least important will be listed from first to the last, and is of course based off of facts but is purely my opinion. The way that these achievements will be ranked is by how much time was spent, the amount of people helped, and the risk factor. Harriet Tubman has achieved so many good things in life that many people have their own opinion of what was the best thing she did in her life, such as being a nurse, civil war spy, and a leader of the Underground Railroad.

     Harriet Tubman’s greatest achievement was being a Civil War nurse and a caregiver, because it was the most risky job for her to take. Document D has mentioned that Tubman helped wounded soldiers at Fort Wagner, which was a war zone. Because of the fact that she had the chance of getting bombed because she is in a war zone, this increased the risk of her getting hurt. Along with the chance of getting bombed, she also had the chance to catch a deadly disease carried by the people she took care of at Fort Wagner and at her home. According to document E, she took in many people into her home for about forty-eight years. Tubman generally cared for the people no one wanted to take care of, such as abandoned children, the blind, and even the elderly. I would say that this was really risky because everywhere she went, she would face danger. The amount of time spent would be a lot of time, because for the caretaker job, she spent most of her life taking care of those who were disabled. Don’t forget the nursing job, as she spent most of the time cleaning the soldiers’ wounds, as document D mentioned. She helped a lot of people, because there were a lot of wounded soldiers that fought at Fort Wagner. She also took in many people, as she held up to six to eight people in her home at a time. All in all, Tubman’s greatest achievement was being a nurse/caregiver, as there was a lot of risk involved and a lot of time spent.

     Harriet Tubman’s second greatest achievement was being a Civil War spy because she had to go through the hardest missions. The amount of risk involved was actually a lot, as she had to complete a raid in one day to save about eight hundred slaves in South Carolina. She had the risk of getting shot because she had to escape with the slaves that she helped free on a gunboat. In document C, it states that the mission was so deadly that they had to make special code names to ensure secrecy, especially for Harriet Tubman. Her code name was “Moses”, as Moses helped slaves to escape to freedom. Harriet Tubman did exactly this in the raid.

     The third achievement that Harriet Tubman had reached was being one of the people who helped other slaves escape to freedom in the Underground Railroad because she gave up her best years to help others escape from slavery. In document A, there is a map that showed where Tubman had to travel to help other slaves escape to freedom away from the South. Because of this, it was actually very deadly, as she risked the lives of the people that traveled with her, the people who helped her, and even her and her family. This was because of the Fugitive Slave Act, which was passed to force others to turn in fleeing slaves or get punished if caught helping. In document B, it shows you a table that shows the trips that she made and the amount of people helped from these trips. She had helped a total of about thirty-eight to forty slaves escape from slavery. She had to go through five-hundred and fifty miles on foot or by carriage, but it was very risky because of the previously mentioned Fugitive Slave Act. This is why I ranked this job as the very last and least important one, because she didn’t help that many people compared to the spy or the nurse, but practically wasted her time as she only saved about a handful of people. Though it was risky, she didn’t have to take that risk.

     In conclusion, the most important achievement that she reached was being a nurse or caregiver, the second most important was being a spy, and being a leader of the Underground Railroad was the least important. Throughout her entire life, she’s done so much to help other people. She’s done these three really important jobs that have turned out to save other lives. I believe that Harriet Tubman was dedicated to sacrifice many things for other people to live a better life even though others have pushed them down, like slaves or even the people that no one wanted to take care of. She sacrificed most of her life to let others live happily.

Harriet Tubman’s Greatest Achievements by Alex V.

Alex used the following template to write his body paragraphs…

 1.  TOPIC SENTENCE:  A rewrite of the question with the answer.  This sentence is the long answer to the question.


2.   EVIDENCE-This proves the argument to be true.  This can be a fact or a quote (only one quote per paragraph) from the reading.  REMEMBER to cite where the information came from.

Evidence 1


Evidence 2


3.  EXPLAIN THE EVIDENCE:  What does the evidence mean?  You must prove that you understand what the quote means or explain how the evidence ties into your topic sentence or argument.


4.  ARGUMENT:  Explains what the evidence proves.  It answers the question SO WHAT about the evidence????  This sentence answers why the topic sentence is true. (Example sentence–The evidence proves that THE TOPIC SENTENCE is true because…)


Harriet Tubman started off as a lowly slave but died a remarkable hero. Harriet Tubman wasn’t her real name, her birth name was Minty Ross. It was important for her to change her name because she was an escaped slave trying to help other slaves gain their freedom. So she needed a new identity. Harriet was around twenty-seven when she escaped slavery. Harriet joined a secret network known as the Underground Railroad to free slaves. Soon after Harriet became a spy for the Civil War, from there she became a Civil War nurse. After the war, she was a caregiver for the rest of her life. I was asked to define Harriet Tubman’s greatest achievement. I will also rank her achievements by the amount of risk, the number of people she helped, and the amount of time the achievement took. My definition of greatest achievement means a skill or effort given with an interest above average. Harriet Tubman’s life is full of many accomplishments. Here, I have rated them from the most important.  In my personal point of view, her greatest achievement was being a Civil War spy, her second greatest achievement was being a conductor on the Underground Railroad and lastly, her third greatest achievement was being a Civil War nurse and caregiver.

    Harriet Tubman’s most important achievement was being a Civil War spy. Harriet Tubman helped many people as a spy, without her work helping slaves, it would have been very hard. The reason for this being her greatest achievement was because Tubman was in a very risky situation.  Tubman was in enemy territory, a war zone, she was spying for the enemy and was on a gunboat. Tubman also helped many people that day, she helped rescue about eight-hundred people from slavery that day. At first, the slaves were scared to get on the gunboats that were going to free them. Instead of Tubman giving a speech, she sang a song that encouraged the slaves to get onto the gunboats to be free.  Tubman was always devoted to doing what she thought was right to help other slaves even if it risked her life. Thanks to Document C,  I was able to provide you with this information on why this is her greatest achievement.

    Harriet Tubman’s second greatest achievement was being a conductor on the Underground Railroad. This is her second greatest achievement because she helped a good amount of people, her risk was high, and it took quite a while. Tubman only saved around forty people in the time she worked for the Underground Railroad. The reason for only saving so few people was because of the risk she was in. The risk she had was very high because she was no longer safe while away from Canada due to the Fugitive Slave Act. The Fugitive Slave Act allowed white people to turn in escaped slaves to slave hunters to take them back to slave states. The Underground Railroad ran for about forty-one years but Harriet Tubman only helped the Underground Railroad for about ten years. Each run took two to three weeks. Although Harriet Tubman took a long time trying to help slaves escape, she did it because she thought it was the right thing to do. Thanks to Document A and B I was able to provide you with this information.

    Harriet Tubman’s third greatest achievement was being a Civil War nurse and caregiver. Harriet was a caregiver her entire life but before that, she was a Civil War nurse.  Harriet wasn’t a nurse to white people during the war. She was a nurse for the Fifty-fourth  Massachusetts. The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts was the first all-black regiment to fight in the Civil War. These men volunteered to be in the war. In class, we looked up how many soldiers survived that were part of the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts, we found that about two-hundred were being cared for. Since there were not many nurses Harriet Tubman probably cared for most of them.  The risk she was not as high as her other achievements, the risk was at a medium rate because she was in a war zone and could have caught a disease or been killed by enemy fire. Harriet Tubman didn’t give up being a nurse, she was devoted and stayed a nurse all four years of the war. After the war ended Tubman still continued helping people in need. From the end of the Civil War to the end of her life.  All forty-eight years of the rest of her life, Harriet Tubman helped people in need. She would help six to eight people at a time and some people would stay longer than others, so there isn’t much evidence on how many people she helped exactly. The risk she was in was the lowest of all her achievements, her risk was very low. The reason for it being low is that the only danger she was in was catching a disease. Although being a Civil War nurse and a caregiver isn’t her greatest achievement it’s a very thoughtful achievement because she wasn’t asked to do what she did.  She did it because she thought it was the right thing to do. Thanks to document D and E I was able to provide you the evidence given above.

    Harriet Tubman is an inspirational role model to everyone. Tubman was a lowly slave who died as a remarkable hero with many great achievements. She was a Civil War spy, a conductor on the Underground Railroad, and she was a Civil War nurse and caregiver. I hope that you will admire Harriet Tubman as much as I do. She is a remarkable hero to her people and wasn’t afraid to risk her own life to fight for what she believed in.

A Lesson to be Learned from an Old Photo

Screen shot 2015-11-01 at 6.52.00 AMThis week I found an article about this old photo entitled “General Grant at City Point” (Library of Congress) and thought it would help make a point about studying Social Studies.

The photo is of General Grant reviewing troops during the Civil War.  When historians took a good look at the photo they began to notice a few things.

  1.  Grant is wearing the wrong uniform for the time period.
  2.  General Grants head seems to be tilted at an odd angle.
  3.   The horse the General is riding doesn’t look like any of the horses he owned.
  4.   And finally, there are scratches around Grant’s head and the horse’s body.

After much examination the conclusion was made that this photo is a fake.  During the infancy of photography, which is when this photo was taken, many photographers saw themselves as artists.  They were able to do many fantastic things with photographs.  Combining photos together was just one trick of the trade.

So just where did the photos come from?

So make your point, Espeseth…

My point is, when studying or learning about history a person must be very careful.  It is easy to take history’s story for face value but when doing so the learner can miss the deeper meaning or in the instance of this picture be tricked into thinking history is something else.  I always remind my students that there can be more than one version of history.  That we, as historians, must think carefully and judge history.