Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

into an occasion for rekindling buried passions, or for instilling into the tender minds of children sentiments of partisan animosity, is guilty of a crime against society.

Fortunately, the picture has its bright side, and affords the opportunity to illustrate the magnanimous characteristics of the people of Tennessee, and to inspire generous and patriotic sentiments. The lesson must not end with depicting the passions aroused by war and reconstruction. It must go on to the pleasing recital of the restoration of political rights, followed by the growth of kindly sentiments which, even before the Spanish War, had reached the point of mutual forgiveness and charity to all. In teaching lessons of patriotism, the text-book can do little more than supply the materials. The teacher must rise above the text-book and inspire enthusiasm.

The history of Tennessee from the time of the adoption of the Constitution of 1870 to the present time is a chain of peaceful events, including the annals of successive political administrations, the development of institutions, and the discussion of social, industrial, and financial interests.

In preparing a text-book for the use of schools, the authors have endeavored to comply with the requirements which they believe to be demanded by the teachers of the State. They have endeavored to supply a complete and reliable guide for class work, which refrains from encroaching on the functions of the teacher by framing the text into a set form of recitation. They have attempted only to furnish the teacher with the materials for his work, leaving him free to use his own skill and judgment in the methods of instruction.

If the book shall meet the approval of the teachers, the authors will be fully repaid for the labor they have undergone, by the consciousness that they have been permitted to aid in the work of instructing the youth of Tennessee in the history of their State.

[ocr errors]



The Introductory Chapter is not suited for recitation. It contains so many names, dates, and subdivisions that the pupil would be overtaxed and discouraged, if required to commit them to memory in one lesson.

This chapter is intended to serve two purposes, both of which are valuable in teaching history. First — It is an outline sketch in advance of Part I, and points out its connection with Part II. Second - It is an abstract for future reference.

The following plan is recommended for using this chapter :

On the first day, when the class has been organized, but no lesson has yet been assigned, let the pupils read the chapter in class, pausing at the end of each paragraph. Let the teacher comment on each paragraph as it is read, and on the whole subject when the reading is concluded. He should, also, notify the class that this chapter will be frequently cited, as the work progresses, and will be used as a guide during the entire course. Then assign the lesson for the next day, beginning with Chapter I.

The remainder of the book is a series of topics, especially adapted to topical recitation, but also suited to any method of instruction.

It will be noted that the topic discussed in each chapter is placed at its head in bold-faced type. Similarly, the subdivisions of the topic are placed in boldfaced type at the heads of the several paragraphs. These several topics and their subdivisions form a complete analysis of the subject, running through the book, and so arranged that each heading is at the place where it is needed for use, and so printed as to guide the pupil in studying the lesson, and to catch the eye of the teacher in conducting the recitation.

In addition, a topical analysis is placed at the end of each general division, as an aid for reference and review, and as an exercise for unifying the subject.

In judiciously conducting the topical recitation, the teacher is rewarded by the increased interest of the pupils, and by the elevation of the recitation from a catechism to a discussion. This method of recitation is much better than the method of catechism. It inspires pupils to form enlarged and comprehensive views of historical subjects, and furnishes the best training for practicing them in clearness and fluency of expression.

It also frees the foot of the page from a list of questions which would only serve to annoy the competent teacher, and would lead the pupil to form the bad mental habit of picking up the subject in scraps, and would tend to leave in his mind a confused picture, disjointed into scattered fragments, like the view obtained in looking through a broken lens. The space thus released is utilized to a better advantage by foot-notes, explaining the text, or giving references to books in which the subject is treated more in detail.

In many instances, it has been thought better to include in the text valuable information which the experienced teacher would not require pupils to commit to memory, but which it is important for them to know. For instance, in Chapter II, Paragraph 9, a list is given of the various modes in which the name of the Shawnees has been spelled. This list is too long for a foot-note, and would be lost in an appendix. It is placed in the text, but the skillful teacher would not require it to be committed to memory. He would use it as a means of varying the work of the class by requiring each pupil to bring the list in class written on slate or paper, or by sending a pupil to write the list on the blackboard, and then with pointer in hand, the teacher may demonstrate to the class the evolution of one form of the name from another.

The book is copiously illustrated with maps, charts, pictures, and portraits. The skillful teacher knows how to use them. They address the eye, and implant impressions which descriptive language is inadequate to convey, It will be a valuable exercise to require the class to draw a few of the maps, or charts, which illustrate subjects which the teacher may desire to impress upon the memory of the pupils; for instance, the map on the Indian Treaties, or the map showing the condition of the public lands at the date of the compact of 1806, by which Tennessee acquired the right to dispose of the lands north and east of the Congressional line.



The beautiful State which we love under the name of Tennessee, has, at different periods of its history, been known by many other

Some of these names have been applied to the entire State, and others to large portions of it.



Natchez.-It is thought that many years before the discovery of America, Tennessee formed a part of the territory of the Natchez Indians, and was known by their name. The Natchez were expelled by the “red Indians of the North” before the country was settled by the whites, and very little is known about them.

The Chickasaw Country.-After the expulsion of the Natchez, the western portion of Tennessee was occupied by the Chickasaws, and was known by their name. The Chickasaws remained in West Tennessee long after its settlement by the whites.

The Cherokee Country.-About 1623 the Cherokees took possession of the eastern portion of the State, and gave their name to that romantic section. They retained their possessions long after the settlement by the whites.

The Hunting Grounds.-After the expulsion of the Natchez from Tennessee, the Iroquois, or Six Nations, claiming that their ancestors had conquered the country, held Middle Tennessee, with portions of Alabama and Kentucky, as their national park. They designated this park by an Indian word which means “Hunting Grounds.' The white settlers called it “The Hunting Grounds.”'

The Shawnee Country.--At a later period, the Shawnees occupied the Hunting Grounds of the Iroquois for a short time, and Middle Tennessee was known by their name, which is still retained by Sewanee Mountain.

Kentucky.--This name was applied by the Indians to the entire region included between the Ohio and Tennessee rivers and

« AnteriorContinuar »