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videos + essays
Over the next two years, Seeing America will grow to include 100 videos, 18 essays, quizzes, discussion questions and lesson plans.
John Wesley Jarvis, Black Hawk and His Son Whirling Thunder
These Indigenous men sat for this portrait during a forced tour of U.S. eastern cities after they were incarcerated as political prisoners
John James Audubon, The Wild Turkey
This life-size painting of a wild turkey is a copy of the first page in Audubon's famous book Birds of America
The story of the Oyster Man, a Tlingit totem pole
Learn the story behind this totem pole that no longer stands
Literacy and slavery: David Drake, Double-handled jug
Enslaved artist David Drake inscribed a poem onto this jug at a time when literacy among enslaved people was outlawed
Haida potlatch pole
What is a potlatch? And how is it related to this totem pole?
Bentwood Boxes of the Northwest Coast peoples
The body of this box is made of one piece of wood carefully bent into its four sides
Tlingit mortuary and memorial totem poles
Learn about two types of totem poles from the Tlingit people of the Pacific Northwest Coast that memorialize individuals who have passed
Slave Burial Ground, University of Alabama
A 2004 plaque is the only marker of burial grounds of enslaved people who died while enslaved by the University of Alabama and its faculty
The Missouri Compromise and the dangerous precedent of appeasement: American Art in Context
Historians celebrated these compromises as valiant efforts to save the union, but recently historians have questioned whether they should instead be seen as appeasements of slaveholders.
The Mexican-American War
There is no memorial to the Mexican-American War in Washington, D.C.—a war in which more than 15,000 American soldiers lost their lives.
Thomas Birch, Perry’s Victory on Lake Erie
Perry's painting of the Battle of Lake Erie celebrates the U.S. victory in the War of 1812, but it doesn't depict the aftermath's devastating effects on Native Americans.
Clean water for a young Philadelphia
Top American bucket list destination in 1821