Thursday, July 09, 2015

Day 9 - Research and Dinner

Today was spent primarily doing research at the Fred W Smith Library of the Study of George Washington and having a discussion with Mount Vernon's Vice President of Education Allison Wickens.  

I now have a plan for what I want to accomplish with my archaeology lesson plan so now I am finding primary resource documents to accompany my lesson.  For example, one aspect of the lesson will focus on the objects found when an archaeological survey was performed on the south midden in the 1990's - essentially the trash and refuse from the mansion between 1735 and 1765.  I found a letter Washington wrote to the Robert Cary Company in England asking to purchase a variety of items.  Some of these events would eventually be found in the trash. I am also using some of the eye witness accounts from the many visitors who came to Mount Vernon in Washington's time.  Mount Vernon hosted many, many visitors and the descriptions these visitors wrote in letters and journals are a valuable peek in the estate in Washington's time.

In the afternoon Mount Vernon hosted a tea at the library for the current Life Guard Teacher Fellows. It is a chance for any of the library staff to come and meet us, the Teacher Fellows, and learn about our projects. Sometimes they can offer help on our projects and it is nice to know as many people here in the library as possible. I have felt very welcome by all the staff here in all departments and I truly feel like they all want me to succeed and help expand the story of the Washington's in my own way.

This afternoon was also exciting because my wife Jayme arrived at Mount Vernon.  I will have my doctoral graduation on Saturday in the DC area so she was come in to attend the ceremony and spend a couple of days here.  Tonight we went in to old town Alexandria to eat at a great farm to table place called Virtue Feed and Grain.

Tomorrow is a big day because I will have an additional opportunity to work at the archaeological site located at the Slave Cemetery here at Mount Vernon.  Since Jayme is as much a history geek as me she will be coming with me and volunteering to work at the archaeological site as well.  See you tomorrow.

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