Matthew Brady’s images

Matthew Brady

Matthew Brady was a prolific photographer who left behind a legacy of Civil War photos that allow us a glimpse into the daily lives of soldiers, important figures, and pivotal battlefields.

We have assembled several into a labelled classroom ready resource.

For more on teaching this era check out our:

US History PowerPoints

Classroom History Games

US History Image Library – Pre-20th Century

Historic Film Collection, Part 1

Statue of Liberty


Built in 1883 by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, it is said that he used his mother as the model for her face. The design was based on the Roman goddess of Liberty and has become one of the most iconic landmarks in the United States.

It was transported in pieces, assembled and unveiled between 1883 and 1886.

In 1984 the torch was repaired and plated with 24 carat gold.

We have compiled 11 pictures that show the process in the 1800s and 1980s that are ready for your classroom use.

Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman” speech


Sojourner Truth was an amazing woman who lived an extraordinary life.

Her famous speech given in Ohio in 1851 is a simple yet eloquent argument on the equality of the sexes.

There is a bit of controversy, however, as two versions have been recorded, one during the convention, a second a few years later.

The second version is the widely known speech. It is notable though that the second version is in a southern-style dialect which is not how the native New Yorker who only spoke Dutch for her early years talked.

We have included both and encourage adding questions to the assignment we have included for your classroom use.

Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

The controversial Fugitive Slave Act in 1850 was one of several compromises made during the tenuous antebellum period.

The cartoon we have chosen to highlight today works great for students as it requires them to analyze both the images and text in order to gain a deeper understanding of the artist’s position.

We have included a copy of the cartoon as well as questions and answers.

For more US History resources on this era check out our PowerPoints:

Classroom History games:

Lincoln’s message to the Senate, 1861

The Civil War is rich with primary source materials ranging from photographs to speeches to letters and much more. What a great opportunity for students to experience firsthand the depths of despair people felt at having a war within the nation.

President Lincoln hoped to end the conflict without bloodshed, but when it became obvious that was impossible he wanted to expedite the process as much as possible.

At the time of this speech, on July 5, 1861 several states had seceded and the attack on Fort Sumter had already occurred.

This speech is Lincoln appealing to the first session of the 37th Congress to take action in order to end the war quickly. We have included a page from the Journal of the Senate as well as questions and answers.

For more resources on teaching this era check out our PowerPoints:

Classroom history games:

Chinese immigration cartoon, 1879

Political cartoons are one of our favorite ways to teach high level concepts, as the symbolism tends to be rich with discussion points.

We have created questions and answers for this 1879 cartoon which comments on legislation that would have restricted the entrance of Chinese immigrants to 15 at a time.

For more resources on this era check out our PowerPoints:

Teaching the American West

Annie Oakley, a dynamic woman who achieved and overcome much in her six decades, is a great figure to introduce to students when teaching a unit on Western History.

Often overlooked, western history is filled with countless stories that students would be excited to learn about.

For more resources please checkout our PowerPoints:

Westward Movement

The West: Miners, Ranchers, Farmers, and Native Americans

Our classroom history games:

Duties of an American Citizen, TR 1883

Teddy Roosevelt was known as a brilliant orator, and this 1883 speech made as a NY State Assemblyman is no exception. He argues that participation in the government is an important part of being a good citizen, and that no one is exempt.

We have excerpted the speech and created questions and answers for your students.

This lesson could be used in any Social Studies class at any given moment as the concepts covered are applicable in many situations and ought to spark excellent discussions.

For more US History teaching resources check out our PowerPoints that cover this era:

The West

Rise of Industrialism

Response to Industrialism



Progressive Era


Guest Post: A New Generation of Crockett Fans

History is filled with larger-than-life figures, but perhaps none so large as some of the legendary men and women from the South and the Wild West. While it can be difficult for social studies teachers to explain the fairly complicated happenings in these areas over the past few centuries before they became more deeply integrated into the United States as whole, it would be a good idea to capitalize on some historical figures’ mythic statuses in order to draw attention from your students.

Of all legendary historical figures, Davy Crockett is one that many young students love to learn about. Crockett was not only an important political figure, he was also a brave adventurer, adept storyteller, ruthless fighter, and impassioned speech maker. Under the administration of Andrew Jackson, Crockett served as a member of the House of Representatives. Although originally a Jacksonian, he eventually came to scorn Jackson’s policies, especially the Indian Removal Act. In 1834, fed up with politics after a lost reelection bid, Crockett famously noted, “You may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas.”

Crocket fought in the Texas Revolution and took part in the now infamous Battle of the Alamo. Although Crocket is now a very respected folk hero, many “tall tales” abound in the life and times of Davy Crockett. For example, the most controversial of Crockett-related stories, is the way and under what circumstances he died. While we do know that he died in the Battle of the Alamo, some stories suggest that he surrendered and was executed, while other stories suggest that he “went down swinging,” killing several Mexicans all by himself before finally being cornered.

“Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier”, a Disney movie made in 1955, is  a wonderful learning tool for teachers who want to give their students an entertaining glimpse into Crockett’s life. The theme song of the movie is a good one for younger students to learn, as it includes many of the details of Crockett’s life.

History teachers could use Davy Crockett to teach some basic concepts about history as a whole. For one, Crockett was an inveterate storyteller. As such, you can use storytelling to explain to students that history is, in many ways, a lot like a chain of stories. There are many different versions, some are not accurate while some are, and accuracy often depends on dominant ideas of the time. Davy Crockett’s death story is a prime example of how legend can get mixed up with fact such that we don’t really know what happened.

This mutable version of history is best taught through people like Crockett who were half man and half legend. For more information on Crockett, check out this site that has his full biographical sketch and other teaching resources.  For more information on teaching Texas history, check out this site.


This guest contribution was submitted by Pamelia Brown, who specializes in writing about associates degree. Questions and comments can be sent to:

Civil War era political cartoon

One of our favorite ways to teach is using political cartoons. The Civil War offers a great opportunity to do this as so much time is spent on military action that students can feel bogged down in statistics.

This cartoon depicts General Scott as Hercules slaying the great hydra.

We have included questions and answers along with the cartoon for your classroom use.

For more Civil War era resources check out our PowerPoints:

Simulation Games: