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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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Background Essay on Iron Horses and Indians

This essay discusses the impact of the transcontinental railroad on Native American life. It focuses on the role of buffalo hunters in the federal government's policy of Indian removal. This essay, and the related Iron Horse vs. the Buffalo [...]

Vocabulary for The Journal of Sean Sullivan

This is a basic vocabulary list to use with this book. There are other words and terms that your students may want to add in the space provided at the end.

Themes in The Journal of Sean Sullivan

This is a list of the book’s themes along with the related journal entries.

Theme Team Worksheets for The Journal of Sean Sullivan

This set of worksheets provides reading questions and writing tasks that cover five themes (work, corruption, tensions among immigrant groups, conflict with Indians, boomtowns) found in the historical fiction book, The Journal of Sean Sullivan.

"As it was in the old days"

Edward Curtis was a professional photographer of the American West. In 1906, the wealthy banker and art collector J.P. Morgan hired Curtis to produce a multi-volume series on Native Americans that would include essays, sound recordings, and 1500 [...]

An American Journalist Explains “Manifest Destiny”

John L. O’Sullivan was an influential journalist and supporter of the Democratic Party. In 1839, he laid out historical, moral, political, and economic reasons for westward expansion. In 1845, O’Sullivan rallied support for the annexation of [...]

Reading Historical Fiction: The Journal of Sean Sullivan: A Transcontinental Railroad Worker

In this activity, students are guided through a close reading of The Journal of Sean Sullivan: A Transcontinental Railroad Worker, a fictional book for young readers based on historical sources. Students will read a short excerpt from the beginning [...]

Graph of Mexican Immigration to the United States, 1900-1940

This chart shows the numbers of Mexican immigrants entering the United States between 1900 and 1940, as counted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.

A Professor Condemns Mexican Immigration

Mexican immigration to the United States increased dramatically during the decade of the Mexican Revolution (1910-20). Some in the U.S. welcomed the newcomers, while others worried about the effects they would have on American society. This 1912 [...]

Mexican Immigrant Corridos

Ballads are songs that tell a story, often a sad one. Corridos are a form of Mexican ballad that describe the difficulties of life. Mexican immigrants brought corridos with them and even composed new ones that drew upon their experiences in the [...]