Wikipedia as a field of history Analysis prepared by Tom Hammond Lehigh University September 25, 2009
How has the our understanding of Crispus Attucks changed over time?
<ul><li>Sources of knowledge about the past (or) How do we know about the past?  </li></ul>textbooks teachers media histor...
The Boston Massacre and Crispus Attucks
Textbook Account History of the United States: Beginnings to 1877  (Mason, Jacobs, Ludlum McDougal-Littell, 1995)
<ul><li>Let's compare to WP article, as it was first created (History --> view earliest)   http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index...
<ul><li>Initial text </li></ul><ul><li>11:02, 8 September 2002   12.232.19.38  ( talk ) </li></ul><ul><li>The Boston Massa...
<ul><li>Author = IP address 12.232.19.38 </li></ul><ul><li>In 34 minutes from one computer this author made 13 WP contribu...
<ul><li>What has happened to the Boston Massacre entry since then?  </li></ul><ul><li>Current version has been greatly exp...
<ul><li>How does the structure of Wikipedia help us understand the discipline of history </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on Crispu...
 
<ul><li>Was Attucks singled out in Revere's print?  </li></ul><ul><li>Text below the engraving </li></ul><ul><li>“ Unhappy...
<ul><li>How did we get to the point where Attucks is the only one of the six that gets attention? </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipe...
What are some of the highlights of the Crispus Attucks Wikipedia article?
 
<ul><li>Account for the postings (number of revisions, time range from first to last, notation of periods of activity)  </...
Wikipedia as a field of history?
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  • History of the United States: Beginnings to 1877 (Mason, Jacobs, Ludlum McDougal-Littell, 1995) ... used for 8th grade in BASD. We have two paragraphs and an image (Revere print) on p. 176 Name date location (customhouse) descrip of crowd (street youths and dockworkers) descrip of complaints (impressment, jobs) descrip of instigation (yelling insults, summoning others to join crowd) descrip of firing (one soldier, then others) descrip of results (5 dead or mortally wounded) ID of Attucks (Af-Am sailor and escaped slave) Sons of Liberty event used for propaganda (e.g., name, engraving) legal action: Adams &amp; Quincy attys for defense, 6 acquit, 2 had thumbs branded &amp;quot;as a penalty&amp;quot;
  • Name date connect to AmRev connect to KentState descrip of instigation (taunting, attacking by crowd of soldiers / soldiers fire back) descrip of results (5 dead, 6 injured) ID of Attucks: 1st Af-Am casualty of AmRev mention Revere engraving legal action, results (6 acquit, 2 guilty of manslaughter; JA defense atty)
  • Clearly, his image or status or significance has changed over time: We know his name, his ethnicity, his occupation, we have one account saying he&apos;s an escaped slave. What else do you know? (&amp;quot;First to die,&amp;quot; &amp;quot;martyr&amp;quot;). How has his image changed over time? Why has his image changed?
  • - Mentions possibility of his being an escaped slave -Raises question of involvement - was he a primary instigator? &amp;quot;Violence soon erupted and a soldier was struck with a thrown piece of wood. Some accounts named Attucks as the person responsible. Other witnesses stated that Attucks was &amp;quot;leaning upon a stick&amp;quot; when the soldiers opened fire.&amp;quot; (No citation) - First to die: &amp;quot;Court documents state that Attucks was the first one killed and that he took two bullets in the chest.&amp;quot; (No cite, but I know the source) - He&apos;s in the Granary Burial Ground (common grave or cremains with other victims...unusual but not unheard of for the time) - LEGACY section is the goldmine
  • So how did all this groovy information come to be? Look at discussion page. It&apos;s all laid out: - uncertainty over (runaway) slave status, NatAm ancestry - folk history vs. &amp;quot;official&amp;quot; history - legacy info (1998 coin) - leadership role / uncertainty There&apos;s even bonus material: (a) some crazy ballistics stuff, and (b) how to discuss the ethnicity of multi-racial individuals.
  • THIS IS WHAT HISTORY IS. A DISCUSSION OF THE PAST, WITH REFERENCE TO SOURCES. The final documents are clean and tidy and on the top. But the history forge is down here. Is this what democratic education is? This is all exposed to you...you can do it, too. Not like a textbook. Questions about history as process in Wikipedia - The &amp;quot;artist&apos;s conception&amp;quot; image -- should it be deleted? Moved? Kept where it is? - The Bufford image be deleted? Moved? Kept right where it is? - The &apos;Crispus Attuck&apos;s Grave&apos; image...?
  • W Pasafieldofhistory

    1. 1. Wikipedia as a field of history Analysis prepared by Tom Hammond Lehigh University September 25, 2009
    2. 2. How has the our understanding of Crispus Attucks changed over time?
    3. 3. <ul><li>Sources of knowledge about the past (or) How do we know about the past? </li></ul>textbooks teachers media historians
    4. 4. The Boston Massacre and Crispus Attucks
    5. 5. Textbook Account History of the United States: Beginnings to 1877 (Mason, Jacobs, Ludlum McDougal-Littell, 1995)
    6. 6. <ul><li>Let's compare to WP article, as it was first created (History --> view earliest) http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Boston_Massacre&oldid=203484 11:02, 8 September 2002...3 other edits that same day, all in about 20 minutes from the initial draft First edit just copy-editing, linking http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Boston_Massacre&diff=412511&oldid=203484 </li></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>Initial text </li></ul><ul><li>11:02, 8 September 2002   12.232.19.38  ( talk ) </li></ul><ul><li>The Boston Massacre occurred 5 March 1770AD. This was one of the events that helped spark the American Revolution. In an event much like what would happen over 200 years later at Kent State, a mob of men began taunting armed soldiers. After some of the men began throwing ice at the British soldiers, eventually the soldiers fired back. In this action, 5 Americans died, including one Crispus Attucks, the first known African-American Casualty of the American Revolution. Six more were injured. The event was immortalized by an engraver named Paul Revere. In a post-massacre trial, 6 soldiers were found non-guilty, and 2 more-- the only two proven to have fired-- were found guilty of manslaughter. John Adams acted as defense attorney. </li></ul>
    8. 8. <ul><li>Author = IP address 12.232.19.38 </li></ul><ul><li>In 34 minutes from one computer this author made 13 WP contributions including the initial Boston Massacre post http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/12.232.19.38 </li></ul><ul><li>ISP is CURRENTLY held by Dr. Erik N. Zeeman, MD Inc. </li></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>What has happened to the Boston Massacre entry since then? </li></ul><ul><li>Current version has been greatly expanded </li></ul><ul><li>As of Sept 25, 2009: 1686 editors http://toolserver.org/~daniel/WikiSense/Contributors.php?wikifam=.wikipedia.org&wikilang=en&order=-edit_count&page=Boston+Massacre&grouped=on&ofs=0&max=1000 </li></ul><ul><li>About 3000 edits total </li></ul>
    10. 10. <ul><li>How does the structure of Wikipedia help us understand the discipline of history </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on Crispus Attucks. He gets singled out by name in both the textbook and the first version of the Wikepedia article, as well as all of the 1657 versions that followed. </li></ul>
    11. 12. <ul><li>Was Attucks singled out in Revere's print? </li></ul><ul><li>Text below the engraving </li></ul><ul><li>“ Unhappy Boston! see thy Sons deplore, Thy hallowed Walks besmeared with guiltless Gore.&quot; Also listed are the &quot;unhappy Sufferers&quot; Saml Gray, Saml Maverick, James Caldwell, Crispus Attucks, and Patrick Carr (killed) and it is noted that there were &quot;Six wounded; two of them (Christr Monk & John Clark) Mortally.” </li></ul>
    12. 13. <ul><li>How did we get to the point where Attucks is the only one of the six that gets attention? </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia article on Crispus Attucks actually gives us a lot to go on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crispus_Attucks </li></ul>
    13. 14. What are some of the highlights of the Crispus Attucks Wikipedia article?
    14. 16. <ul><li>Account for the postings (number of revisions, time range from first to last, notation of periods of activity)  </li></ul><ul><li>Describe progress or development in the article from the original post to the most recent update (use Jones' descriptions of B-17 and special effect articles as a guide) </li></ul><ul><li>Critique the quality of the article in its current state (use Rosenzweig's approach, writing quality and factual information) </li></ul><ul><li>Describe the discussion around the article </li></ul><ul><li>Background information on the most active contributors (use Boston Massacre work as an example) </li></ul>An analysis of Crispus Attucks article
    15. 17. Wikipedia as a field of history?

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