Support provided by:
In a forgotten corner of The Washington D.C. Public Library, a photo archivist has discovered what may be a momentous piece of history.
It’s a list of signatures from public figures of the early 1800’s, including President Thomas Jefferson, offering their own money for a seemingly humble proposal: to build a simple pair of elementary schools. But Jefferson’s ultimate goal, we learn, is far loftier. With this venture, he is quietly floating his plan to launch the nation’s first public school system.
Eventually he would go broke through such acts of charity, but Jefferson’s ideals of public education would transform the nation. Could it all have begun with a modest $200 pledge?
History Detectives investigates the beginnings of public education in the United States.
- Related Investigation Clara Barton Letter What does this letter reveal about America's early efforts to honor its war dead?
- Related Investigation Creole Poems Does this manuscript contain words of love or illegal acts of rebellion?
- Also with Wes Cowan George Washington Portrait Could this be an authentic portrait of the nation's first president?
- Also with Wes Cowan Bonnie & Clyde's Bullets Are these the bullets that ended one of the most infamous crime-sprees in American history?
- Also with Wes Cowan Mouse Toy Could this tiny toy labeled 'Micky' be the original Mickey Mouse?
- Also in Expansion: 1801-1861 Koranic School Book Why does this 200 year old schoolbook contain two translated passages from the Koran?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.
Anyone wishing to submit an artifact for investigation should do so through Submit a Story.
- Submit your StoryDo you have an object from Expansion: 1801-1861? Submit your story now.
- Latest CommentIt turns out that this collage was sold last fall: http://www.worthpoint.com/wort... I wonder if it would be possible to contact the buyer by way of the auction house about getting a print made. (6 months ago)
- Twitterremember this investigation with @TukufuZuberi @elyseluray Tonight they reunite! Let us know your thoughts! @PBS http://t.co/4KMnc27K (1 year ago)
- FacebookCongrats on your exhibit, TZ! Here's a Washington Post article about the exhibit, everyone, and the great story TZ and Elyse did on his "Our Colored Heroes" story. http://tinyurl.com/mzpuyo8 http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/investigation/our-colored-heroes/ (6 months ago)