The resources in this primary source set are intended for classroom use. If your use will be beyond a single classroom, please review the copyright and fair use guidelines.
To help your students analyze these primary sources, get a graphic organizer and guides: Analysis Tool and Guides
Although New York City and Philadelphia each served briefly as the capital of the United States, in 1790 Congress chose the District of Columbia as the permanent seat of government. The primary sources in this set document key moments in the state’s story, and provide opportunities for students to explore that rich history further.
Use the question sets and analysis tool to deepen student engagement and thinking about these compelling, imperfect objects. Select questions such as:
Or extend student learning by asking them to write a caption for the item, imagine what happened an hour before or after what the item portrays, or expand a textbook or other secondary account of history to include the item.
These primary sources can raise further questions about the time, place, or events from which they emerged, and can prompt students to further investigation of the state’s history.