Henry Rowe Schoolcraft wrote the first published account of the Missouri and Arkansas Ozarks. He introduced the region to the world, but his writing helped establish enduring negative stereotypes of the Ozarks and its inhabitants.
What's kinds of stereotypes might there have been about people in the Ozarks? Do those stereotypes still exist? Could people have stereotypes about you...
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In the summer of 1818 Schoolcraft arrived in Potosi, the heart of Missouri Territory’s lead mining region. Schoolcraft surveyed the area’s mining and smelting operations before he decided to investigate rumors of rich lead deposits in the White River Valley.
The history of lead mining might interest you, especially since you live in the heart of one of the biggest fields of galena in the state of Missouri. Henry Schoolcraft might not have known everything about lead mining, but he worked in some of the mines in our state and wrote about what he learned when he was there. Watch this video and the read more about Missouri's state mineral, galena and find out how it is related to lead.
The Mississippi River
In 1832 Schoolcraft led an expedition to Lake Itasca, the source of the headwaters of the Mississippi River, in what is now Minnesota. He published an account of the expedition, Narrative of an Expedition Through the Upper Mississippi to Itasca Lake.
Just the Facts
Let this peppy little video (below) introduce you to the Mississippi River. Here is a lot of information in less than two minutes. Hopefully, there is enough here to get you interested in learning more.
The Great Floods of 1927 and 1993
We can't talk about the Mississippi River without mentioning flooding. With that much water flowing from various tributaries, all headed to the mouth of the river at the Gulf of Mexico, there is always the danger of flooding.
Two years, 1927 and 1993, are particularly memorable. In the four videos below, you will be an eye witness to these two disastrous floods. The videos on the left show first-hand flood footage, while the videos on the right are reflections on the floods.
How are the videos on the left different than the ones on the right? How are they similar? Why are they call great floods?
The Great River Road
It would seem that Schoolcraft was successful when he wrote about places and the people who lived in those places. Let's consider the 10 states that are directly affected by the Mississippi River. In pairs or groups, take some time to study one of the 10 states in the map (left), and make a poster to share with the class to interest others in visiting the state and meeting the people who live there.
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