HIST 397: Topics in Public History

HIST 397-001: Mason Legacies
(Spring 2023)

04:30 PM to 07:10 PM W

Innovation Hall 336

Section Information for Spring 2023

This course is both a contribution to the university's Mason Legacies initiative and an
introduction to documentary editing. Students will transcribe and annotate sections of an account book that belonged to Stevens Thomson Mason (1760-1803), nephew of George Mason IV (the famous George), and his son Armistead Thomson Mason (1787-1819), which is currently available from Fenwick Library's Special Collections in an unedited digitized form: https://scrc.gmu.edu/finding_aids/masonaccountbook.html. The class’s work will eventually be published as a born-digital project accessible to the public. The centerpiece of the project will be biographical sketches of all of the people mentioned in the account book, which will offer users a cumulative portrait of a significant subset of the population of Loudoun County in the post-revolutionary era.

In Part I of the course, students will transcribe and annotate a portion of the account book and research and write brief biographies of some (presumably white) people mentioned in it who are comparatively easier to track down in local records, census, and other sources. In Part II, the class will focus exclusively on the enslaved people mentioned by name in the account book. After meeting with one of more experts in African American local history and genealogy, students will research and write brief biographies of specific enslaved people.

By reading, transcribing, and annotating the Masons' account book, students will learn about family relationships and finances, legal practice and fees, medicine, slavery, the plantation economy and local trade, and other related topics. They will also develop certain digital and editing skills.

NOTE: For permission to register, contact Carrie Grabo at cgrabo1@gmu.edu.

HIST 397 001 enrollment is controlled. Please contact Carrie Grabo at cgrabo1@gmu.edu for permission to register.

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Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Introduces students to issues and methods in preserving history and presenting historical information to a variety of audiences through museum exhibits, websites, public commemorations, and other means. May be repeated within the term for a maximum 9 credits.
Specialized Designation: Topic Varies
Schedule Type: Lec/Sem #1, Lec/Sem #2, Lec/Sem #3, Lec/Sem #4, Lec/Sem #5, Lec/Sem #6, Lec/Sem #7, Lec/Sem #8, Lec/Sem #9, Lecture, Sem/Lec #10, Sem/Lec #11, Sem/Lec #12, Sem/Lec #13, Sem/Lec #14, Sem/Lec #15, Sem/Lec #16, Sem/Lec #17, Sem/Lec #18
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes.