1692 – 1783 Settler Colonialism and the Revolution Supplemental Materials

Art Activities

Quapaw Masterpiece

Considered to be masterpieces of Native art, painted buffalo hides created by Quapaw women in the 18th century functioned as both wearable and decorative pieces. Tanned, stretched, and painted by Quapaw artists, the hides were renowned throughout the Louisiana colony. Their narrative quality and the symbolism of the painted imagery told stories of battles, treaties, celebrations, and religious ceremonies. In the past, these artists would have used a bone or wood stylus to paint these hides with natural mineral and vegetable pigments, made from things such as swelling cottonwood buds or burnt yellow clay. The hides also gave historians insight into the Quapaw’s interactions with French colonists and other Native tribes.

In this activity, students consider how Quapaw women used these works of art to tell a story. Students begin by analyzing “the three villages” robe and discussing how the Quapaw artists used symbols to depict each element in the scene. They then consider how these symbols came together to tell a story. Finally, students use fabric paint to create either a wearable or decorative piece that uses their own symbols to tell a story about their community.

To read and download the lesson plan for this art activity, click here.

A Colonial Woman who became an American Legend

Information about individuals who lived long ago can change depending on who is telling their story and for what purpose. For some, the written and visual records are limited and it becomes difficult to paint a complete picture of their lives. Others’ lives inspire fictional characters, or myths about their experiences become the popular narrative. Artist depictions of historical figures can also heavily influence the way that they are remembered. Nancy Morgan Hart, a woman who lived on the colonial frontier during the American Revolution, is one such figure whose story has been consistently altered and retold by artists, journalists, writers, and historians.

In this activity, students consider how women of the colonial period and the Revolutionary era have been remembered through art and storytelling by analyzing portraits. Then, students create a portrait of Nancy Morgan Hart that takes her life story into account, providing a more historically accurate representation of the life and experiences of a woman living on the colonial frontier during the American Revolution.

To read and download the lesson plan for this art activity, click here.

Source Notes

Settler Colonialism

  • Alan Taylor and Eric Foner. American Colonies: The Settling of North America. New York: Penguin Books, 2002.
  • Anderson, Fred. The War that Made America. New York: Penguin, 2006.
  • Basil Dmytryshyn, E.A.P. Crownhart-Vaughan, and Thomas Vaughan, The Russian American Colonies, 1798-1867: A Documentary Record. Portland: Oregon Historical Society Press, 1989.
  • Berkin, Carol. First Generations: Women in Colonial America. New York: Hill and Wang, 1996.
  • DuVal, Kathleen. The Native Ground: Indians and Colonists in the Heart of the Continent. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.
  • Hanger, Kimberly S. Bounded Lives, Bounded Places. Durham: Duke University Press, 1997.
  • Landers, Jane. Black Society in Spanish Florida. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1999.
  • O’Malley, Gregory E. Final Passages: The Intercolonial Slave Trade of British America, 1619-1807. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014.
  • Sleeper-Smith, Susan. Indian Women and French Men. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2001.
  • Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher. Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750. New York: Random House, 1991.
  • Weber, David J. The Spanish Frontier in North America. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002.
  • Wood, Betty. Slavery in Colonial America, 1619-1776. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005.

Selling Staten Island

  • Lipman, Andrew. “A Hard Bargain.” Slate.com, April 25, 2015, accessed March 24, 2017, http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/history/2015/04/staten_island_for_sale_the_munsee_indians_sold_staten_island_under_duress.html
  • Lipman, Andrew. Saltwater Frontier. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015.

Ornaments of the Daughters of Zion

  • Barker, Kathleen. “Protestant Women”, Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection, Volume 1, Lamphier, Peg A., and Rosanne Welch, eds. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, 2017: pp. 158-159.
  • Barker-Benfield, Ben. “Anne Hutchinson and the Puritan Attitude toward Women.” Feminist Studies 1, no. 2 (1972): 65-96. doi:10.2307/3177641.
  • Robinson, David M. “The Cultural Dynamics of American Puritanism.” American Literary History 6, no. 4 (1994): 738-55. http://www.jstor.org/stable/489963
  • Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher. Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England 1650-1750. New York: Random House, 1991.

Professional Portraitist

  • Mishru, Patit Paban. “Henrietta Johnston”, Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection, Volume 1, Lamphier, Peg A., and Rosanne Welch, eds. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, 2017: pp. 145-146.
  • “Mrs. Pierre Bacot (Marianne Fleur Du Gue), ca. 1708–10,” Metmuseum.org, accessed 7/23/19 https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/11271?&searchField=All&sortBy=Relevance&who=Johnston%2c+Henrietta%24Henrietta+Johnston&ft=*&offset=0&rpp=20&pos=2