An Indentured Servant in the Midst of the American Revolution: the Story of John Harrower

Patrick C. Cook, History senior and History Society Vice President

This is a public presentation written as part of HIST4001, Professional Practices in History
Harrower’s itinerary drawn on Robert Sayer’s “A New Map, or Chart in Mercators Projection, of The Western or Atlantic Ocean with Part of Europe, Africa and America” (London, 1757). Accessed from

The following is a condensed version of John Harrower’s story, a Scottish indentured servant living in Virginia at the time of the American Revolution. Today he is remembered as an indentured servant who kept an extensive personal journal during his time in Virginia. Upon first inspection, one may not notice the peculiarities in his writing. Though the further one may read, they may come to understand that Harrower’s experience was unique and valuable to further study. People of high status would treat Harrower as a friend rather than a servant in the colonies, due to his significant educational and social skills.  These skills distinguished him from his fellow indentured servants. Harrower’s ability to write poetry and prose, speak in a gentlemanly fashion, and conduct himself properly among the elite all ensured him greater social mobility than the average servant.

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Ragnarök: A story of how the world ends, and why we keep coming back to it

By Max Daugherty, History senior.
This is a public presentation produced in HIST4001, Professional Practices in History.
A modern painting of Ragnarök, from the See U in History youtube channel.

“What will the end of the world look like?” It’s an uneasy question, but most of us have thought it. Today, we may draw on modern popular culture to think about it and imagine zombies overrunning the world. We may draw on scientific predictions or science fiction and imagine natural disasters one after the other. Or we may gain inspiration in prophecies about Judgement Day. All these answers have one thing in common: they are stories that encode the experience, wisdom and feeling of a culture and pass it on from one generation to another, and sometimes one place to another, one culture to another. This article is about one of these stories that survived the test of time. This story begins in ancient Scandinavia or what is now known as Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.

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The Vinland Map: A Saga of Fraud

By Jacob Branstiter. Jacob had been president of the History Society in 2019-20. He plans to earn a Master’s Degree in archival studies or a related field, in order to pursue a career in archiving.

This is a public presentation produced in HIST4001, Professional Practices in History.

This project recounts one of the most heated scholarly debates of recent times, the question of the authenticity of the Vinland Map. From its origins in the hands of manuscript thief Enzo Ferrajoli, to its fraud revealed at the hands of independent researcher John Paul Floyd, this map’s legacy is forever marked by its infamy. This infamy stands as a cautionary tale to all researchers of the dangers of scholarly isolation, evidence suppression, and unknown provenance.

The Humanities in Times of COVID

Amílcar E. Challú (Assoc. Prof. of History, and chair)

Chad Iwertz Duffy (Assist. Prof. of English)

Photo of key personnel of NEH CARES grant “Toward a pedagogy from crisis”

Faculty in English, History and the Institute for the Culture and Society have been collaborating in a project funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities — CARES Act grant. This project has three big objectives: 1) to support our humanities programs to adapt to the new pedagogical needs of COVID times; 2) to mitigate the negative impact of the COVID crisis; 3) to learn from the multimodal experience in the humanities. Chad I. Duffy (English) and Amílcar E. Challú (History) are the co-principal investigators.

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“One Class Project, Three Semesters and Counting…”

Much as historians might want to take an article or conference paper from conception to completion in one semester, in fact we often take longer. Last spring, Dr. Matt Schumann’s rendition of our Historiography course (HIST 3797) won an award for introducing students to key elements and mindsets of the historian’s craft, including an appreciation that their projects might exceed the scope of the class. One student from last Fall’s course, AYA Education major Mr. Benjamin Stuck, has now spent a year on his project, a history of the War on Drugs, and he just received a CURS grant this Fall to support his ongoing research.

In this post, Dr. Schumann asks Mr. Stuck for some perspectives on his evolving project, where it has been and where it’s going.

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“This war is about peace” The 2003 Iraq war, defrauding the American people

by Mohammed Alnaqeeb, BGSU History major. This is one in a series of posts written by students in HIST 4800 in Spring, 2020, putting our world into historical context for the public.

Historical facts eventually come to light despite any mass media deception, but do we learn from history’s lessons? War is an extreme action that begets the most serious of consequences, it is not a decision to be taken lightly. Yet, time and again, people are fooled into thinking that war is the only alternative. A prime example of such a deception is the drive to convince the American people of one of the most unnecessary and calamitous conflicts in modern times and that is the 2003 Iraq War. This illegal war, that was supposed to bring freedom and liberty, plunged the whole of the Middle East into a bottomless pit of anarchy and chaos flowering into nightmares like ISIS. This pattern of deception, However, is neither unique nor isolated as it was practiced throughout history in almost every country and every war.

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Japanese Internment Camps and the Connection to Fort Sill Protests

by Olivia Cotterman, BGSU History major. This is one in a series of posts written by students in HIST 4800 in Spring, 2020, putting our world into historical context for the public.

I have always been interested in the personal side of history. The personal accounts of an event, the artifacts people make, and their diaries and journals. My latest research project has been about the Japanese Internment Camps and the way in which it has been remembered among the survivors. The xenophobia that pushed Japanese Americans into internment camps continues into the present day.

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Making History Interesting

by Edward Belofsky, BGSU History major. This is one in a series of posts written by students in HIST 4800 in Spring, 2020, putting our world into historical context for the public.

Modern restroom graffiti

There are a few people who are interested and choose to study history, and then there are those who are generally not interested until they come across something particular. This should not be new information as most of us have known for a while that if something is interesting or relatable, the more likely are to connect with the topic and find it enjoyable. In my opinion the best way to make history relatable, and therefore interesting to most people, is through comedy. Comedy might be one of the most relatable things on the planet, because most everyone likes a good laugh. For instance, most people are familiar with the funny graffiti that is sometimes scribbled around in public restrooms, and how interesting it can be some time to say the least. 

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The Emerald City and its Diverse People


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by Natalie Alexandra Stitak, BGSU History major. This is one in a series of posts written by students in HIST 4800 in Spring, 2020, putting our world into historical context for the public.

From Native Americans to African Americans, many ethnic groups have made the image of Seattle what it is today. These ethnic groups, unfortunately, have faced many challenges, but have learned to overcome them and unite together.

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