What can maps tell us about the past?
How do they affect the way we view events such as the American Revolution?
The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library has a new, traveling exhibition called We Are One: Mapping America’s Road from Revolution to Independence.
We Are One seeks to change the way we look at and explore the tumultuous events that led 13 colonies to break away from Great Britain and forge a new nation.
Michelle LeBlanc, Director of Education and Public Programming at the Leventhal Map Center joins us to explore maps as historical documents and this amazing new exhibit.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with an historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
We Are One: Mapping America’s Road from Revolution to Independence encourages us to explore the tumultuous events that led 13 colonies to forge a new nation.
In today’s episode, Michelle LeBlanc, the Director of Education and Public Programming at the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, leads us on an exploration of this amazing exhibit.
During our conversation, Michelle reveals how we can use maps to discover information about the past; information about how the maps in We Are One portray the 13 North American colonies and the British Empire; And, details about the rare objects, maps, and digital tools contained within the exhibition.
Michelle also shares the different ways you can view We Are One, which include future exhibition dates at Colonial Williamsburg and the New-York Historical Society and an online exhibition.
What You’ll Discover
- Information about Michelle’s work as the Director of Public Programming and Education at the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library
- Brief overview of the history of the Boston Public Library
- Details about the Leventhal Map Center and its collections
- Information about the traveling exhibition We Are One: Mapping America’s Road from Revolution to Independence
- How maps can affect how we view the American Revolution
- How we can read maps to discover information about the past
- How 18th-century maps situated the British North American colonies within the British Empire
- How mapmakers added the humanity of the French and Indian War into their maps
- How portrayals of North America and the British Empire changed during the American Revolution and War for Independence
- Reasons why cartographers drew maps
- When the first maps of an independent United States began to appear
- Details about the imagery early American cartographers used on their maps of the United States that proclaimed elements of their new American identity
- Rare objects and maps contained in the We Are One Exhibition
- Interactive, digital tools contained within exhibition
- The story of the George Washington medal of honor (1789)
- Information about the Leventhal Map Center’s Teacher Workshops concerning maps and the American Revolution
- Additional dates and destinations where you can view the We Are One traveling exhibition
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Boston Public Library
- Norman B. Leventhal Map Center
- We Are One Digital Exhibit
- Leventhal Map Center Digital Map Collections
- Calendar of Upcoming American Revolution Lectures and Events at the Leventhal Map Center & Boston Public Library
- We Are One Teacher Workshops
- Overview of Exhibit
Time Warp Question
In your opinion what might have happened if the British Army had not had the access to maps that it had? Do you think the lack of maps would have changed the course of the War for Independence?
Questions, Comments, Suggestions
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