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When the Mississippi Ran Backwards Writing Assignment
59 Points Maximum
What is a Primary Source?
Primary sources are documents, images or artifacts that provide firsthand testimony or
direct evidence concerning an historical topic under research investigation. Primary
sources are original documents created or experienced contemporaneously with the
event being researched. Primary sources enable researchers to get as close as
possible to what happened during an historical event or time period. A secondary
source is a work that interprets or analyzes an historical event or period after the event
has occurred and, generally speaking, with the use of primary sources. The same
document, or other piece of evidence, may be a primary source in one investigation and
secondary in another. The search for primary sources does not, therefore, automatically
include or exclude any format of research materials or type of records, documents, or
As an example, a diary from an immigrant from Vietnam to the United States
documenting her travel experiences from Vietnam to Orange County would be
considered a primary source for research on Vietnamese immigration to Orange
County. However, a book written by a professor that analyzes the various writings of
Vietnam immigrants and interprets the experience of those immigrants is a secondary
source for this research.
Evaluating Primary Sources
 Who is the author or creator?
 What biases or assumptions may have influenced the author or creator?
 Who was the intended audience?
 What is the origin of the primary source?
 What was the significance of the source at the time it was created?
 Has the source been edited or translated, or altered in some way from the
 What questions could be answered about the time-period by using this source?
 What, if any, are the limitations of the source?
Answer the following questions in full and grammatically correct sentences. Student
name, class, section, and date are to be in the upper right-hand corner. Assignments
are to be double-spaced and must be stapled if more than one page. There is no need
to write out the question, but answers MUST exactly match the question number.
1. What kind of source is this book? (1 point)
2. Tecumseh’s great journey was intended to spread what message? (1 point)
3. Provide two of the devious methods the federal government used to obtain
massive native land cessions (2 points)
4. What did the name “Tecumseh” translate to? (1 point)
5. When Tecumseh left Tuckhabatchee, what was his prophecy? (1 point)
6. The Lewis brothers were nephews of what famous person? (1 point)
7. Why did the family emigrate to Kentucky? (1 point)
8. What did George do that caused Lilburne to fly into a wild rage and led to his
murder? (1 point)
9. True or false? The maiden voyage of the New Orleans was the first steamboat
trip ever on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers (1 point)
10. True or false? Nicholas and Lydia Roosevelt were the great-grand-uncle and
great-grand-aunt of Franklin Roosevelt (1 point)
11. What was “sweeping?” (1 point)
12. Provide the name of the man who named New Madrid (1 point)
13. Who was George Morgan’s covert rival? (1 point)
14. True or false? Land speculation was the main investment scheme of the age (1
15. Name the Spanish ambassador that was dispatched to New York in an attempt
to counter America’s westward expansion (1 point)
16. True or false? George Morgan resented Congress for thwarting his two grand
colonizing schemes in the west (1 point)
17. How much land did George Morgan ask the Spanish Crown to grant him for a
colony? (1 point)
18. What were the Falls of the Ohio? (1 point)
19. Provide the two types of snags, the worst of the wooden hazards on the river (2
20. Name the most dangerous of the man-made hazards of river travel (1 point)
21. True or false? George Morgan laid the foundation for the modern system of
rectangular survey of public lands (1 point)
22. Provide the two issues that Kentuckians were most incensed over (2 points)
23. What deal did James Wilkinson offer Esteban Miro in his “First Memorial?” (1
24. True or false? Morgan’s proposed colony put Wilkinson’s scheme in jeopardy (1
25. Provide the two provisions in the King of Spain’s response that all but ended
Wilkinson’s hopes for making a big killing in his dealings with Spain (2 points)
26. Provide two problems with New Madrid’s location that made it less-than-ideal (2
27. Provide the two distinct groups of white immigrants in New Madrid (2 points)
28. Provide the two men who became the principal adversaries in the U.S.-Indian
struggle for the frontier that met for the first time at the town of Vincennes in
August of 1810 (2 points)
29. Provide the name of Tecumseh’s younger brother, whose vision became the
inspiration for a new religion (1 point)
30. Provide two things the establishment of Prophetstown accomplished (2 points)
31. True or false? The Randolph family was riddled with mental and physical
instability, including retardation, insanity, epilepsy, alcohol abuse, morphine
addiction, and criminal behavior (1 point)
32. What was the “gouging?” (1 point)
33. True or false? Nicholas Roosevelt had invented the method of propulsion that
would later be proven the most efficient way of moving steamboats at age 13,
and by age 30 was acknowledged as the premier engine maker in the U.S. (1
34. Provide two alternative names that flatboats were known as (2 points)
35. The largest of keelboats were sometimes called what? (1 point)
36. Name the four types of earthquakes (4 points)
37. The New Madrid earthquakes were highly unusual in that they were what type of
earthquakes? (1 point)
38. A shallow-focus quake has an initial rupture of what? (1 point)
39. True or false? Earthquakes in themselves usually kill people (1 point)
40. Provide the two types of faults found in the New Madrid fault system (2 points)
41. True or false? A common misunderstanding about the Richter Scale is that an
increase of one unit on the scale represents a tenfold increase in size (1 point)
42. The phrase “a true-bill” meant what? (1 point)
43. True or false? Tecumseh used the earthquakes to his advantage and they were
a determining factor in many tribesman’s thinking (1 point)
44. True or false? The capture of Detroit marked the high point of the pan-tribal
movement’s success (1 point)
45. True or false? Colonel Richard Mentor Johnson is, without a doubt, the man who
killed Tecumseh (1 point)
46. True or false? The decisive battle of the Creek War was at Horseshoe Bend in
March of 1814 (1 point)

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