For Complete History of Presidents
PBS Kids President for a Day!
All About George Washington!
The following are links that focus on Washington and Lincoln.
George Washington's Birthday
George Washington Websites
First President - George Washington
This official Whitehouse website provides a brief biography of Washington and links to his papers at
University of Virginia.
Click on one of the pictures on the homepage to see inside Washington's Mt. Vernon, Virginia, home
and gardens completed with costumed interpreters.
The Moral Washington: Construction of a Legend (1800-1920s)
Here is a description of how the legend of the cherry tree and other Washington folklore began.
George Washington and Colonial Williamsburg
Here is a biography, including a section on Washington in Williamsburg, and links to Washington's
Inaugural addresses from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
The Farewell Address: Washington's Final Manuscript
Here is an http://www.virginia.edu/gwpapers/badge.jpg introduction, pages in Washington's hand and a
transcription of the Farewell Address, in which Washington retired from the presidency rather than
become a new American king. He also describes important ideas about American foreign policy.
Draft of the Federal Constitution: Report of Committee of Detail and Report of Committee of Style
Here is a copy of Washington's handwritten annotations to the Constitution, as dictated by the
Committees. What a fascinating window into the steps to the creation of the Constitution.
Washington's School Exercises: Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation
Here is Washington's original version and a modern transcription of each page of the this delightful little
booklet on how to behave in public, 18th c. style. These maxims originated in the late sixteenth century
in France and were popularly circulated during Washington's time. Washington wrote out a copy of the
110 Rules in his school book when he was about sixteen-years old.
Washington and Slavery
Here are primary source documents related to George Washington's ownership of slaves, his views on
slavery and his emancipation of them in his will.
George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress
This Library of Congress timeline of Washington's life and the early history of America is broken into
three sections: Colonial, Revolution, and Early Republic. Within each segment of the timeline are
hotlinks to Washington's writing and other primary sources.
George Washington in the Classroom
Here are almost a dozen activities for the classroom to celebrate Washington's contributions for
What Was George Washington's Legacy
to American Constitutionalism and Citizenship?
This lesson looks at the legacy of George Washington, perhaps the most influential leader in the
creation of the American nation. Through his achievements as commander-in-chief during the
Revolution, in support of the drafting and ratification of the Constitution, and as first president,
Washington was instrumental in transforming the ideals of the Revolution into reality. His career
as soldier, revolutionary, constitution-maker, and chief executive of a new nation demanded a
range of skills and talents with few precedents in history. When you have completed this lesson,
you will be able to evaluate, take, and defend a position on the contributions of the "Father of
His Country" to the nation's traditions of constitutional government and citizenship.
The Happy Progress of Our Affairs:
George Washington and the U.S. Constitution
This Library of Congress Learning Page lesson addresses George Washington's leadership in
forging a new government for the United States after the break from England in 1776. The
historical period covered by the documents in the lesson ranges from a few days after the
Declaration of Independence in 1776, to late May 1790, when Rhode Island became the last of
the thirteen colonies to ratify the new Constitution. The lesson uses Washington's own words to
illustrate the events leading to the establishment of our national government, and the crucial roles
he played throughout that process.
Integrity and Firmness is All I Can Promise: The Washington Presidency
This Library of Congress Learning Page lesson addresses George Washington's leadership as
President of the United States. The documents in the lesson range from a few days before his
inauguration through his presidency and include one letter from retirement that summarizes
foreign policy issues between the United States and the French Republic. The documents explore
several key issues during the administration that Washington highlighted in his Farewell Address
of September 19, 1796.
Giving Speeches: George Washington's First and Second Inaugural Addresses
Interpret George Washington’s first and second inaugural addresses. Compare and contrast the
information of each speech and write an imaginative historical narrative based on the events of
the two inauguration days. Standards 8.2.4 and 8.4.2
Looking at a National Treasure: George Washington by Gilbert Stuart
Explain the definition of a portrait, and then study a web reproduction of Gilbert Stuart's portrait
of George Washington. Identify the visual clues that the artist included in the portrait about the
nature of Washington and his presidency. Compare this reproduction portrait to other images of
Washington (such as found on the dollar bill) and discuss the importance of portraits as visual
records and historical documents. Standards 3.4.6, 5.5.4, and 8.3.0
Of Human Bondage: George Washington and the Issue of Slavery
Read and interpret four documents George Washington wrote regarding his slaves and the issue
of slavery. Analyze the reasons why Washington was conflicted over the issue of slavery.
Discuss the evolution of Washington’s attitude toward slavery and explain the significance of
Washington’s eventual freeing of his slaves.
The Proper Gentleman: George Washington and "The Rules of Civility"
Read and interpret a portion of the "Rules of Civility" and then describe the significance of these
rules in Washington's time. Discuss how they might be significant in today's world and write
rules of etiquette similar to the "Rules of Civility" that might be appropriate for today.
The Right Stuff: What Qualified Washington to Be President?
Create a list of the characteristics, qualifications, and skills that make an effective President of
the United States. After reading a selection provided, determine the characteristics,
qualifications, and skills that George Washington had that made him the right choice for
President of the United States. Compare and contrast the changing needs for the job of President
of the United States today and at the time of Washington.
Washington...father of our country
You are going to learn about George Washington and also about some national symbols and
monuments that we associate with him. You will take some field trips, watch a movie, and create
some projects of your own. When you have finished this lesson, you will know who George
Washington was and why we celebrate a holiday in his honor. You will be able to tell at least
three reasons why he is a famous American. You will also be able to identify our flag and some
of the national monuments associated with George Washington.
For Lands' Sake: George Washington as Land Surveyor
Discuss the importance of land ownership and the purpose of land surveying in the eighteenth
century. Read and interpret a transcript of an eighteenth-century land survey. Reflect on the
significance of George Washington's early surveying career and how it contributed to his
personal development. Survey an area of land and create a written or visual description of it.
Construct a piece of historical fiction (for example, a journal entry, newspaper article, or letter)
that demonstrates an understanding of Washington's qualifications for and interest in becoming a
George Washington: WebQuest
Here are four short sets of Scavenger Hunt type questions, written at different levels of difficulty.
Students find their answers on The Papers of George Washington's website.
Abraham Lincoln's Birthday
Abraham Lincoln Websites
Historic Lincoln Sites
Take a virtual tour of the important places in Lincoln's life in Salem and Springfield, Illinois. See his office,
homes, church and even the courthouse where he tried cases.
Abraham Lincoln – Official Biography
This is the official Whitehouse biography of Abraham Lincoln.
Abraham Lincoln Research Site - Discovering the Man and the President
This attractive, award-winning site by a former U.S. history teacher R.J. Norton has a link embedded
biography of Lincoln, many of his writings, information about his family, and lots of background on
Lincoln folklore. Anything of value on the web is linked from this site.
A Lincoln: Timeline, Photos, Words
This timeline hotlinks to more information about key events in Lincolns' life.
The Lincoln Institute
This is a set of five websites on topics related to Abraham Lincoln: Mr. Lincoln's White House;
Mr. Lincoln and the Founders; Mr. Lincoln and Freedom; Mr. Lincoln and Friends; and Mr.
Lincoln and New York.
Abraham Lincoln’s Classroom
Here are links to maps, cartoons, and a changing featured article and primary source related to
Lincoln’s life and presidency.
Lincoln's Speeches and Writings
This site has 25 important speeches and letters written by Abraham Lincoln between 1832 and
First Inaugural Address
The national tragedy of secession and a looming war to preserve the nation were grim realities at
Abraham Lincoln's inauguration. There is also a portrait at this site.
Second Inaugural Address
In this short speech on March 4, 1865, Lincoln ushers in his second term promising "...with
malice toward none, and charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the
right, let us strive to finish the work..." of the civil war and rebuild the nation. Compare the two
inaugural speeches to see how America had changed in those four short years.
This is the text of Abraham Lincoln's proclamation on January 1, 1863 freeing the slaves in the
states still in rebellion against the Union. The commentary by Douglas Miller at the end of the
document helps put the Proclamation in historical context.
This is the full text of Abraham Lincoln's speech at Gettysburg during the Civil War and one of
the most famous speeches in history.
Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress
The complete Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress collection is organized into
three "General Correspondence" series that include incoming and outgoing correspondence and
enclosures, drafts of speeches, and notes and printed material. Most of the 20,000 items are from
the 1850s through Lincoln's presidential years, 1860-65. Treasures include Lincoln's draft of the
Emancipation Proclamation, his March 4, 1865, draft of his second Inaugural Address, and his
August 23, 1864, memorandum expressing his expectation of being defeated for re-election in
the upcoming presidential contest.
Abraham Lincoln: President and Leader During the Civil War
This lesson supports Adler's Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln. Students can choose from a
wealth of activities to learn key history-social science concepts. Elementary
Just Like Abraham Lincoln - Classroom Activities
Using Bernard Waber's book Just Like Abraham Lincoln, students explore other print resources
and the web to create a book of facts about Lincoln to compare everyday life during his
childhood with their own lives. One of the activities is a virtual classroom visit to Lincoln's
childhood home in Lincoln City, Indiana. Elementary
What Events Led to Lincoln's Assassination?
The murder of Lincoln, whom most historians consider one of the country’s two most important
presidents, had major consequences for our nation and for the Reconstruction period that
followed the Civil War. John Wilkes Booth’s premeditated attack was a carefully orchestrated
plot involving at least eight other participants. Students explore the events that led to the
conspiracy and to Booth’s actions. Elementary
This site was developed for Mrs. Payton's first grade class before their visit to Lincoln's Boyhood
Memorial in Lincoln City, Indiana. There are class activities, a picture gallery, and a treasure
hunt that will be great for any class. Elementary
To Tell the Truth: Abraham Lincoln
Three class members will be chosen to pretend that they are Abraham Lincoln. They will stand
next to each other in the front of the room facing the class. During the game, the three will be
asked questions by other students in class. The questions will be about Abraham Lincoln's life
and the students will "Tell the Truth" as if they were Lincoln. Middle School and Upper
The Emancipation Proclamation through Different Eyes
The Emancipation Proclamation is the document that Lincoln felt would cement his name in
history. It stated that all enslaved people within the states in rebellion were free. Although the
document was not accepted in the Confederacy and therefore did not immediately free any
slaves, it is considered one of the most important in American history. The proclamation,
controversial in its own time, laid down a pathway for the future and provided a commitment to
ending slavery. Middle School
Lincoln: A Photobiography
This unit provides resources for students to focus on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. Using
Russell Freedman's 1988 Newberry Medal winner, Lincoln: A Photobiography as a jumping off
place, students write an essay comparing and contrasting Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis,
research the presidential campaign of 1860 and create a campaign poster for Lincoln, view
photography from the Civil War and write a newspaper article to accompany a photograph,
create a biography poster illustrating a chapter from Lincoln: A Photobiography showing the
difficulties Lincoln faced throughout his life, design a Dialog Jacket and/or Character Map using
Lincoln's famous quotes and writings. Middle School
Lincoln's Spot Resolutions
In the winter of 1845-46, as relations between the United States and Mexico deteriorated, there
was no express delineation of powers between Congress (with the power to declare war) and the
President (with the power of Commander in Chief). Lincoln was a freshman Congressmen from
Illinois during this period. Along with other Congressmen, he argued that Polk had pushed
America into war by declaring that Mexico had invaded U.S. territory and "shed American blood
upon America's soil." Lincoln questioned whether the "spot" where blood had been shed was
really U.S. soil. Middle School
Freedom of Speech: Cooper Union Address (1860)
One primary purpose of the First Amendment is to safeguard the individual’s right to participate
in political discourse and the political process. Abraham Lincoln's 1860 Cooper Union Address,
which he delivered as an unannounced presidential candidate, spotlights the way the First
Amendment empowers individuals to express their political views in America's constitutional
democracy. Middle and High School
Attitudes Toward Emancipation
The Emancipation Proclamation carried Americans across an important frontier in the political
growth of the nation. Through the Internet, students can return to this frontier and explore the
many obstacles and alternatives we faced in making this passage toward "a more perfect Union."
They may view the evolution of the document by examining the various stages in its writing.
Middle and High School
Lincoln's Reconstruction Plan
The Civil War was perhaps the most momentous event that the United States endured in its
history. The key personality in that contest was President Abraham Lincoln, who had the arduous
task of steering this nation through the war and also the more difficult challenge of determining a
course for peace and Reconstruction. As war leader and peacemaker, he faced criticism from
political opponents as well as from members of his own party. This lesson will allow students to
explore Lincoln’s words, speeches, and proclamations in order to understand his views on
secession, amnesty, and Reconstruction as well as his hopes for the nation. Middle and High
Abraham Lincoln on Slavery and Race
Slavery played a prominent role in America’s political, social, and economic history in the
antebellum era. The South’s “peculiar institution” was at the forefront of discussions ranging
from the future of the nation’s economy to Western expansion and the admission of new states
into the Union. The public discourse in the first half of the nineteenth century exposed the
nation’s ambivalence about slavery and race. Politicians were increasingly pressured to make
their opinions known, and Abraham Lincoln was no exception. Students examine primary
documents—the letters and speeches of Abraham Lincoln—in order to analyze Lincoln’s
position on slavery. Middle and High School