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Keywords: Readers

Historical Items

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Item 100947

Ada Martin, Bangor, 1865

Contributed by: Maine Historical Society and Maine State Museum Date: circa 1865 Location: Bangor Media: Ink and watercolor on paper

Item 20352

First book printed in Maine, Falmouth, 1786

Contributed by: Maine Historical Society Date: 1786 Location: Portland Media: Ink on paper

Item 18346

Santa and children, Portland, 1926

Contributed by: Maine Historical Society/MaineToday Media Date: 1926 Location: Portland Media: Glass Negative

Architecture & Landscape

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Item 116286

John Bird Co. block, Rockland, 1898

Contributed by: Maine Historical Society Date: 1898 Location: Rockland Client: John Bird Co. Architect: John Calvin Stevens

Online Exhibits

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Exhibit

Longfellow: The Man Who Invented America

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a man and a poet of New England conscience. He was influenced by his ancestry and his Portland boyhood home and experience.

Exhibit

"Twenty Nationalities, But All Americans"

Concern about immigrants and their loyalty in the post World War I era led to programs to "Americanize" them -- an effort to help them learn English and otherwise adjust to life in the United States. Clara Soule ran one such program for the Portland Public Schools, hoping it would help the immigrants be accepted.

Exhibit

The Public Face of Christmas

Christmas, a Christian holiday observed by many Mainers, has a very public, seasonal face that makes it visible to those of all beliefs.

Site Pages

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Site Page

Presque Isle: The Star City - Beulah Akeley, Librarian, ca. 1940

… is mentioned in the March 1945 edition of the Reader's Digest as "The Most Unforgettable character I've Met." View additional information about…

Site Page

John Martin: Expert Observer - Martin-Raynes-Stevens Family Trees

These family trees are presented to help readers of Martin's volumes understand the family relationships.

Site Page

John Martin: Expert Observer - Site Navigation Tips

To do this, look for "preferences" or "options" in your browser settings. If you access the files in Adobe Reader you will be able to see the…

My Maine Stories

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Story

63 year Presque Isle High School Class Reunion
by Kathryn E Joy

What happens when there are no more reunions planned.

Story

Growing up DownEast
by Darrin MC Mclellan

Stories of growing up Downeast

Story

History of Forest Gardens
by Gary Libby

This is a history of one of Portland's oldest local bars

Lesson Plans

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Lesson Plan

Longfellow Studies: "Haunted Houses"

Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12 Content Area: English Language Arts, Social Studies
Longfellow's collection The Courtship of Miles Standish and other Poems was published in 1858. It sold 250,000 copies in two months and over 10.000 copies in London on the first day; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was extremely popular during his lifetime. "Haunted Houses" is a work from that collection. It is a poem that is especially appealing around Halloween. The poem welcomes the reader to a place where "The spirit-world around the world of sense floats like an atmosphere . . ."

Lesson Plan

Longfellow Studies: "The Slave's Dream"

Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12 Content Area: English Language Arts, Social Studies
In December of 1842 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Poems on Slavery was published. "The Slave's Dream" is one of eight anti-slavery poems in the collection. A beautifully crafted and emotionally moving poem, it mesmerizes the reader with the last thoughts of an African King bound to slavery, as he lies dying in a field of rice. The 'landscape of his dreams' include the lordly Niger flowing, his green-eyed Queen, the Caffre huts and all of the sights and sounds of his homeland until at last 'Death illuminates his Land of Sleep.'

Lesson Plan

Longfellow Studies: Longfellow's "The Village Blacksmith" and "Whitman's Song of Myself" - Alternative Constructions of the American Worker

Grade Level: 9-12 Content Area: English Language Arts, Social Studies
Most if not all of us have or will need to work in the American marketplace for at least six decades of our lives. There's a saying that I remember a superintendent telling a group of graduating high-school seniors: remember, when you are on your deathbed, you will not be saying that you wish you had spent more time "at the office." But Americans do spend a lot more time working each year than nearly any other people on the planet. By the end of our careers, many of us will have spent more time with our co-workers than with our families. Already in the 21st century, much has been written about the "Wal-Martization" of the American workplace, about how, despite rocketing profits, corporations such as Wal-Mart overwork and underpay their employees, how workers' wages have remained stagnant since the 1970s, while the costs of college education and health insurance have risen out of reach for many citizens. It's become a cliché to say that the gap between the "haves" and the "have nots" is widening to an alarming degree. In his book Wealth and Democracy, Kevin Phillips says we are dangerously close to becoming a plutocracy in which one dollar equals one vote. Such clashes between employers and employees, and between our rhetoric of equality of opportunity and the reality of our working lives, are not new in America. With the onset of the industrial revolution in the first half of the nineteenth century, many workers were displaced from their traditional means of employment, as the country shifted from a farm-based, agrarian economy toward an urban, manufacturing-centered one. In cities such as New York, groups of "workingmen" (early manifestations of unions) protested, sometimes violently, unsatisfactory labor conditions. Labor unions remain a controversial political presence in America today. Longfellow and Whitman both wrote with sympathy about the American worker, although their respective portraits are strikingly different, and worth juxtaposing. Longfellow's poem "The Village Blacksmith" is one of his most famous and beloved visions: in this poem, one blacksmith epitomizes characteristics and values which many of Longfellow's readers, then and now, revere as "American" traits. Whitman's canto (a section of a long poem) 15 from "Song of Myself," however, presents many different "identities" of the American worker, representing the entire social spectrum, from the crew of a fish smack to the president (I must add that Whitman's entire "Song of Myself" is actually 52 cantos in length). I do not pretend to offer these single texts as all-encompassing of the respective poets' ideas about workers, but these poems offer a starting place for comparison and contrast. We know that Longfellow was the most popular American poet of the nineteenth century, just as we know that Whitman came to be one of the most controversial. Read more widely in the work of both poets and decide for yourselves which poet speaks to you more meaningfully and why.