As time passes perspectives change, whether it’s over the course of years or a single day. General Horatio Gates was beloved by the men he commanded and respected by his peers, including General George Washington, but mistakes were made and the view of Gates changed from honorable to disgrace. The choices of Gates and the people he surrounded himself with are preserved in his personal papers, including journals and correspondence. By using these primary sources one can analyze different aspects of Gates’ life, from his financial situation to military orders.
I plan to use these primary sources to map where Horatio Gates travelled throughout his life. Most of his letters and journal entries include the location of the sender and/or the receiver. Information in these letters tie into historical events, such as the increasing hostilities between British authority in the American colonies, which Gates discusses with his fellow British officers in his letters in 1766. I propose mapping these locations and imbedding a scan of the letter along with a brief transcription of it contents. By including a scan of the primary source and presenting the information it contains, viewers can gain experience using primary sources to perform their own analysis.
First I will create the map using ScribbleMaps, an online Google Maps software. Here I can plot the locations, attach the scans from Horatio Gates’ personal papers currently on microfilm at the National Library at Mount Vernon and include a brief description of each. Then I will upload the map onto MapSeries, a online map story software. In MapSeries I can create a website format around the maps and include background information that is relevant to the letters. Once this project is published for the public I can possibly attach the site to the digital encyclopedia page on Horatio Gates.
This resource will provide primary sources for French and Indian War as well as American Revolution era researchers. It is also a resource for people who are not familiar with using primary sources. By presenting the source and the information one can obtain from it the viewer can learn the value of primary source research. George Washington’s Mount Vernon conducted similar research tracking George Washington through his diaries. They constructed a a digital encyclopedia article detailing Washington’s travels, but this does not include a map. My hope in the future is to overlap Gates’ papers and Washington’s to see where the two intersect, especially during the Revolutionary years.