Digital Project Draft: Young Washington on the Frontier

My StoryMap project is titled “Young Washington on the Frontier.” It walks visitors through Washington’s early 20s, from his commission as an officer in the Virginia militia and travel into the frontier of colonial North America in 1753 to his resignation from the Virginia militia after the successful conclusion of the Forbes Campaign in 1758.

The points in the StoryMap have been set up, though a few more might be added. Images have been found for most of the points, but image research continues to fill in the remaining gaps and determine sourcing for some images. The text in the points is still in the first draft stage.

The project in its current form does not do a lot of education. However, once the text has been fully completed, the StoryMap will walk visitors through Washington’s early military career and the pivotal role he played in the French and Indian War – the conflict that set the stage for American independence. Visitors will get to see Washington’s journeys not just as words on a page, but in a visual format that emphasizes the immense distances that George Washington had traveled when he was still in the beginnings of his adult life. Visitors will also learn information about Washington that they likely had not known, since Washington tends to emerge fully-formed onto the scene of American history with his appointment to command of the Continental Army in 1775.

What remains to be done:

  • Complete image research – this will require some additional searching for relevant and usable images but the majority of the StoryMap points have images associated with them.
  • Complete text writing – this will take slightly longer. The text in its current form is a very rough draft. However, I have a full outline for the text that simply needs to be converted from bullet-points to full sentences. This will take some time but I’m confident it can be finished with a few days of concentrated effort.

2 Replies to “Digital Project Draft: Young Washington on the Frontier”

  1. Great use of the StoryMapsJS platform. The design and function of the resource is coming along well. It was easy to jump right in and follow your narrative. The short texts you are writing for each point work well in the map as well.

    In working through the presentation, it felt like it would have been nice to have a consistent way of presenting the dates associated with each event. So consider adding in dates to each of the pins you have in the narrative.

    Now that you are close to having this finished resource, it would be good to think a bit about how you would get this out to the user audiences you have identified for it. You might also think about trying to do some user testing with a few example users for it to confirm how it is working with intended users.

    In any event, the project is well on it’s way and shows well. Looking forward to seeing the project come together in its final form.

  2. Hey Ike! I think this project is really cool and the map looks great. Have you considered writing your text in present tense versus past? As I was reading through your existing text, it felt like a random string of facts and not pieces of one person’s life and experiences. I’m sure when you edit the text to add more interpretation and storytelling, this sense will dissipate, but I wanted to pass along my fleeting thought that a present tense narrative might make it feel more personal.

    I also agree with Trevor that adding dates to each post would be immensely helpful. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished project!

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