War of 1812 and the Backcountry symposium: Dr. Gary Freeze and Salisbury’s local connection

Dr. Freeze’s ongoing local heritage project in Catawba County—fifty miles west of the college—is considered to be path-breaking in the compilation and writing of county history. He has written three books in the last decade, the last being Carolina Arcadia: The Story of the Sparkling Catawba Springs. He is currently at work on two projects: an eighth-grade social studies text on North Carolina history and culture and a major exhibition on the origins of the Andy Griffith Show for the Mt. Airy Museum of Regional History. Dr. Freeze’s honors for work in his field include the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of the highest achievements for service given in the state.

(click on the photo of Dr. Freeze to view the YouTube video of his presentation)

War of 1812 Salisbury Symposium 116 kittell

Dr. Freeze’s students share with him many of the activities of local history. He takes a hands-on approach in most of his upper division classes. He regularly takes field trips: to Gettysburg for the Civil War, to Williamsburg for colonial times, and to Charleston or Atlanta for the study of the South. He tends to tailor each major course to a different skill or task. For example, the seminar on diplomacy focuses on position paper writing each week. The Civil War class takes an innovative approach to term paper writing with a digital archive shared by all students. His capstone experience is Highway 29, a seminar that goes “on the road” to explore the tangible evidence of the Jeffersonian American past. Students take a weekly trip to a site of interest and combine that field analysis with their readings. This attention to his students has lead to Freeze being named Catawba’s Teacher of the Year, most recently in 2006.

This project was made possible in part by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit  and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Additional funding was provided the North Carolina Daughters of the War of 1812 and the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association.

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About nc1812

Commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812 in North Carolina
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