More than 60 educators from 25 states visited St. Mary's College of Maryland over a two-week period to learn about Maryland's historical contributions to democracy.

The program, funded by a $148,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and organized by the college's Center for the Study of Democracy, offered teachers and administrators from elementary to high school levels a series of lectures and visits to historical sites.

The discussion topics included "Indigenous Cultures and Immigrant Adaptation in the Chesapeake" as well as "Enslavement and African-American Identity in Tidewater Maryland, 1700-1860." The groups visited the Woodland Indian Hamlet of the Yaocomaco tribe as well as Sotterley Plantation on the Patuxent River, home of a restored 18th-century manor house and slave quarters. Although Maryland teachers can adapt the sessions directly for the classroom, the program was also useful for out-of-state educators, said Zach Messitte, director of the Center for the Study of Democracy.

"They can integrate some of the larger themes of religious toleration, representative or citizen government, nascent globalization, the lives of Native Americans, and the role of Maryland in particular and border states in general in the role of the Civil War," he said. "It really was, very much I think, a Southern Maryland experience, very much infused with history and the lessons that the founding of the state has for the world today."


Peter Perretti, left, from The Woodlands, Texas, and Frank Wright from Colorado Springs use grinding stones to shape stone tools.

Melissa York of Kent, Wash., models a deerskin skirt as part of educators' visit to the Woodland Indian Hamlet in St. Mary's City during a two-week historical program.