The first few entries in this first Geography book are undated, but they must have been written before the earliest date in the book (Monday April 14th 1980, for My Way To School). Which means they could have been written any time in my first couple of terms. Since it’s obvious I didn’t like Geography that much (if I did, I’d have filled those pages far more quickly), it probably took all that time. Just like History and English and all the other subjects, we were largely left to work on our own, copying things out of books. I don’t think I had that much interest in 16th century America, so I probably only started learning about it because it was the only book on the shelf at the time. And, once I’d started, I had to stick with it until Mr Geraghty said otherwise. It must have been at least a half-decent book though. Unlike the earliest entries in History 1 which are littered with inaccuracies and dodgy politics, this account of New York’s beginnings reads pretty much like it might do today. Except we’d probably have a lot more to say about the forcible repatriation of the indigenous Americans who lived there, and I sincerely doubt we’d refer to them as ‘Indians’. But the basic facts are about right. Apart from these: ‘Manhattan’ actually means ‘the place where we get bows’ or ‘the thicket where wood can be found to make bows’ and not ‘heavenly island’ It was actually populated by the Lenape, who might be regarded as Algonquian-speaking, but not necessarily Algonquin, which is better used to describe the indigenous populations of Eastern Canada Peter Minuit was actually the third Director of New Netherland (covering a larger area than just New Amsterdam), not the first. He may have been instrumental in the purchase of Manhattan in 1626, so you could just about say he was the first Governor of Manhattan, but it wouldn’t actually have been his job title, and if it was, he still would have been, technically, the third to govern the entire city, no matter how big it was And actually, the Dutch might not even have actually bought the land at all, but just come to an agreement with the Lenape to live there alongside them And it might not even have been Peter Minuit who brokered the deal, since the original document we learned this from doesn’t actually say who did And actually they might have made the deal with the wrong tribe, the Canarsee who actually lived in Brooklyn, rather than the Weckquaesgeek who occupied most of Manhattan, so the deal might not even have had anything to do with Manhattan anyway Or if it did, it was news to the Wecquaesgeek The ‘Algonquin’ didn’t so much ‘attack the settlement’ as ‘get massacred by the Dutch’ The wall (not ‘fence’) around New Amsterdam was built to protect the city from the English, rather than from ‘bears, wolves and Indians’ So basically, every single thing I wrote was wrong. As for the illustration at the end, it’s probably just as accurate as all the other pictures people have drawn over the years. But much, much worse. Needless to say, like most things I learned at school, even though I sat there and slavishly copied it out of a book, it was always a case of in one ear and out the other. I didn’t retain any of this knowledge into adulthood. Test me on this stuff even now and I doubt I’d do that well. But since most of what I wrote has turned out to be complete rubbish, that’s probably a good thing. FURTHER EXPLORATION Manhattan Giovanni da Verrazzano Old New York in Assassin’s Creed III The Naming of New Amsterdam How New York Was Named Henry Hudson History of New York City (to 1664) Lenape Struggles to Reclaim Their Homeland
September 1979 - March 1980
Manhattan Island
Manhattan Island Under English Rule The American War of Independence My Way to School Back to New York The Beginnings of Paris The Story of the Earth The Planets How the World is Changing Shape Rocks and Fossils The Seas How the Sea Shapes the Land The Nature Trail Way of Insect Watching What is Prehistory?
TERM 1 Sept-Dec 1979
TOPIC 1 Sept-Dec 1979
FAIRBURN The place where I wrote all this rubbish
WAEN SHEPHERD Who was this strange little boy?
GEOGRAPHY 1 Sept 1979 - Feb 1981
HISTORY 1 Sept 1979 - Oct 1981
Darth Vader An autograph from a genuine stand-in
Clarke Hall The place and time where it all began… September 1679?
The Forgotten World John and Mick fall foul of some extreme potholing
Bonfire Night Waen’s first time at the annual village fireworks display
Sheet Lightning Waen and his Gran shelter from the sheet- shaped storm
String Orchestra A visit from the North Yorkshire County Council Orchestra
The Old Stone Age Ancient humans try to co-exist with cave lions and giant deer
Christmas 1979 Can Waen last the night without opening his presents?
The first few entries in this first Geography book are undated, but they must have been written before the earliest date in the book (Monday April 14th 1980, for My Way To School). Which means they could have been written any time in my first couple of terms. Since it’s obvious I didn’t like Geography that much (if I did, I’d have filled those pages far more quickly), it probably took all that time. Just like History and English and all the other subjects, we were largely left to work on our own, copying things out of books. I don’t think I had that much interest in 16th century America, so I probably only started learning about it because it was the only book on the shelf at the time. And, once I’d started, I had to stick with it until Mr Geraghty said otherwise. It must have been at least a half-decent book though. Unlike the earliest entries in History 1 which are littered with inaccuracies and dodgy politics, this account of New York’s beginnings reads pretty much like it might do today. Except we’d probably have a lot more to say about the forcible repatriation of the indigenous Americans who lived there, and I sincerely doubt we’d refer to them as ‘Indians’. But the basic facts are about right. Apart from these: ‘Manhattan’ actually means ‘the place where we get bows’ or the thicket where wood can be found to make bows’ and not ‘heavenly island’ It was actually populated by the Lenape, who might be regarded as Algonquian-speaking, but not necessarily Algonquin, which is better used to describe the indigenous populations of Eastern Canada Peter Minuit was actually the third Director of New Netherland (covering a larger area than just New Amsterdam), not the first. He may have been instrumental in the purchase of Manhattan in 1626, so you could just about say he was the first Governor of Manhattan, but it wouldn’t actually have been his job title, and if it was, he still would have been, technically, the third to govern the entire city, no matter how big it was And actually, the Dutch might not even have actually bought the land at all, but just come to an agreement with the Lenape to live there alongside them And it might not even have been Peter Minuit who brokered the deal, since the original document we learned this from doesn’t actually say who did And actually they might have made the deal with the wrong tribe, the Canarsee who actually lived in Brooklyn, rather than the Weckquaesgeek who occupied most of Manhattan, so the deal might not even have had anything to do with Manhattan anyway Or if it did, it was news to the Wecquaesgeek The ‘Algonquin’ didn’t so much ‘attack the settlement’ as ‘get massacred by the Dutch’ The wall (not ‘fence’) around New Amsterdam was built to protect the city from the English, rather than from ‘bears, wolves and Indians’ So basically, every single thing I wrote was wrong. As for the illustration at the end, it’s probably just as accurate as all the other pictures people have drawn over the years. But much, much worse. Needless to say, like most things I learned at school, even though I sat there and slavishly copied it out of a book, it was always a case of in one ear and out the other. I didn’t retain any of this knowledge into adulthood. Test me on this stuff even now and I doubt I’d do that well. But since most of what I wrote has turned out to be complete rubbish, that’s probably a good thing. FURTHER EXPLORATION Manhattan Giovanni da Verrazzano Old New York in Assassin’s Creed III The Naming of New Amsterdam How New York Was Named Henry Hudson History of New York City (to 1664) Lenape Struggles to Reclaim Their Homeland
TERM 1 Sept-Dec 1979
TOPIC 1 Sept-Dec 1979
FAIRBURN The place where I wrote all this rubbish
WAEN SHEPHERD Who was this strange little boy?
GEOGRAPHY 1 Sept 1979 - Feb 1981
HISTORY 1 Sept 1979 - Oct 1981
Darth Vader An autograph from a genuine stand-in
The Forgotten World John and Mick fall foul of some extreme potholing
Bonfire Night Waen’s first time at the annual village fireworks display
String Orchestra A visit from the North Yorkshire County Council Orchestra
Christmas 1979 Can Waen last the night without opening his presents?
September 1979 - March 1980
Manhattan Island