Monday, April 8, 2013

Great Americans A to Z: Francis Parkman

Francis Parkman (1823-1893) was an American historian, horticulturist, and professor. While other historians of his time wrote about ancient history and the Age of Exploration, Francis helped to set the trend of writing about American history, its forests, and the Natives.

By his second year of college, Francis knew that he wanted to become a historian. But in order to do this, he would have to overcome two main obstacles. Francis’s first obstacle was his family: they wanted him to study law. Francis honored his family by earning a law degree, but after graduating, he would return to his passion of studying and writing about American history.

Francis’s second obstacle was his physical ailments. He had a neurological illness that sometimes left him with poor eyesight and the inability to walk. In order for Francis to write, he would have to write in the dark or have someone transcribe his spoken words.

Francis accomplished his goal of becoming a historian despite his obstacles. By the time of his death, he authored over eight books on American history. He received honors by many men in power, including a US president.  

Do you believe that parents should push their children toward professions? What are the potential benefits and pitfalls of doing this? 

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Chontali Kirk