Piedmont Region

Here’s our very first podcast!  We went to the Harvest Festival in Glen Allen, Virginia to see how farmers lived in the Piedmont region during the Civil War era.  Find out how the South made sweeteners since they couldn’t get any sugar; learn how they prepared tobacco for the market; explore some of the amazing simple machines they used; watch how they used to make baskets, cloth, and metal tools by hand; finally take a tour of Dr. John Sheppard’s home and get a glimpse of everyday life during the Civil War times.  Come on!  Let’s go trekkin’!

Two of Dr. John Sheppard’s family slaves, Tom and Pharoah, warned him of a slave revolt on August 30, 1800.  It was known as Gabriel’s Rebellion, after its leader, a tall 6’2” Henrico slave named Gabriel.  Dr. Sheppard warned Governor James Monroe (who would later become president) and the rebellion was quelled. Gabriel, was captured and hanged in Richmond.  On August 30, 2007 Governor Tim Kaine formally pardoned Gabriel, saying he was motivated by "his devotion to the ideals of the American revolution - it was worth risking death to secure liberty... Gabriel's cause - the end of slavery and the furtherance of equality of all people - has prevailed in the light of history,"  Read more about Gov. Kaine’s pardon.

Problems viewing the video?  Watch it on Vimeo or download it (QuickTime 364 MB).  11:36

SOL Correlation:

K.2 The student will describe everyday life in the present and in the past and begin to recognize that things change over time.

VS.7c The student will demonstrate knowledge of the issues that divided our nation and led to the Civil War by describing the roles played by whites, enslaved African Americans, free African Americans, and American Indians.


3.2 The student will investigate and understand simple machines and their uses.  Key concepts include:

a) types of simple machines (lever, screw, pulley, wheel and axle, inclined plane, and wedge);

  1. d)examples of simple and compound machines found in the school, home, and work environment.

More links here!