March 25, 1998
National Archives Announces a New Digital Classroom Project: Lincoln's Spot Resolutions
Washington, DC . . . The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) announces a new digital classroom project on its website. "Lincolnís Spot Resolutions," presents documents, photographs, and teaching suggestions.
Following the annexation of Texas, the United States and Mexico disagreed over the boundary between the two countries. Mexico maintained it was the Nueces River. The United States claimed the Rio Grande was the border. In late April 1847, a skirmish took place north of the Rio Grande and south of the Nueces River between the Mexican cavalry and a mounted American patrol. When it was over, five Americans had been killed. President Polk requested a declaration of war from Congress asserting, "Mexico has passed the boundary of the United States, has invaded our territory, and shed American blood upon Americaís soil." Congress declared war on May 13.
Later that year, a freshman Congressman from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln, questioned whether the "spot" where blood had been shed was really U.S. soil and introduced the "Spot Resolutions." Although never acted upon by the full Congress, Lincolnís Spot Resolutions today serve as valuable teaching tools.
"Lincolnís Spot Resolutions" is the latest in a series of digital classroom exercises that the National Archives and Records Administration has produced for teachers and students on the website. Other subjects covered by the education website include exercises on the Amistad Case, Woman Suffrage, and Black Soldiers in the Civil War. For a full listing, visit http://www.archives.gov/digital_classroom/teaching_with_documents.html.
For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.