PBS’s award-winning American Experience series recently aired “Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided,” its first biography of a 19th-century president and its first dual biography. This well thought-out web site accompanies the acclaimed documentary, but the information contained in it can stand on its own. The site’s detailed portrait does much more than explore the personal story of one of the most intriguing couples to have lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It also reflects on how the Lincolns’ lives paralleled that of a nation at war. The program and web site paint a vivid picture of life in America in the mid-19th century, focusing on the most volatile issues of the period: slavery, states’ rights, women’s rights, and the growing prominence of the industrial economy. The events of the time are brought to life through primary source documents, interactive maps, QuickTime clips of historically significant sites, photo galleries, and video clips. Students and teachers can choose from topics that include “Partisan Politics,” “Slavery and Freedom,” “A Rising Nation,” “Americans at War,” and “A Woman’s World.” There is also a teacher’s guide that allows for lesson planning in conjunction with the site’s educational content.
http://www.pbs.org/amex/lincolns