Constitutional Scholars Resources
Congratulations on passing the Constitutional Scholars Exam! It is now time to begin work on your research deliverable. This project may be completed and submitted any time throughout your high school career.
The project requirements:
- Cite at least one resource from the South Carolina Historical Society Archives
- Focus your work on one or more of the South Carolina signers of the Constitution (Pierce Butler, Charles Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, John Rutledge)
- Submit your work to Melina Testin, Education Coordinator at the South Carolina Historical Society
This is the time to showcase your creativity; your project may take any form you like!
Please read through this entire webpage before beginning as it contains many helpful ideas and resources.
Project Deliverable Ideas & Examples
As students like you submit projects, more examples will appear here for reference. Here are some project ideas to get you started:
- Academic Essay (ex. critique the bias that may be present in your source of choice, compare and contrast two or more historical figures)
- Narrative Essay/Biographical Essay (ex. present the role played by a specific founding father in the drafting of the Constitution)
- Creative Writing (ex. assume the persona of an 18th century South Carolinian and share your opinion of the constitutional representatives)
- Fine Art (ex. utilize the scanned document as a visual source to inspire your work)
- Music (ex. compose music or lyrics inspired by an historical moment)
- Graphic Novelization
- Video or Podcast
- Social Media Page for an Historic Figure
- Mini Museum Exhibit
Other formats are encouraged and accepted. Due to the creative nature of these projects, there is no set page-count or time-limit for submissions, rather, your work should reflect 2-3 weeks of determined effort to research and produce a quality deliverable. As a general guideline, essays and written works should number approximately 5 pages, and audio-visual submissions should run no longer than 10 minutes. Email Melina Testin with any questions or ideas, she is also happy to review drafts and make suggestions.
All projects must utilize a source from the South Carolina Historical Society Archives. In addition to your project, you must submit a bibliography of sources consulted for your project. Any standard citation format is acceptable (Chicago, MLA, APA, etc.).
The following resources have already been scanned and transcribed for you. If you would like to request additional scanned resources from the SCHS Archives, please send Melina Testin an email that includes the name and call number of the desired source. Additional sources concerning each of the South Carolina signers may be consulted in this list, or searched in the online catalog.
Pierce Butler: Letter to Dorchester by Pierce Butler, 30 May 1786 [Original Document] [Document Transcript]
In this letter, Butler writes of the qualities he values for those selected to represent the state of South Carolina at the Constitutional Convention. Eventually, Butler himself would be selected as one of the men for this duty. As you read, consider whether SC’s representatives meet Butler’s standards, why he values the specific qualities outlined for representatives of his state, and what impact this letter may have had on those selecting representatives.
Charles Pinckney: Letter to Charleston by Robert G. Harper, 10 November 1787 [Original Document] [Document Transcript]
Harper was a young lawyer from Maryland, working in South Carolina, when he drafted this letter. It contains general good tidings and gossip, and also a brief description of his opinion on Pinckney. In reading this document, contemplate Pinckney’s role as a topic of conversation among his peers. Why might a personal letter be a poignant source of historical sentiment? Did this letter change your opinion of Pinckney?
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney: Eulogy on General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, 1 November 1825 [Original Document] [Document Transcript]
Cotesworth Pinckney died in mid-August of 1825. Consider historical biases as you read this eulogy delivered in his honor, and make a case for its merits and pitfalls as an historic resource. What can you learn about the general opinion of Cotesworth Pinckney by his contemporaries from this source, and what information may be concealed in the setting of a eulogy?
John Rutledge: Resolution and Notice Concerning the Election of John Rutledge, 9 February 1779 [Original Document] [Document Transcript]
Rutledge was elected Governor and Commander in Chief of South Carolina in the years immediately preceding the ratification of the Constitution. Take note of the process for his election, and consider completing outside research to formulate your own opinion as to the triumphs and tribulations of Rutledge’s stint in state government.
Articles & Mini-Lectures
Your completed project should be delivered to the South Carolina Historical Society. Please let Melina Testin know if your project requires alternate or nontraditional submission accommodations.
Small files may be attached to emails directly; large files should be shared via DropBox, Google Drive, etc. Audio-visual files should be uploaded to YouTube or a similar platform, and shared via link. Please reach out if you need any assistance formatting your project for submission.
South Carolina Historical Society
100 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401
By submitting your project to the South Carolina Historical Society, you understand your work will be licensed under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND. SCHS gains the nonexclusive right to publish and distribute your work, and will always credit you as the creator. You will maintain ownership of your work. For more information, follow the above link, or contact Melina Testin.
Students are encouraged to voice their own personal opinions, politics, and beliefs in their work; these views do not necessarily reflect those of the South Carolina Historical Society.