Kodey Springate and Jonas Chang
Divided Houses Project Contract
February 11, 2017
Project Site: http://divided.coplacdigital.org/truman/
– The goal of this project is to make the cultural, political, and economic aspects of Territory of McDonald secessionist movement, a little known part of Missouri history, accessible in a user-friendly site. Because there are few resources, particularly accessible resources, available concerning this movement we would like to consolidate these sources in a publicly oriented and accessible site. In this way, the site would be available for anyone to use, but still provide resources useful for other researchers.
– Our research will cover the rising tourist industry in the Ozarks during the mid-twentieth century and how the U.S. highway system was integral to this. We will also explore the various state policies concerning that affected the tourist flow in McDonald County, ranging from state-funded parks and changes in the federal highway system during the fifties, that created tensions within McDonald County. Following this, we will look into what caused the omission of major towns in McDonald County from being included in the state-sponsored tourist brochure, “Vacationland,” the McDonald reaction to this, and the breakdown of communication between the state and county governments that led to the secessionist movement within McDonald county. The role of local and outside support, including the encouragement from Jasper County, Missouri and the State of Arkansas, in lending legitimacy to the concerns of McDonald Countians will be analyzed as well as the seriousness of the Territory of McDonald Provisional Government to follow through with its various plans of secession. Finally, we will explore the methods of reconciliation that occurred between McDonald County and the State of Missouri and analyze whether or not this extreme form of civil discourse was necessary, effective, and achieved legitimacy in the eyes of the State of Missouri.
– The structure of our site will be this: there will be a homepage that will include a picture of some of the secessionists, a brief summary of the site, a timeline of events, a map to help visitors quickly understand where McDonald County is located, and the content of the site. The picture will run along the top of the site, edged on the bottom of the picture will be links to the other pages. The map may be done through StorymapJS and will be placed underneath the brief summary of the site. The timeline will either be placed beneath this or to its side. The other pages will include The Decade Before, The Family Vacationland Crisis, Secession, and Reconciliation. Each page will include text information and photographs. The Decade Before will explore the rising tourist industry in the region and how it became a central part of the county’s economy. It will also discuss the difficulties the county had with federal and state policies that limited funding and removed Noel, the center of the tourist industry within the county, from a federal highway and instead placed it on a state highway. The Family Vacationland Crisis page will explore the immediate cause of the secessionist movement, which was the exclusion of important McDonald County towns from the state tourist brochure. The reasons for this and the reaction of McDonald Countians will be included. The Secession page will guide the site visitor through the formation of the Provisional Government, the implementation of travel visas, the correspondences between the Territory of McDonald and its neighbors, and the Battle of Noel. The final page, Reconciliations, will discuss the dissolvement of the Territory of McDonald and the county’s return to Missouri. It will also explore the swelling of the tourist industry in the county throughout the following decade, hopefully leading the visitor to wonder what the true intentions of the secessionist movement was truly secession. Each page may also include videos of oral history, though a separate page may contain the oral histories of the movement. This is of course dependent on whether or not the researchers will be able to record oral histories and receive permission to make them public.
– General elements will include newspaper articles and photographs from the time period under study. We may also include videos or transcripts from news shows as well, depending on whether or not recordings or transcripts from the time period have been preserved. Tentatively, we hope to include oral histories acquired by us from people who lived through the secessionist movement, which will either have their own page or be dispersed throughout the website where relevant.
Tools We Plan to Use
– We plan to use a WordPress theme that will display pages and subpages at the top of the page.
– We will include a timeline on the main page and will do so using TimelineJS. The same will be done using an interactive map through StorymapJS.
– We do not yet know if a graphic or video editing tool will need to be used due to needing to do so is conditional on whether or not we are able to use oral histories or need to edit images for use on the website.
Schedule of Milestones
February 17- Kodey will have scheduled a meeting with Janet Romine by this point.
March 3- Jonas will have done substantial research regarding the role of tourism and the interstate system in the region at this point and will begin constructing the The Decade Before page.
March 10- Jonas will have scheduled visits to the McDonald County Historical Society, the MSU Special Collections, and the Springfield Branch of the Missouri State Historical Society to do archival research over the following week. He will also have done substantial work on the homepage of the website.
Kodey will have called and scheduled a visit to the Missouri State Archives in Jefferson City.
March 13-17- Jonas will do the research listed above and begin further fleshing out the pages of the website.
Kodey will go to Jefferson City to check out the Missouri State Archives
March 24- Jonas and Kodey will have pursued further research as it is required and continue working to finish the website.
March 31- Have first draft of website ready to go
April 7-23- Continually collaborate to work on website.
April 24- Final draft of website will be finished.