- Casey Wood
The story of the various internships I had through the history department at Muskingum begins in the Spring Semester of 2020. That semester I had taken a course with Dr. Kerrigan on the American Civil War. One of our projects was to create a presentation on a Civil War Monument near our hometown. I chose to do my project on the various interpretive markers and monuments related to Morgan’s Raid through Senecaville, Ohio. After this project, Dr. Kerrigan was very pleased with the research I had done and asked me if I would do an internship with him that would involve taking a trip to the William L. Clements Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan to transcribe documents he was interested in for his upcoming book, West Virginia’s War. However, the pandemic put a stop to those travel plans.
After the setbacks of the pandemic, the library sent scanned copies of the original documents to us. Beginning in November 2020 I continued to work on this internship virtually. I worked closely with Dr. Kerrigan to transcribe and research handwritten letters and journals from the early 1800’s related to West Virginia in the Civil War era. These documents also dealt with the correspondence of abolitionists, Theodore Weld and James G. Birney, and their relationship to the Putnam Stone Academy in Zanesville, Ohio. These documents, we believed, would help to enlighten the story of the Ohio Antislavery Conventions in the 1830’s that took place there and aid Muskingum County History in their quest to list Putnam as a National Historic Landmark.
The work on my internship continued through the Spring Semester of 2021. I was then awarded a Muskingum Summer Fellowship where I continued to work closely with Dr. Kerrigan on a more in-depth research project on the Stone Academy in Zanesville, Ohio and its relationship to the overall history of antislavery in Muskingum County, Ohio. The findings of this fellowship were later used to write my Senior Seminar, Antislavery in Antebellum Muskingum County, Ohio: A Diverse Cause, and assist Muskingum County History in their continuing efforts to expand the Putnam National Register of Historic Places District into a National Historic Landmark.
In the fall of 2021 I visited the local Byesville Village Museum which had just reopened after being shuttered for nearly a decade. I saw that they needed help, and thought I could use my experience to aid them. I asked Dr. Kerrigan about the possibility of developing another internship for this task. I began my work at the museum in December 2021 and continued through August 2022. My project involved categorizing and organizing historic photographs, documents, and artifacts to help improve the museum and better preserve the history of the village. During this time I also mentored a high school student to allow him to learn about and gain these skills.
I will be forever grateful for the internship opportunities I was given by Dr. Kerrigan, and for the support and lessons learned from the entire Muskingum University History Department. The skills that I developed at Muskingum have proven invaluable to my new career in local government and will continue to in the years ahead.
- Hannah Riggle
- Paige Rosser