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12.12.2015 admin
LEARN NC is evaluating its role in the current online education environment as it relates directly to the mission of UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education (UNC-CH SOE). This particular adventure begins in the year 1828, with one man’s keen eye and passion for science.
While working on a geological survey of North Carolina in 1828, Mitchell noted the height of the Black Mountains. In a mercurial barometer, air pushes down on the mercury in the cistern, forcing the mercury up the tube. He used barometric observations to calculate the elevation of mountain summits in western North Carolina. During his 1835 trip to the Black Mountains, Mitchell established Morganton as a base station and made several barometric observations over a short period. Clingmans Dome, on the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, is the second-highest peak in the eastern United States. Everyone did not agree with Mitchell’s claim that he had identified the highest point in North America east of the Mississippi River.
Mitchell’s pioneering spirit and sense of adventure inspired others to produce accurate written and graphic descriptions of the Black Mountain Range. Search LEARN NC for more resources on Elisha Mitchell, Mount Mitchell, North Carolina, exploration, geography, geology, history, and mountains. LEARN NC’s digital textbook for North Carolina History uses primary sources and multimedia to tell many stories about the past, not just one.
Part four explores the political, social, and cultural history of the state from the establishment of the federal government through the 1830s.
LEARN NC, a program of the UNC School of Education, finds the most innovative and successful practices in K-12 education and makes them available to the teachers and students of North Carolina - and the world. Elisha Mitchell, one of North Carolina’s great scholars, observed that a mountain in the Black Mountain Range in western North Carolina seemed higher than the state’s Grandfather Mountain and higher than Mount Washington in New Hampshire’s White Mountain Range. He was certain that his observations had correctly identified the highest point in the eastern United States.
Mitchell traveled by means of a one-horse wagon from Chapel Hill to Morganton, and the trip took about one week.
While he took readings on the mountain summits, someone else took barometric readings in Morganton at about the same times. Geological Survey upheld Mitchell’s measurement of the highest peak on the Black Mountain Range and officially named it after him.
The range soon transformed from a little-explored wilderness to an area of well-refined geographic knowledge and plans for toll roads to its summit to improve visitor access.
After graduating from Yale University, he began teaching at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1818. He returned to the Black Mountain Range in 1835 and again in 1838, collecting data to support his lofty hypothesis. The mercurial barometer consists of a glass tube sealed at one end and filled with pure mercury.


Using a complex math formula, the difference between the sets of readings could be used to estimate the heights of the mountaintops.
By the early 1900s, extensive logging had stripped much of the mountain range, and citizens became alarmed at how fast the forests were disappearing. A proposed explanation or interpretation that can be tested by further investigation.lofty adj.
While we are moving away from a focus on publishing, we know it’s important that educators have access to these kinds of resources. After being heated to expel the air, the tube is turned upside down in a small cup of mercury called the cistern. Mitchell thought that the height of what he believed to be the highest peak was 6,672 feet — a mere twelve feet under modern calculations! In 1915 a bill was introduced in the state legislature that would establish Mount Mitchell as the first state park. Mitchell collected evidence to support his hypothesis over the next thirty years, until the project claimed his life. On July 5, 1844, he wrote his wife: “Tomorrow, I am expecting to ascend the Black Mountains I hope for the last time. The only trails that existed were animal trails, and he used a bear trail on one of his trips. It passed both houses, and on March 3, 1915, the North Carolina State Parks System began.
Images and other media may be licensed separately; see captions for more information and read the fine print. That said, we’re directing our resources into our newest efforts, so we won’t be adding to the archive or updating its contents. His work revealed that the highest peak east of the Mississippi River was indeed in Yancey County.
Atmospheric pressure on the surface of the mercury in the cistern supports the column of mercury in the tube.
Today visitors to Mount Mitchell State Park, thirty-five miles northeast of downtown Asheville, enjoy an exhibit hall and a 360-degree view from the observation tower. This means that as the North Carolina Standard Course of Study changes in the future, we won’t be re-aligning resources. In addition to food, water, and other necessary supplies for survival, Mitchell carried with him fragile barometric equipment. That column varies in height with variations in atmospheric pressure and changes in elevation. Our full-text and tag searches should make it possible for you to find exactly what you need, regardless of standards alignment.



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