Navigating the Site

There are more ways than one to get from page to page on this site. I think they’re all pretty easy to use, but here’s a list that may help if you get stuck.

Navigation Bar

You’ll see a navigation bar running across the top of every page except the site map, where it would be redundant. The navigation bar looks and works the same everywhere. Between Home on the left and Site Map on the right, it has the titles of the website’s four major parts. When your cursor is on any title on the bar, a drop-down menu appears below it, listing the chapters or sections it’s divided into. You can click any item on a drop-down menu to go directly to it, or you can click the title itself to display a menu page for that part.

Menu Pages

All four parts of the website have menu pages that appear when you click their titles on the navigation bar. The first three parts’ menu pages list their chapters (nearly always one page in length). The fourth part, “Colonial Contexts,” has a menu page listing the three sections of that part, each of which has its own menu page with a list of chapters. Clicking the title of a section or chapter on any menu page pops up a brief description or introduction, followed by a button to open the section or chapter.

Site Map

The site map lists every page on the site. Every item in that list (including titles in bold type) is linked to the page it names, so you can go directly to that page by clicking it. With only one exception, everything I’ve listed as a ‘chapter’ is one page long. The exception is But Why ‘Lexington’?— a 5-page essay on the dispute over the source of the town’s name. It’s all one piece, so pages 2–5 don’t have titles or separate entries in the site map.

If you’re uncertain about how to get to a particular page from the one you’re on, remember that you can always go to the top and click Site Map on the navigation bar.


Finally, at the bottom of many pages, you’ll see little signposts like these below. People in the 17th century called them fingerposts because they pointed the way to something, usually whatever town or village was located down a particular road.
On this site, To top always takes you to the top of the page you’re on, but Previous and Next are used in different ways depending on the context. Usually they move you back and forth through a sequence of chapters, but in some places they jump you to a menu page. A written account of the details would almost certainly cause more confusion than a little trial and error. You’ll probably find them useful once you’re used to them, but if the lack of consistency drives you mad, your best bet is to stick to the navigation methods described above.

... Plus a Word about the Pictures

This isn’t exactly a matter of navigation, but since we’re on the site’s only "helpful hints" page, I want to make sure you know that nearly all of the small pictures you see in the margins can (and should) be enlarged by clicking them. They’re mostly too small to see in adequate detail as they are, but I chose to shrink them so as to avoid making the pages too long. A few pictures are already as large as I found them, however, and can’t be made any larger.