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In this lesson students look at primary source images and read short secondary texts to understand slave life. In the activity, the teacher models and students practice differentiating between different types of text (primary, secondary, etc.) [...]
This worksheet helps students analyze two documents to understand the role of runaway slaves in the intensifying conflicts over slavery in the 1850s. This worksheet contains vocabulary and other reading supports. It is part of the activity [...]
In 1848 a group of 300 women and men, organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, met in Seneca Falls, New York to outline a list of demands for women’s equality. The Declaration of Sentiments, modeled on the U.S. Declaration of [...]
This worksheet helps students analyze an antebellum runaway slave advertisement.
Many miners wrote letters home to family and friends describing their experiences in California. In this letter, Robert Pitkin describes the tensions between American-born and Chinese immigrant miners.
Antonio Franco Coronel was born in Mexico, came to California as a child in 1834, and settled with his family in Los Angeles. As one of the original miners in the state’s gold fields in 1848, he found success at the Placer Seco in northern [...]
Though discriminated against in California, African-American miners often shared the same prejudices as white Americans towards Chinese immigrants. At other times, immigrants and African Americans found common purpose in work and leisure. This [...]
As this newspaper announcement indicates, the status of slaves in California was unclear and fluid. Even though California was admitted as a free state to the Union in 1850, many southerners, claiming their stay was temporary, brought their slaves [...]
At least 2,000 African Americans participated in the California Gold Rush. Though some were brought as slaves by southern masters, many were free northern blacks who migrated west with other Americans. African Americans, even free citizens, however, [...]
A Boardinghouse Keeper Describes “Toil and Fatigue” in the California Gold Rush (with text supports)
Mary Ballou and her husband ran a boarding house in a California gold mining town. Ballou’s letter to her son, written in 1852, evokes the rough housing, violence, and high prices (from which the Ballous profited) in California during the gold [...]