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A Ride for Liberty
In 1862, American painter Eastman Johnson (1824-1906) made trips to Union encampments to witness and sketch the war's events. Throughout the war, African-American men, women, and children escaped slavery by fleeing to Union encampments. Union [...]
Summary of the Emancipation Proclamation
Despite his personal opposition to slavery, when President Abraham Lincoln took office in 1861 he insisted that his constitutional duty was to keep the nation together, not to abolish slavery. He conducted the first year of the war with the goal of [...]
Background Essay on Who Freed the Slaves?
This essay introduces you to the main forces behind the abolition of slavery in the United States, as well as the debate among historians as to who played the key role.
Active Viewing: Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided
PBS American Experience’s Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided is a 6 episode mini-series available as a 3 DVD set. The following activity focuses on the causes and consequences of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation through an active [...]
Who Freed the Slaves During the Civil War?
In this activity students analyze visual and textual evidence about "contraband" African-American slaves during the Civil War era. They compare the roles of African Americans, the Union military, and the policies of the Republican party in [...]