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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 brief activity leads students through analysis of an archaeologist's sketch of the grave of an African buried in colonial New York.
The spirit of the American Revolution inspired some slaveholders to manumit, or free, their slaves. In 1782, Virginia passed a law that allowed slaveholders to set slaves free in their wills, where before manumission required a special act of the [...]
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 [...]
John Parker was born in Virginia in 1827, and was the son of a wealthy white man and an enslaved woman. He spent the first 18 years of his life as a slave and earned a reputation as a troublemaker for regularly trying to escape. In 1845, he [...]
Harriet Tubman was among the best known conductors of the Underground Railroad, a network of enslaved people, free blacks, and white sympathizers that assisted thousands of runaway slaves escape north. During the Civil War, Tubman offered her [...]
During the Civil War, John Boston took advantage of the nearby presence of Union troops to runaway. But in this case, Boston had run into a Union camp in Maryland, a slave state fighting on the side of the Union. This meant that the regiment from [...]
This worksheet helps students analyze a letter in which Lydia Maria Child describes Harriet Tubman's vivid allegory about the necessity of destroying slavery during the Civil War.
In this activity students read a list of laws regulating Africans and African Americans and a servant's indenture contract from colonial New York. Then students find evidence in the primary sources to support a series of statements about the [...]
In this activity students analyze Theodor Kaufmann's 1867 painting On to Liberty. Students practice finding information and making inferences based on the painting by completing a graphic organizer. Then students read a descriptive paragraph of the [...]