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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 viewing of Episode 4: The Dearest of All Things (Disc 2). There is a companion website to the…

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Item Type: Teaching Activity
Date: 2011

This worksheet helps students evaluate different pieces of evidence to determine who freed the slaves, Abraham Lincoln or slaves themselves. The worksheet is part of the activity "Emancipation and "Contraband": Who Freed the Slaves During the Civil War."

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Item Type: Worksheet
Date: 2011

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.

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Item Type: Worksheet
Date: 2011

This worksheet helps students analyze a letter from John Boston, a runaway slave during the Civil War, to his wife.

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Item Type: Worksheet
Date: 2011

Early in the Civil War, on November 7, 1861, a fleet of Union gunboats bombarded the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina. Confederate planters left hastily, ordering their field hands and house servants to accompany them. Most ignored their former masters and remained. The Union government eventually appointed northern antislavery reformers…

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Item Type: Photograph
Date: 1862

In May, 1861, Union General Benjamin Butler offered military protection to runaway slaves in Virginia, declaring them wartime "contraband." In every region touched by the war, African-American men, women, and children flocked to the protection offered by Union encampments. In exchange they provided manual labor and information about local terrain…

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Item Type: Article/Essay
Date: 2008

Painter Theodor Kaufmann was a German immigrant and abolitionist who served in the Union army during the Civil War. Throughout the war, African-American men, women, and children escaped slavery by fleeing to Union encampments. Union commanders referred them as wartime "contraband," or property forfeited by the rebellious Confederates. They…

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Item Type: Painting
Date: 1867

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 commanders referred them as wartime "contraband," or property forfeited by the rebellious Confederates.…

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Item Type: Painting
Date: 1862

In 1863, Congress issued a Conscription Act to draft more people into the army to fight the Civil War. The draft law also included a provision that allowed wealthy men to pay $300 to a substitute, thus avoiding military service. In response, in New York City protesters led four days of violent attacks against African Americans, draft officials,…

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Item Type: Newspaper/Magazine
Date: 1863

This Civil War-era lithograph, circulated in the North, lampoons the idea that the Confederate Army was composed of southern "volunteers." A conscript is compelled by force to fight for "King Cotton," despite his protests that he is a "Union man." In reality, both the Union and Confederate Armies relied on conscription to fill their ranks, and in…

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Item Type: Cartoon
Date: Circa 1862