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Herb - social history for every classroom

menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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Before the Civil War, David Golightly Harris (1824-1875) had been a small slaveholder in Spartanburg District, South Carolina. According to the 1860 census, he owned ten slaves and 550 acres of land, 100 of which he had under cultivation. Though not…

This letter was written by a group of freedmen to the Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Land (known as the Freedmen’s Bureau). The freedmen were from Edisto Island, South Carolina, an area that came under Union control…

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.

These worksheets help students analyze the Theodor Kaufmann painting On to Liberty. The graphic organizer included here can also be used to analyze the painting A Ride for Liberty by Eastman Johnson. The worksheets are included as part of Lessons in…

This worksheet helps students analyze the 1865 print Lincoln in Richmond.

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

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…

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…

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…

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In this journalistic sketch, a group of African American soldiers liberates a plantation in eastern North Carolina. The troops were the so-called "African Brigade" composed of black recruits from Massachusetts and newly freed contraband slaves from…
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