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  • Historical Eras > Antebellum America (1816-1860) (x)

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"Troubles in the South-West": Ideology and the U.S.-Mexican War

In this lesson students read a series of documents about the American and Mexican reasons for and against the 1846 U.S.-Mexico War. As they read the documents students identify when the authors employ various foreign policy ideologies such as [...]

Militant Abolitionists Rescue a Fugitive Slave in Troy, New York

Militant black and white abolitionists organized opposition to the Fugitive Slave Act. In 1859 Harriet Tubman, an ex-slave and leader of the underground railroad, played a central role in rescuing a fugitive slave named Charles Nalle. Nalle, who had [...]

"Father Mathew" Teacup from Five Points

Uncovered during an archaeological dig of the former Five Points neighborhood, this teacup depicts the Irish temperance reformer Father Theobold Mathew, who during the late 1830s and 1840s convinced Irish on both sides of the Atlantic to embrace [...]

Map of the Five Points Neighborhood, 1855-67

In 1854 the names of the original streets, Cross, Anthony, Orange, and Little Water, which had formed the Five Points intersection (marked with a star) from which the neighborhood derived its name were changed to Park, Worth, Baxter and Mission [...]

Angelina Grimke Argues for Women's Political Rights

In this letter Angelina Grimke, abolitionist and women's rights advocate, argues for the right of propertied women to participate in government through petitions despite their lack of enfranchisement. This letter was a part of a series of essays [...]

Background Essay on Slave Communities and Resistance

This short essay explains how historians came to focus not just on what slavery did to slaves, but what slaves did for themselves within the limits set by this brutal institution.

Item Type: Article/Essay
Background Essay on Life in Mid-19th Century Five Points

This essay introduces Manhattan's Five Points neighborhood and the people who lived there.

Debating Abolitionist Strategies

In this lesson, students will host an abolitionist meeting in the 1850s, after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act. Three strategies for ending slavery will be presented, and students will evaluate and debate the strengths and weaknesses of each [...]

Exploring the Irish in America Through Found Poetry

In this lesson students read poems and letters that describe the work and lives of nineteenth-century Irish immigrants to the United States. As students read the documents, they choose words and phrases to create found poems that reflect their [...]

Slaves Waiting for Sale, Richmond, Virginia, 1861

During the 1850s, hundreds of thousands of enslaved African Americans were sold by owners in the upper South (Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee) to owners in the lower South (Louisiana, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, [...]

Item Type: Painting

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