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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Antebellum America (1816-1860) (x)
  • Theme > Slavery and Abolition (x)

We found 59 items that match your search

Excerpt from Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation (with text supports)

In this book excerpt, historians John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger explain the difficulties faced by runaway slaves who attempted to escape to northern states or Canada. Franklin and Schweninger studied many primary source documents to reach [...]

Item Type: Book (excerpt)
Henry Bibb Remembers Running Away (with text supports)

Henry Bibb was born in Kentucky to a slave mother and her owner, Kentucky state senator James Bibb. His brothers and sisters were sold away when he was a child, and Bibb was also sold frequently—he lived in at least seven southern states. After [...]

Analysis Worksheet: Boston Abolitionists Warn of Slave Catchers

This worksheet helps students to analyze a poster about the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.

Slavery: Acts of Resistance

In this activity students compare an excerpt of a WPA interview with an ex-slave with a more famous statement by Frederick Douglass to arrive at their own interpretations of slave resistance. This lesson is designed to work with the film Doing As [...]

Running for Freedom: The Fugitive Slave Law and the Coming of the Civil War

This activity compares a runaway slave ad and an abolitionist poster to explore the causes and effects of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law. The law changed how many northerners viewed slavery and intensified conflicts that brought the nation closer to [...]

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 [...]

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
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 [...]

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