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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Theme > Slavery and Abolition (x)

We found 131 items that match your search

A Revolutionary War Veteran Speaks Against Slavery

In this stirring speech delivered to the Congregational and Presbyterian Anti-Slavery Society in New Hampshire in 1842, a Revolutionary war veteran known only as "Dr. Harris" recalls the valor of a regiment African-American soldiers who fought in [...]

Item Type: Speech
Timeline of Compromises over Slavery

From the nation's very inception, the existence of slavery stood in glaring contrast to the ideals of liberty and justice expressed in the preamble to the Constitution. The Constitution itself protected the institution of slavery (while never [...]

Gender, Sex, and Slavery

In this activity students read about slavery's effect on women from the perspectives of an enslaved woman and a plantation mistress. Then students create a dialogue between the two women.

Many Passages: The Voyage of the Slave Ship Brookes

In this activity, students use facts and make inferences to create narratives about the journey of the slave ship Brookes. Students work in groups to create narratives from one of three different perspectives: Captain, Sailor, or Captive.

An Ex-Slave Petitions the Pennsylvania Legislature to Remain Free

Cato, a slave newly freed with his children, wrote this letter to Freeman's Journal, an African-American newspaper, when the Pennsylvania legislature was debating whether to repeal a recently passed law that gradually emancipated all slaves in the [...]

Ex-Slaves Recall Sunday Meetings

Between 1936 and 1938, the Federal Writers Project conducted interviews with thousands of former slaves, part of a larger project to collect first-hand biographies of "ordinary" American people. The excerpts below are from two of those interviews, [...]

Item Type: Oral History
Former Slaves Remember Resistance

While the harsh punishments meted out under slavery meant instances of open resistance were rare, many slaves nonetheless defied their masters in day-to-day life. The following excerpts are from interviews with former slaves, conducted as part of [...]

Item Type: Oral History
A Ride for Liberty

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 [...]

A Plantation Burial

Funerals were sad occasions in the slave quarters, but they gave African Americans a chance to confirm their community identity. They were often held at night, so that friends and family members from neighboring farms could attend.

Item Type: Painting
18th-Century Runaway Slave Advertisements

These newspaper advertisements seeking runaway slaves offer interesting details about the individual lives of eighteenth-century slaves and their masters.

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