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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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
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.
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 [...]
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, [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.