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Painter Theodor Kaufmann was a German immigrant and abolitionist who served in the Union army during the Civil War. Throughout the war, African-American men, women, and children escaped slavery by fleeing to Union encampments. Union commanders [...]
The spirit of the American Revolution inspired some slaveholders to manumit, or free, their slaves. In 1782, Virginia passed a law that allowed slaveholders to set slaves free in their wills, where before manumission required a special act of the [...]
Even as the dramatic events of the Civil War were unfolding, artists and sculptors struggled to depict emancipation. After the war, as local communities and the nation attempted to memorialize the conflict and the transformation of four million [...]
Harriet Tubman was among the best known conductors of the Underground Railroad, a network of enslaved people, free blacks, and white sympathizers that assisted thousands of runaway slaves escape north. During the Civil War, Tubman offered her [...]
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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
This worksheet helps students analyze a letter from John Boston, a runaway slave during the Civil War, to his wife.