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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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Analysis Worksheets: On to Liberty

These worksheets help students analyze the Theodor Kaufmann painting On to Liberty. The graphic organizer included here can also be used to analyze the painting A Ride for Liberty by Eastman Johnson. The worksheets are included as part of Lessons in [...]

Active Viewing: Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided

PBS American Experience’s Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided is a 6 episode mini-series available as a 3 DVD set. The following activity focuses on the causes and consequences of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation through an active [...]

Lessons in Looking: Contraband in Paintings

In this activity students analyze Theodor Kaufmann's 1867 painting On to Liberty. Students practice finding information and making inferences based on the painting by completing a graphic organizer. Then students read a descriptive paragraph of the [...]

Who Freed the Slaves During the Civil War?

In this activity students analyze visual and textual evidence about "contraband" African-American slaves during the Civil War era. They compare the roles of African Americans, the Union military, and the policies of the Republican party in [...]

Piedmont Farmer: The Journals of David Golightly Harris

Before the Civil War, David Golightly Harris (1824-1875) had been a small slaveholder in Spartanburg District, South Carolina. According to the 1860 census, he owned ten slaves and 550 acres of land, 100 of which he had under cultivation. Though not [...]

A Committee of Freedmen on Edisto Island Reveal Their Expectations

This letter was written by a group of freedmen to the Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Land (known as the Freedmen’s Bureau). The freedmen were from Edisto Island, South Carolina, an area that came under Union [...]