September 23, 2017

Primary Source Spotlight: Slavery (U.S.)

Library slavery collections Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938 more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves Caroline Hammond (a fugitive) "I was born in Anne Arundel County near Davidsonville about 3 miles from South River in the year 1844...." The story of Charles Crawley, ex-slave "God knows, how old I am. All I know is, I wuz born 'fore de war...." Voices from the Days of … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: Oral Histories & Personal Narratives

LOC.gov contains numerous oral history and personal narrative resources. Check out the lists below! Teaching resources Analyzing Primary Sources: Learning from Oral Histories Learning from the Source: Chicago Meatpackers & the Unions Learning from the Source: Digital Stories of Our Heroes Learning from the Source: Media & Migrant Laborer Perspectives Primary Source Learning: September 11, 2001 Capturing an Oral History: Tips for Students Billy the Kid: … [Read more...]

Today in History: Slave Auction

Today in History–March 3–the Library of Congress features the largest recorded slave auction in U.S. history, began on this date in 1859. Referred to as  "The Weeping Time", the two-day auction of 436 men, women, and children formerly held by Pierce M. Butler was held pay off Butler's financial losses from the crash of 1857-58 as well as his gambling debts. A journalist's account, What Became of the Slaves on a Georgia Plantation?, includes vivid descriptions of the auction and many of … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Harriet Tubman

From America's Library Born: c. 1820, Dorchester County, Maryland Died: March 10, 1913, Auburn, New York Harriet Tubman was a runaway slave from Maryland who became known as the "Moses of her people." Over the course of 10 years, and at great personal risk, she led hundreds of slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad, a secret network of safe houses where runaway slaves could stay on their journey north to freedom. She later became a leader in the abolitionist movement, and during … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Slave market of America

What contradiction does this broadside illustrate and discuss? Support your conclusion using specific details from the source. Who created this broadside? Using details from the source to support your responses, explain the purpose of this broadside and the intended audience. Review the bibliographic record for this source, in particular the summary. What more did you learn about slavery in 1836 Washington, D.C. What other observations, reflections or questions does this source inspire? … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Synopsis of the Fugitive Slave Law

Review this synopsis of the fugitive slave law. Choose one of the synopsis points and find which part(s) of the fugitive law text the author drew from to create the summary. Use the text from the fugitive slave law to create your own synopsis using modern-day language. In the objections, the author states that the fugitive slave law "violates the spirit and letter of the Constitution" and then lists several examples. Look for one of the examples in the actual text of the U.S. Constitution. … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Fugitive Slave Law

Practical illustration of the Fugitive Slave Law Effects of the Fugitive-Slave-Law Triumph Fugitive slave law political cartoons Fugitive slave bill ... Approved, September 18, 1850. Millard Fillmore Things to be remembered. Remember that the Whig administration of Millard Fillmore enacted the Fugitive Slave bill, in violation of the constitution and all the legal safeguards of personal liberty Fugitive Slave Law, Senate Congressional Globe documents Fugitive Slave Law, … [Read more...]

Today in History: Frederick Douglass

Today in History–September 03–the Library of Congress features the escape from slavery of Frederick Douglass on this day in 1838. Born into slavery, Douglass became a renowned abolitionist, journalist, author, and human rights advocate. Learn more about this remarkable man who never ceased advocating for freedom by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more primary sources and primary source learning activities related to Frederick Douglass. Primary … [Read more...]

Today in History: Abolition in D.C.

Today in History–April 16–the Library of Congress features abolition. On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed an act abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia. Learn more about the abolition of slavery in the United States capital by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below to access primary sources related to abolition and slavery. Abolition in the District of Columbia from America's Library Abolition in Washington D.C. primary source … [Read more...]

Today in History: Amistad Mutiny Survivors Released

Today in History–March 9–the Library of Congress features the Amistad mutiny survivors, released on this day in 1841 by the Supreme Court. Former president John Quincy Adams successfully argued the case and the former captives  eventually returned to Africa. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section, then clicking the links below to read Adams argument and access more primary sources and teaching resources related to this incident and slavery in the U.S. Amistad primary source … [Read more...]