- ›› Grade Level : 6
Welcome to the online exhibition of Freedom Riders created by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in partnership with PBS’s flagship history series, American Experience. It was created as a companion to the American Experience documentary “Freedom Riders.”
When Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published in 1852, it ignited a great debate over the practice of slavery in America. A best seller that sold more than one million copies, the novel tells the stories of Tom, a field slave, and Eliza, a household servant, and how they dealt with the horrors of slavery....
On October 16, 1859, John Brown and a band of followers, black and white, attacked the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. The raid was part of a larger plan to destroy the slave system by freeing and arming slaves. The raiders were captured and John Brown was executed on December 2, 1859. The unique documents discussed here examine John Brown’s beliefs and actions in the context of growing national divisions over slavery in the 1850s.
The Lincoln-Douglas debates were a series of seven joint discussions between Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, and Stephen A. Douglas, a Democrat, held during the summer and fall of 1858 in Illinois. Lincoln and Douglas had been debating each other for more than twenty years before their famous contest for the US Senate in 1858. They were longtime rivals with contrasting styles and sharp differences in philosophy. But from the beginning almost everyone realized the 1858 debates would be historic.
Take a look at Lincoln, Douglas, and...