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Students will examine period documents to learn about the hardships endured by captured African slaves.Materials An Account of the Slave Trade on the Coast of Africa, 1788, by Alexander Falconbridge, PBS Olaudah Equiano Recalls the Middle Passage, HistoryTools.org Image of slaves on...
Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence invokes the ideals of democracy and freedom. Yet he remains a slaveholder for his entire adult life, and (unlike George Washington) does not free his slaves in his will. Jefferson’s own struggles, moral and political, to reconcile his position as a slaveholder and a democratic idealist earned him admiration on the one hand and a deep distrust on the other. Recent DNA evidence has shown it likely that Jefferson fathered at least one child by his slave Sally Hemings. In...
US Constitution, Our Documents
Finkelman, Paul. Slavery and the Founders: Race and Liberty in the Age of Jefferson. New York: M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 2001.
Why did the Founders find it necessary to provide protections for slavery in the US Constitution?Learning Objective ...
January 1, 2013, marked the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. This revolutionary document ushered in the Thirteenth Amendment and the end of slavery in the United States. These two great legal documents were the culmination of a long struggle that began in the colonial period with the arrival of the first African slaves in North America. The Great Emancipation of the 1860s cannot be understood without studying what is often called the “first emancipation”—the growing belief among many...
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, 1776Background
The concept of “Liberty” is one that many hold dear. However, what liberty means to each individual may vary depending on his or her situation. During the American...