African Americans and Emancipation

The essays in this section have been written by leading scholars of American history. They provide additional depth on events and ideas referred to in the introductory essay and, in some cases, different interpretations by historians looking at the same events. These essays are particularly useful as informational texts to introduce your students to one of the most exciting aspects of studying history—understanding the past from a variety of perspectives.

Essays from Other Sub-Eras

Fragment of Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech, ca. 1857. (GLC02533)

Lincoln and Abolitionism

Author: Douglas L. Wilson Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
Slave leg chain, ca. 1840-1850. (Gilder Lehrman Collection)

The Material Culture of Slave Resistance

Author: Douglas R. Egerton Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, 1846. (GLC05117)

The Slave Narratives: A Genre and a Source

Author: David W. Blight Curriculum Subjects: Economics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Friends of Freedom broadside (Boston, 1850). (GLC05345)

The Underground Railroad and the Coming of War

Author: Matthew Pinsker Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+