Escape to FreedomAn Enslaved Person’s Choice For Self-Emancipation
Escape to Freedom Table of Contents• Introduction • Teacher Pages• Tasks & Processes – Massachusetts Content – Learning about Slavery Standards – Learning about mid 19th – Objectives Century Boston – Bibliography – Learning about Self- Emancipation and the Underground Railroad• Conclusion
Introduction• In this webquest, you will read or hear several enslaved persons’ stories about their daily life.• Additionally, you will learn about why many self-emancipated people chose to go to Boston.• Finally, you will learn about the journey to freedom via the Underground Railroad.• Note: As you progress through the activities, picture yourself as a participant. Perhaps these are the stories of your family or friends; this might be your journey to freedom. Do your best to empathize with the situations.
Task 1: Learning about Slavery • You will be reading about what slavery was like on slides 5 – 10, and using that information to write a found poem that conveys what it may have been like to be enslaved in the mid- 1800’s.
Perspectives on Slavery• “They say slaves are happy, because they laugh, and are merry. I myself and three or four others, have received two hundred lashes in the day, and had our feet in fetters; yet, at night, we would sing and dance, and make others laugh at the rattling of our chains. Happy men we must have been! We did it to keep down trouble, and to keep our hearts from being completely broken; that is as true as the gospel! Just look at it, - must not we have been very happy? Yet I have done it myself – I have cut capers in chains.” (Zinn 172)
A Day in the Life of Slavery• Skim these short – Josiah Henson (continued) glimpses of slavery to – Lunsford Lane find more words for – Frederick Douglas your found poem. – Moses Roper – Coming to America – Lewis Clarke – Elizabeth Keckley – Peter Randolf – Francis Henderson – Richard Toler – Jacob Stroyer – Walter Calloway – Tempe Herndon Durham – Charity Anderson – Mary Reynolds – Maria Jackson – Collection of stories – Henry Bibb
Lashings• "Pa say they strop em down at the carriage house and give em five hundred lashes. He say they have salt and black pepper mixed up in er old bucket and put it all on flesh cut up with a rag tied on a stick (mop).”
Slave Codes• “Slavery in the United States was governed by an extensive body of law developed from the 1640s to the 1860s. Every slave state had its own slave code and body of court decisions. – All slave codes made slavery a permanent condition, inherited through the mother, and defined slaves as property, usually in the same terms as those applied to real estate. – Slaves, being property, could not own property or be a party to a contract. Since marriage is a form of contract, no slave marriage had any legal standing. – All codes also had sections regulating free blacks, who were still subject to controls on their Read the linked movements and employment and were often required to leave the state after emancipation.” slave codes
King Cotton• What was picking cotton like? – Work started before dawn. No matter the weather, those enslaved are in the fields picking cotton. In July the heat is sweltering; in December, temperatures drop and it can become frigid. – One’s back aches incessantly from the long days stooped over the short, thorny plants picking their blooms. – Pickers must work quickly but carefully. If one pricks their dry, cracked, calloused fingers and gets blood on the cotton, lashings will ensue. Other risks include being sold off and losing the connections loved ones. – After the cotton is picked, the seeds, small and sesame-like, must be removed by hand – yet another tedious chore. – After sundown one may take care of their own needs – hunting, fishing or gathering food; preparing meals; spending time with friends and family; etc.
Frederick Douglas’Independence Day Speech• Even Frederick Douglas, the abolitionist who was formerly enslaved, speaks vehemently about freedom in America. His Independence Day Speech was a powerful statement regarding the disparity between America’s belief in Liberty and her actions towards African Americans. His personal testimony also gives one hope for freedom – and the joys of work allowing one to earn an honest wage for oneself.Note: Make sure to click on link & read the “Independence Day Speech.” If you wouldlike more information, you can hear an audio commentary here. Also read the personaltestimony.
Task 2: Mid 19th Century Boston• Where would you go if you were enslaved and choose to self-emancipate?• In this task, you will explore what Boston was like during the mid 1800’s.• At the conclusion, you will work in pairs to create a 4 page newsletter in Microsoft Publisher or a similar program. The audience will be enslaved and free blacks of the time period and the newsletter will provide them information on why Boston is a great place to live and what is happening in the Boston Black community network.
Undecided States Read about the U.S. as a diverse but segregated nation. Click on map to go to a version with zoom. Slave States
The Possibility of Boston Education & Religion Boston Employment Timeline & Housing The BostonNote: “ctrl F” andsearch “Boston” NetworkThen go to:1. Sheridan Ford: Secreted in the Woods (#2) Activism &2. Arrival from Liberty the According to Richmond: Underground the Law Jeremiah & Railroad Julia Smith Click on links in each circle to learn about that aspect of life in the Boston area.
Education & ReligionEducation• Abiel Smith School• Segregated Schools upheld 1849Religion• African Meeting House
Task 3: The Underground Railroad Another Man’s Journey• Walter is an enslaved man in Virginia. Go to his story and travel through all four of the sections – on the plantation, escape, reaching safety, and reaching freedom.• As you progress through the journey, pretend as if you are Walter. – What emotions do you feel? – Would you make the same choices?
The Underground Railroad & Canada• Explore Owen Sound’s Black History site. Make sure to visit these pages plus any others of your choice: – http://www.osblackhistory.com/history.php – http://www.osblackhistory.com/underground.php – http://www.osblackhistory.com/songs.php – http://www.osblackhistory.com/quilts.php
Plan Your Route• If you were from South Carolina, how would you get to Boston? Canada?• Plan your route for the Underground Road.
Teacher Pages• Note: Due to broken links, several pages need to be redeveloped. This is a work in progress.