Fugitive Slave Law, the Underground Railroad and
the Black Laws of Illinois.
learn about these topics, and work on four learning activities
ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND THE SLAVERY
Commonly a learning activity like this is planned to be done
chronologically. In studying Abraham Lincoln and his feelings and
response toward slavery could be done in a totally different way
than chronologically. We all know that Abraham was born in
Kentucky, and then moved to Indiana. He lived in Kentucky with his
Baptist father, Thomas Lincoln, who adamantly hated the institution
of slavery. Hating slavery had nothing to do with relationships
with black people. The slaves in Kentucky were located mostly on
large commercial plantations. Thomas Lincoln was a sustenance
farmer. Sustenance farmers grew crops and raised live stalk for
consumption, not sale.
Thomas Lincoln thought slavery was an immoral institution.
His son, Abraham, would witness slaves on the pathway near the
Lincoln home, being transported back and forth by slave owners.
Abraham would hear "great" discussions of the evilness of slavery
between his father and other visitors of their farm.
Thomas and Nancy Lincoln would leave Kentucky and move to the
Northern state of Indiana to get away from slavery and other
problems in Kentucky.
We all know that Abraham, as a young man, travelled to New
Orleans twice to deliver products on a flatboat from Indiana and
later Illinois. He would personally witness slave auctions, and see
slavery in-action in the south.
The slavery projects will
consider a set of questions,
listed below. In addition, there is a
set of "tasks,"
to help learn more about Abraham Lincoln and the problem of slavery.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN CONSIDERS HOW TO END SLAVERY
"Abraham Lincoln is often referred to as "The Great Emancipator" and
yet, he did not publicly call for emancipation throughout his entire
life. Lincoln began his public career by claiming that he was
"antislavery" -- against slavery's expansion but not calling for
immediate emancipation. He was not an active "Abolitionist."
However, the man who began as "antislavery" eventually issued the
Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all slaves in those states
that were in rebellion. He vigorously supported the 13th Amendment
which abolished slavery throughout the United States, and, in the
last speech of his life, he recommended extending the vote to
African Americans." Visit the Henry Ford video covering America's
history of liberty.
A SUMMARY OF LINCOLN'S VIEWS CONCERNING SLAVERY:
wasnít an abolitionist.
didnít believe blacks should have the same rights as whites.
thought colonization could resolve the issue of slavery.
Emancipation was a military policy.
The Emancipation Proclamation didnít actually free all of the
Words of Lincoln are listed at
Lincoln NPS Site
Letter from Frederick Douglas to Abraham Lincoln
concerning the possible
PBS Slavery & the Making of America
The 19th Century Southern Viewpoint for Slavery (by owners)
ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES FOR RELATED TOPICS:
Read the Excerpt from Abraham Lincoln's "House Divided Speech"
This famous speech, given in 1858 encompasses Lincoln's political
solution on the issue of slavery, including causes of national
division and what will have to happen to end it all.
Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention,
If we could first know where we are, and whither we
are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and
how to do it.
We are now far into the fifth year, since a
was initiated, with the avowed object, and confident
promise, of putting an end to
Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only,
not ceased, but has
In my opinion, it will not cease, until a
shall have been reached, and passed.
"A house divided against itself cannot stand."
I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave
and half free.
I do not expect the Union to be
-- I do not expect the house to
-- but I do expect it will cease to be
It will become all one thing or all the other.
Either the opponents of slavery, will
the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall
rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction;
or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become
alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new
-- North as well as South.
Have we no
to the latter
OTHER ITEMS AND ARTICLES AS LISTED IN THE SLAVERY AND
RESOURCE LIST. FINISH THE TASKS AS LISTED:
the articles and passages as presented in the slavery activities.
Consider the questions listed. Take notes as answers for the
questions are revealed.
Use the Article Response Form to record your answers.
1. Start with a concept called
"The Slave Power Conspiracy,"
concerning the pre 1870's Southern viewpoint and Northern
counter-viewpoint of the issue of slavery. and Northern
counter-viewpoint of the issue of slavery.
Study Abraham Lincoln's politics concerning slavery in our
country, and particularly his statements from the Debates with
Stephen Douglas in 1858.
Click the National Park Service Article on "Lincoln and Slavery."
3. Study where and how Abraham Lincoln got his philosophy and ideas
about the "final solution of the problem of slavery--its' gradual
Click the National Park Service on "Emancipation and the Quest for
Study how Abraham Lincoln's early life helped to formulate
his attitudes and beliefs about slavery.
Click the articles on Lincoln's attitude toward slavery in the early
Study President Abraham Lincoln's evolving during his Presidency
Go to the Gilder-Lehrman Site to read about "Allies for
Emancipation? Black Abolitionists and Abraham
ROLE PLAYING: A PRO- OR CON- DEBATE ABOUT SLAVERY
PLAN AND CONDUCT A
It is difficult now to understand why slavery was ever allowed in
the United States. Why did it grow and become so important in the
South? Why did some Northerners fear the ending of slavery in the
South? What did President Lincoln do about slavery?
Through reading the selected readings and quotes from Abraham
Lincoln, throughout his career, you can see a change in his attitude
and feelings about slavery/equality/individual rights.
It is difficult to understand how the 1850's political leader, even
Abraham Lincoln, could think the way they did. America was in a
totally different value system in the mid nineteenth century.
Slavery was a very important economic issue in the South, especially
after development of the Cotton Gin. The slave was basically
treated as an investment, a tool, and a work-horse (not human). The
Southern politicians were staunch about protecting the right to own
DIRECTIONS ON HOW TO CONDUCT THE DEBATE:
on the role
of a U.S. President, a Southern plantation owner/farmer with slaves,
a northerner, a poor white farmer in the north and border states,
and make decisions where you stand on the subject of SLAVERY or
Study your role choice and then
on the issues of expansion of slavery into the new Territories,
later to be states and the morality aspect, taking the side of your
Complete the table below for the role you chose.
Be careful to not mix opposing thoughts and opinions in your
responses. In a debate, you often will get the side you don't agree
with, but have to support it anyway. You can find information on
the Resource List given earlier.
WRITE A SUMMARY OF THE DEBATE. USE THIS SLAVERY DEBATE PRO 0R
1850's-1860's Individual or Group
concerned with Slavery (Pro or Con)
Why slavery should continue?
Why slavery should end?
"A Slave" in the South, or in a Northern
State with fear of being returned
Anti Slave Activist (Abolitionist)
Poor white farmer in the Northern/border
Southern Plantation owner/farmer
"You" as one of the above .groups, or
even the President. Take on a role as one of the above
and answer the questions in the boxes
ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT LINCOLN AND SLAVERY
RESOURCES TO USE:
Use the resources listed in the Introduction
PBS Slave Memories
Answer the Questions:
1. 1626-- What happened at Jamestown (New Netherlands)?
2. 1641-- What law was passed concerning run-away slaves?
3. 1663-- What did a group of slaves do?
4. 1682-- What declaration did Virginia set-forth concerning black
5. 1708-- What had happened to South Carolina's population numbers?
6. 1696-- What happened to the slave business in New England?
7. 1733-- what did the Quaker, Elihu Coleman publish?
8. 1770-- Crispus Attucks, died for what reason?
9. 1773-- Slaves started this, as a first for them. What was it?
10. 1784-- Thomas Jefferson tried to get a proposal through
concerning slavery, but failed. What was the proposal?
11. 1788-- The U.S. Constitution considers slavery and the 3/5th's
clause. What is the 3/5th's clause?
12. 1819-- What happened to the slave trading industry?
13. 1831-- A runaway slave safety program gets it's name. What is
14. 1842-- An old 1792 slave law was brought up in (Prigg v.
Pennsylvania), and became the law of the land. What was that law?
15. 1848-- A new Anti-slavery group organizes a political party.
What was the name of the party, and what was their major platform
(thing they wanted stopped)?
16. 1857-- Slavery proponents gain much in a Supreme Court
Decision. What was the case, and what did it say about slavery in
17. 1860-- How many slaves were there in the U.S.? A new President
is elected. Who was he?
18. 1861-- What war starts, and where?
19. 1862-- Blacks were now allowed to obtain "free land" from what
20. The first Black (Colored) unit was organized to fight in the
Civil War. What was the name of this famous unit?
21. 1865-- A constitutional amendment is passed to abolish slavery.
What number is the amendment.
22. Slavery ended in 1865.
INDIVIDUAL NORTHERN STATES WITH HARSH "BLACK CODES" THE ILLINOIS
Go to the State Codes Site to learn of the effect of these harsh
Click Here to enter the "Black Code of Illinois Picture Study
Puzzle." This TASK will have multiple reading and
Questions to be Answered:
1. Why didn't Abraham Lincoln become an abolitionist?
2. Why did President refuse to end slavery by any means other than a
Constitutional Amendment? 3. Why did President Lincoln declare that
slavery was not the reason for the Civil War?
4. Why did he hold back on emancipating the slaves of the
5. Why did he think he could organize a project to send free slaves
to South America or Liberia (Africa)?
6. Why did Abraham say, in 1858, at Charleston, Illinois that there
could not be equality of blacks and whites?
7. Why did free blacks in Richmond, Virginia, after Richmond fell
call President Abraham Lincoln "Father Abraham?"
Slavery 16th President Activity
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