INTRODUCTION: LINCOLN'S EARLY LIFE
DEVELOPING FEELINGS ABOUT SLAVERY IN HIS YOUTH
A CO-PAGE WITH THE LINCOLN AND
SLAVERY TIME-LINE STUDY
Even in Free Illinois,
many complications for the Underground Railroad made it very
dangerous for flight for freedom in a northern state.
Illinois) The Black Laws of 1819, the conditions for flight
are displayed. Click Here to find out about them.
the short version:
An American History of Slavery Timeline
The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850-- A federal law that
demands that runaway slaves be returned from the north, and
no aid be given to them. Jail time and a $1,000 fine could
occur by persons breaking this law.
Songs used by slaves to communicate to each other. Very few
could read & write, and it would be very dangerous to use
written notes, so .......A song like
"Follow the Drinking Gourd" was used to
provide secret messages on how to travel on the railroad.
Songs slaves sang often had double meanings. Since slaves
were forbidden to read and write, they had to communicate in
ways that would not be obvious to their slave owners. One
way was through song. (In tribal cultures of Africa, songs
were often used to transmit information and therefore
historians tell us that slaves used this same method when
captured and enslaved in America. Have students listen to
and/or read the lyrics to the song “Follow
the Drinking Gourd” and then challenge them to crack
its code. (Historians know that the lyrics secretly
identified landmarks and constellations to guide slaves
along the trail to freedom. A “drinking gourd” described the
Big Dipper constellation and its North Star, since slaves
were familiar with carved gourds which they used to scoop
water from buckets to get a drink.)
20th Century Declaration of Human Rights, from the
United Nations. Think about our American "Declaration of
Independence." How do they compare?
Underground Railroad sites can be used to find your
Aboard the Underground Railroad
(Listing and description of RR
sites by state)
The Underground Railroad
American Visionaries: Frederick Douglass
Ads for Runaway Slaves
Task 1 The Lincoln-Matson Slave Trial, Coles County,
Charleston, (Coles County) Illinois, was the location of a
Lincoln-slave court case, in which Abraham Lincoln defended
a slave owner.
This is a very interesting, and early demonstration of
Lincoln-the-lawyer's dealings with slavery.
Go to Mr. Lincoln and Freedom site (lower half of the
reading) to read about this case.
Answer the listed questions.
a. Do you think Abraham Lincoln was right in taking the
case of Mr. Matson, the slave owner?
b. How do you think Lincoln, the lawyer, felt after losing
this case in the Coles County Courthouse?
c. What happened to the Bryant family
2 Slavery and Underground Railroad tasks
Follow the directions as provided.
Go to Slavery in the South for additional information.
Read the two pages from the 19th Century School
Books Collection, involving the conversation between a slave
and a slave-owner.
Write a statement about what you think about slavery in our
What was the Fugitive Slave Law?
Where were the Underground Railroad Stations in Illinois?
Other States? What country would the runaway slaves be most
Frederick Douglass National Park Service Site Click
Here [This site has tabs for each question
Read and Answer the questions listed with information from
1. What does the introduction say he is now called?
2. Go to the Mighty Word link, and what was his newspaper
3. Go to the Power of an Idea. What is the Frederick
4. Go to Women’s Rights. What did Douglass stand for
concerning women’s rights?
5. Go to Home In Washington D.C. find where Frederick
Douglass ended up living for the last years of his life?
LEARNING LINCOLN ON-LINE
in the South
President Lincoln and the Abolitionists--Press Conference Dramatic
Frederick Douglass and President Lincoln Learning Activity
Project Home Page
President and the Civil War
Comprehensive List of Comprehensive List of all Topics
Group Listing of Lincoln/Civil War Sites by Category
General Learning On-line Home