Each student will take a role, and using the questions
for each press conference participant, find answers
by researching and reading about each.
Here are the questions:
For all the participants:
Where were you born and brought up?
Tell us about your personal experience with slavery?
Up until this present year (1864), what have you done to
help African Americans in slavery?
Do you think black people will ever be equal to white
Do you think that the Emancipation Proclamation issued
January 1, 1863?
For Frederick Douglass:
We know you were a slave, but how did you get your
Did you know John Brown, and what did you think about
what he did?
What is the name of your Newspaper? Why did you call it
Tell us about your first meeting with President Lincoln
in the White House.
How have you help the Union during the Civil War?
How did President Lincoln treat you when you visited him
in the White House?
Do you think the African-American soldiers in the Union
Army are being treated equally with white soldiers?
For Harriet Tubman:
How did you escape from slavery, and when?
You have been called the "Moses of your people." Why do
people say this?
Tell us about the Underground Railroad. Why is it
called a railroad?
You served other roles during this war. What were your
Being an abolitionist is dangerous in many areas. How
do you think you and Frederick Douglass have survived?
What do you think about the way President Lincoln is
handling the slave issue, as well as maintaining the
unity of the country?
1. You were brought up a slave. What was
your birth name?
2. What language were you taught to
speak? Did you learn to read and write?
3. When did you get your freedom?
4. You are a preacher. Besides preaching
for the abolition of slavery, what other issues do you
preach for or against?
5. What do think about our President
(Lincoln)? Did the Emancipation Proclamation help the
condition of the slave?
President Abraham Lincoln:
1. You have been called the
"Rail-splitter Candidate." How did this nick-name get
started? Tell us a little bit about your early life.
2. When did you first see a slave
auction? What were your feelings then?
2. You made a statement at Charleston
during the 4th debate with Stephen Douglas. That
statement had to do with "equality of blacks" in our
country. What did you say then, and has your opinion
changed since then?
3. Why didn't you become an abolitionist
with the others in this esteemed panel, in the early
days before the Civil War?
4. Do you think the black Union soldiers
are being treated fairly? If not, how are you going to
improve their conditions?
With each set of answers, the student will make two
copies on large note-cards. He/she will then memorize
them so that when the press conference is performed, the
answers will be dramatic, instead of mere reading. The
second copy will be given to the moderator (Secretary of
War, Edwin Stanton). The Secretary will read the
questions to the press conference participants.