Abolition in Antebellum Boston
Go Back
Theme: In this high school project-based unit, Abolition in Antebellum Boston, students apply the basic principals of historical thinking by researching and weighing primary information sources, and forming their own conclusions from those sources to interpret the difficult choices faced by the citizens of Boston and the nation during the growth of the abolitionist movement.
Title: Abolition in Antebellum Boston
Contributors: Molly Laden
Grade Level(s): [9] [10] [11] [12]
Age Level(s): 14-17
Subject Areas: History and Social Sciences
Unit Goals: Students will apply the basic principals of historical thinking by researching and weighing primary information sources, and forming their own conclusions from those sources to interpret the difficult choices faced by the citizens during the growth of the abolitionist movement.

Links to District Curriculum: Content Outcomes:
SmartEDU, Inc. - TriTec, Inc. - CTI-RDB

Technology Outcomes:
SmartEDU, Inc. - TriTec, Inc. - CTI-RDB
Materials/Resources: Primary Source Documents from The Liberator

Primary Source Documents from supporters of the Abolitionist Movement

Horace Seldon – National Park Service-“A Moment in Abolition History”

Speeches/Writings from William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Frederick Douglass, John Mitchell

Maps

Political Cartoons

Secondary sources for curriculum support.

Primary Source: Broadsides

Timeframe: 25 (Hours)
Student Foundational Skills: Students will have the background knowledge of this time period. Students will have the skills needed to conduct research and analyze and interpret primary source documents. Students will have presentation skills. Students will use critical thinking and cooperative learning skills.

Learning Activities and Organizational Notes:
  10 hours
Activity
The Case of Anthony Burns: Activity 1:Students will trace several escape routes on the Underground Railroad and the route used by Anthony Burns.

Activity 2: Students will learn about The Fugitive Slave Law.

Activity 3: Students will read information concerning the escape, capture and trial of Anthony Burns; and study the impact of this trial on Boston and the steps the Federal Government used to enforce the law.

Activity 4: Students will analyze facts related to the Anthony Burns case based on primary source documents.

Activity 5: Student will create a timeline for Anthony Burns - from his early years in Virginia until his death.

Activity 6:Students will explore the reasons that the Anthony Burns case was so significant.

Organizational Notes

  10 hours
Activity
Gallows on Brighton Street: Activity 1: Students will read about abolition history, select a position people would have taken regarding a speaking event of William Lloyd Garrison.

Activity 2: Students outline the events of October 21, 1835 based on the analysis of primary source documents.

Activity 3: Students write a script, or record a podcast in support of Garrison's speaking engagement.

Organizational Notes

  5 hours
Activity
"Tho All the World Betrays Thee:" Activity 1: Students will be introduced to photographs and film clips where they will attempt to demonstrate interactions between African Americans and Irish Americans. They will then be assigned a short biography of an historical figure that they will have to read for homework

Activity 2: Students will describe their historical figure and discuss their concepts of freedom, liberty and equality. Students investigate primary sources written by or about these figures.

Activity 3: Students will present their findings, and make connections between primary sources and predict what would occur as a result of their investigation. Students will consider secondary sources written about the topic. Students will discuss the legacies of this time period.

Organizational Notes

Assessments: Students create and present their analysis of their primary sources and are assessed using rubrics provided.

Teacher's Notes: For the Gallows on Brighton Street lesson: Students will be provided a copy of Horace Sheldon's "A Moment in Abolition History" and William Lloyd Garrison's speech "On the Constitution and the Union". When creating the Handbill, students may need a copy of the one used as a guide.