Library of Congress

Teachers

The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Collection Connections >  > From Slavery to Freedom

[Detail] Experience and personal narrative of Uncle Tom Jones...1858

The materials of From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection, 1822-1909, reflect the complexity of slavery in the United States and provide challenging opportunities to analyze documents and debates, such as religious arguments for and against slavery. Materials reflecting colonization and conversion efforts in Africa can be used to evaluate the relationship between language and culture. Other items support investigations into the history of slave laws and less-familiar aspects of the time period such as the appearance of white supremacist literature in the North.

Chronological Thinking

The “History of American Abolitionism” is a valuable resource for understanding the far-reaching impact of slavery as well as the many factors that shaped the complex debates surrounding it. Such factors include the Mexican-American war, British influence, slave rebellions, the influence of abolitionist groups, and territorial expansion.

This pamphlet chronicles slavery laws in the United States from 1787 to 1861. In addition to providing information (with an anti-slavery bias) about legislation such as the Missouri Compromise and the Wilmot Proviso, the pamphlet features statistics such as the slave population in each state in 1790 and 1850 (page 55). Use such information to create timelines of legislation and abolitionist efforts and maps that depict territorial expansion, changes in slave populations, and the admission of free and slave states in the Union. These items will aid in understanding the momentum of the debate and the violence surrounding slavery.