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Toolbox Library, primary resources thematically organized with notes and discussion questionsOnline Seminars, professional development seminars for history and literature teachersThe Making of African American Identity: Volume I, 1500-1865
The Making of African American Identity: Volume I, 1500-1865
Theme: FreedomTheme: EnslavementTheme: CommunityTheme: IdentityTheme: Emancipation
Enslavement Menu

ENSLAVEMENT




Isaac Jefferson, 1840

Framing Questions
  •  How did enslavement in America affect Africans and their descendants?
  •  How did enslaved peoples maintain selfhood in the slave-master relationship?
  •  What aspects of slavery did freed men and women emphasize when relating their experiences?
  •  How did a person respond to being the slave of another?
  •  What impact did slavery have on white people?


1.  An Enslaved Person's Life» Text Links / Note / Discussion Questions

- Photographs of enslaved African Americans, 1847-ca. 1863
- Jacob Stroyer, narrative, 1885, excerpts
- WPA narratives, 1936-1938:
- Jenny Proctor, enslaved in Alabama
- W. L. Bost, enslaved in North Carolina
- Mary Reynolds, enslaved in Louisiana

2.  Sale» Text Links / Note / Discussion Questions

- New Orleans slave market, 1841, in Solomon Northup narrative, 1853
- Slave auctions, descriptions in 19th-century narratives of former slaves
- On being sold, selections from the WPA narratives of former slaves, 1930s

3.  Plantation» Text Links / Note / Discussion Questions

- Green Hill plantation, Virginia, photographs, 1960
- McGee plantation, Mississippi, ca. 1844, in Louis Hughes narrative, 1897
- Williams plantation, Louisiana, ca. 1850s, in Charley Williams narrative, ca. 1937

4.  Driver» Text Links / Note / Discussion Questions

- George Skipwith, Alabama, letters to his master, 1847-1848
- Moses and Henry [Pettigrew], North Carolina, letters to and from their master, 1856-1857

5.  Labor» Text Links / Note / Discussion Questions

- Plantation labor, selections from WPA narratives, 1930s
- House "servants," letters to their mistress, 1838
- Shipyard worker, Frederick Douglass narrative, 1855
- Boatman, Richard Jones, WPA narrative, 1937

6.  Master/Slave» Text Links / Note / Discussion Questions

- On the master-slave relationship, selections from 19th-century slave narratives
- On masters' sexual abuse of slaves, selections from 19th- & 20th-century slave narratives

7.  Resistance» Text Links / Note / Discussion Questions

- Slaves' resistance, selections from WPA narratives, 1930s
- Nelly's "noble resistance," in Frederick Douglass narrative, 1855
- Free blacks on slave rebellion, four documents, 1843-1858

8.  Runaways» Text Links / Note / Discussion Questions

- Virginia runaway ads, 1745-1775
- A runaway's explanation, William Chase letter, 1827
- Escape to Canada, Littles' narratives, 1856, excerpts
- Escape to Canada, W. W. Brown narrative, 1847, excerpts
- On running away, selections from WPA narratives, 1930s



Image: Isaac Jefferson, slave once owned by Thomas Jefferson, daguerreotype, ca. 1840. Reproduced by permission of the University of Virginia Library.



ENSLAVEMENT
1. An Enslaved Person's Life   2. Sale   3. Plantation   4. Driver
  5. Labor   6. Master/Slave   7. Resistance   8. Runaways








TOOLBOX: The Making of African American Identity: Volume I, 1500-1865
Freedom | Enslavement | Community | Identity | Emancipation


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