In this high school-level lesson, students use primary source evidence to address the question: Who freed the slaves? Was it the self-emancipation of the fugitives who sought protection at Fort Monroe and other Union installations? Was it the actions undertaken by President Lincoln and ultimately his issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation? Or was it something else, or a combination of many people's actions? Students analyze primary source documents to answer these questions using evidence. More
The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
This image, from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper in June 1861, shows how enslaved people, sometimes whole families, escaped to Fort Monroe in Virginia in search of freedom. By the end of the war, almost 10,000 enslaved people had made the journey to what they called "Fort Freedom."More
"I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."
Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861
Music from Colonial Williamsburg is now available on iTunes (search Colonial Williamsburg), Amazon, and CDBaby! Favorite albums, such as From Ear to Ear, Marching Out of Time, A Grand Entertainment, Keys to the Palace and more are available for digital download.
Teachers receive a discount on Colonial Williamsburg images on Photoshelter!
Everyone knows that Abraham Lincoln freed all the slaves...or did he? Freedom came to enslaved people over the course of many months and years--and it arrived in different ways in different places. Discover how enslaved Americans made everyday choices during the Civil War that helped bring about their freedom.More
Explore slavery's pervasive influence across the American colonies. This unit includes lessons on the transatlantic slave trade, slave labor and regional economies, slavery and the law, African American culture and life under slavery, and the beginnings of the antislavery movement. PDFs on CD-ROM, 136 pages.More