New York State Archives, NYSA_A3045-78_3652
This is a political cartoon titled "Effects of the Fugitive Slave Law". It depicts four escaped slaves being recaptured by armed white men. Below are excerpts from the Bible and the Declaration of Independence that were used to argue against the law.
Thou shalt not deliver unto the master his servant which has escaped from his master unto thee. He shall dwell with thee. Even among you in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates where it liketh him best. Thou shalt not oppress him.
Declaration of independence
We hold that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Where do you think this was printed? What would we call it? What section of the newspaper do you think it would be in?
Why are these men being chased?
What hardships would there be if you were a run away slave? What would you meet along the way (geography, weather, people, animals)?
What two documents is this comparing? How do you think their messages conflict regarding slavery?
Based on this cartoon, who do you think proslavery and antislavery people felt about the Fugitive Slave Law?
Rewrite the U.S. Constitution to indicate who was really included in “We the People."
Math: If a runaway slave had a 1-in-15 chance of making it to freedom in Canada, out of 100 slaves about how many would make it?
Science: How did the cotton gin work? Did this invention require more or fewer slaves?
English Language Arts: Write a persuasive letter concerning the legality of the Fugitive Slave Law in regards to a state’s constitutional rights.
Greene, Meg. Slave Young, Slave Long. Lerner Publishing Group, February 1999. ISBN:0822517396
Ringgold, Faith. Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky. Crown Books for Young Readers, December 1995. ISBN:0517885433
Winter, Jeanette. Follow the Drinking Gourd. Knopf Publishing Group, January 1992. ISBN:0679819975
Kamma, Anna. If You Lived When There was Slavery in America. Scholastic, Inc., January 2004. ISBN:0439567068