Views on Slavery: PSA Powerpoint

Primary Source Activity:
Views on Slavery
Teaching American History
Understanding Freedom
June 21, 2013
Differing Views on Slavery
• The goal of today’s activity is to use
primary sources, including images and
quotes, to gain an understanding of the
multiple perspectives on American
slavery up to the time of the Civil War.
• This lesson ties in to complexity in
historical thinking.
John Brown
*Radical Abolitionist
*Fought against proslavery
forces in “Bleeding Kansas”
*Led failed raid on Harper’s
Ferry in 1859
*Executed December 1859
*Viewed as a martyr by
many Northerners
*Viewed as a dangerous
insurrectionist by many
Thomas Jefferson
*U.S. President, 1801-1809
*Author of the Declaration of
Independence (1776)
*Author of the Virginia
Statute for Religious
Freedom (1786)
*First Secretary of State
*Founder of the DemocraticRepublican Party
*Virginia planter and slave
David Walker
*Born to a slave father and free
mother in North Carolina
*Settled in Boston
*Abolitionist leader
*Wrote for the first black
abolitionist newspaper
William Lloyd
*Abolitionist leader
*Editor of The Liberator
*Co-founder of the American
Anti-Slavery Society
*Woman’s suffrage activist
John C. Calhoun
*South Carolina Senator and
Congressman (Democrat)
*Vice President (1825-1832)
*Leading spokesman for
states’ rights and slavery
Frederick Douglass
*Escaped from slavery
*Abolitionist leader
*Publisher of The North Star
*Bestselling author
*Civil rights advocate
Angelina Grimke Weld
*Born in South Carolina
*married Northern abolitionist
Theodore Weld
*Author of An Appeal to the
Christian Women of the South
*Abolitionist and woman’s suffrage
James H. Hammond
*South Carolina Congressman,
Senator, and Governor (Democrat)
*Coined the phrase “Cotton is King”
*Defender of slavery and states’
Mary Boykin
*South Carolina socialite
*Wife of a U.S. Senator and
slave owner
*Author of an extensive Civil
War diary
Abraham Lincoln
*Illinois lawyer and
*U.S. President, 1861-1865
*Author of the Emancipation
Proclamation and the
Gettysburg Address
John Brown
Quote on Slavery:
. . . I believe to have interfered as I have
done, . . . in behalf of His despised poor,
was not wrong, but right. Now, if it be
deemed necessary that I should forfeit
my life for the furtherance of the ends of
justice, and mingle my blood further
with the blood of my children, and with
the blood of millions in this slave country
whose rights are disregarded by wicked,
cruel, and unjust enactments, I submit:
so let it be done.
Brown’s statement made after his
conviction by the court (November 2,1859)
Quote on Slavery:
Thomas Jefferson
Indeed I tremble for my country when I
reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot
sleep for ever: that considering numbers,
nature and natural means only, a revolution of
the wheel of fortune, an exchange of
situation, is among possible events… The
spirit of the master is abating, that of the
slave rising from the dust, his condition
mollifying, the way I hope preparing, under
the auspices of heaven, for a total
emancipation, and that this is disposed, in
the order of events, to be with the consent of
the masters, rather than by their
Notes on the State of Virginia (1785)
Quote on Slavery:
David Walker
I count my life not dear unto me, but I am ready
to be offered at any moment, For what is the use
of living, when in fact I am dead. But remember,
Americans, that as miserable, wretched,
degraded and abject as you have made us in
preceding, and in this generation, to support you
and your families, that some of you (whites), on
the continent of America, will yet curse the
day that you ever were born. You want slaves,
and want us for your slaves ! ! ! My colour
will yet root some of you out of the very face
of the earth ! ! ! ! ! !
Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World
William Lloyd
Quote on Slavery:
Assenting to the "self-evident truth" maintained in the
American Declaration of Independence, "that all men
are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with
certain inalienable rights -- among which are life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness," I shall
strenuously contend for the immediate
enfranchisement of our slave population. … I am
aware, that many object to the severity of my
language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be
as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice.
On this subject (of slavery), I do not wish to think,
or speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a
man whose house is on fire, to give a moderate
alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from
the hand of the ravisher; tell the mother to
gradually extricate her babe from the fire into
which it has fallen; -- but urge me not to use
moderation in a cause like the present. I am in
earnest -- I will not equivocate -- I will not excuse -I will not retreat a single inch -- AND I WILL BE
“To the Public” in The Liberator (January 1831)
John C. Calhoun
Quote on Slavery:
But I take higher ground. I hold that
in the present state of civilization,
where two races of different origin,
and distinguished by color, and
other physical differences, as well
as intellectual, are brought together,
the relation now existing in the
slaveholding States between the
two, is, instead of an evil, a good - a
positive good.
“Slavery a Positive Good”
February 6, 1837
Quote on Slavery:
Angelina Grimke
As a Southerner I feel that it is my duty to stand
up here to-night and bear testimony against
slavery. I have seen it -- I have seen it. I know it
has horrors that can never be described. I was
brought up under its wing: I witnessed for many
years its demoralizing influences, and its
destructiveness to human happiness. It is admitted
by some that the slave is not happy under the worst
forms of slavery. But I have never seen a happy
slave, I have seen him dance in his chains, it is
true; but he was not happy.
Address at Pennsylvania Hall (1838)
Quote on Slavery:
Frederick Douglass
What, to the American slave, is your 4th of
July? I answer; a day that reveals to him,
more than all other days in the year, the gross
injustice and cruelty to which he is the
constant victim. To him, your celebration is a
sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license;
your national greatness, swelling vanity; your
sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your
denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence;
your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow
mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons
and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade
and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud,
deception, impiety, and hypocrisy -- a thin veil to
cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation
of savages. There is not a nation on the earth
guilty of practices more shocking and bloody
than are the people of the United States, at
this very hour.
“The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro” (1852)
James H.
Quote on Slavery:
In all social systems there must be a class to do
the menial duties, to perform the drudgery of
life. That is, a class requiring but a low order
of intellect and but little skill. Its requisites are
vigor, docility, fidelity. Such a class you must
have, or you would not have that other class
which leads progress, civilization, and refinement.
It constitutes the very mud-sill of society and of
political government; and you might as well
attempt to build a house in the air, as to build
either the one or the other, except on this mud-sill.
Fortunately for the South, she found a race
adapted to that purpose to her hand. A race
inferior to her own, but eminently qualified in
temper, in vigor, in docility, in capacity to stand
the climate, to answer all her purposes. We use
them for our purpose, and call them slaves.
Speech to the U.S. Senate (March 4, 1858)
Mary Boykin
Quote on Slavery:
I hate slavery… You say there are no more
fallen women on a plantation a
magnate who runs a hideous black harem,
with its consequences, under the same roof
with his lovely white wife and his beautiful
and accomplished daughters? He holds his
head high and poses as the model of all
human virtues to these poor women whom
God and the laws have given him...You see
Mrs. Stowe did not hit the sorest spot. She
makes Legree a bachelor.
A Diary from Dixie (1859-1865)
Quote on Slavery:
Abraham Lincoln
This is a world of compensations; and he who
would be no slave, must consent to have no
slave. Those who deny freedom to others,
deserve it not for themselves; and, under a
just God, can not long retain it.
All honor to Jefferson--to the man who, in the
concrete pressure of a struggle for national
independence by a single people, had the
coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into
a merely revolutionary document, an abstract
truth, applicable to all men and all times, and so
to embalm it there, that to-day, and in all coming
days, it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling-block
to the very harbingers of re-appearing tyranny
and oppression.
Letter to Henry L. Pierce (April 6, 1859)
“Tragic Prelude” by John Steuart Curry (1938-40)
“Southern Chivalry – Argument versus Club’s (1856)
“One Good Turn
Deserves Another”
from Punch
(August 9, 1862)
“Lincoln’s Last
(October 11, 1862)