Category Archives: Document Spotlights

Oh Freedom! William and Ellen Craft’s Escape from Slavery and Continued Search for Freedom

A new primary source activity introduces students to the Crafts, who escaped slavery and were pursued under the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850. Continue reading

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Kidnapping of Free People of Color

Abolitionist Elisha Tyson wrote to Congress with details on several kidnapping cases of free African Americans in the North who were sold into slavery under the guise of the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act. Tyson argued that federal legislation was necessary to address the problem. Continue reading

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The Documents Behind Twelve Years a Slave

Students can see part of Solomon Northup’s story, told in his 1853 autobiography and the new movie, Twelve Years a Slave, in documents found in the National Archives. Continue reading

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More Primary Sources in DocsTeach!

Several new documents have been added to DocsTeach over the past few months. Our former intern shares some of her favorite new additions. Continue reading

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What Effect Did the WWII Fair Employment Practices Commission Have on the Civil Rights Movement?

Today’s post comes from Joel Walker, education specialist at the National Archives at Atlanta. On December 31, 1942, the Counter Intelligence Section of the Seventh Naval District based in Jacksonville, Florida, distributed its monthly summary of subversive activities.  On page … Continue reading

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Considering Context in Primary Sources: The Art of John Trumbull

What is a Primary Source?  In the very simplest terms, a “primary source” is described as any record that was created at the time of an event by someone who was there.  In short, an eyewitness account of some kind.  … Continue reading

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We Shall Overcome: Anxiety and Optimism for the March on Washington

On August 28, 1963, a quarter million people came to the nation’s capital to petition their duly elected government in a demonstration known as the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Frustrated by the inaction of a gridlocked Congress, … Continue reading

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Letter from the Assistant Attorney General Regarding Lynching

Today we share a document just recently digitized by a teacher in our Primarily Teaching 2013 Summer Workshop in Washington, DC. Jen Johnson, a teacher at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago for the last 10 years, found it in the holdings … Continue reading

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“Boston Five” Letter

Today we highlight a document brand new to DocsTeach. We added this 1968 letter from an attorney condemning the conviction of the “Boston Five” just this morning! Teachers at the National Archives at Boston who are participating in Primarily Teaching 2013 this … Continue reading

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Recruitment Poster for the Union Army

Today we spotlight one of the most requested documents on DocsTeach, our online tool for teaching with documents. It’s a Civil War recruitment poster titled “To Colored Men!” After President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, … Continue reading

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