How Did Slaves Gain Their Freedom During the Civil War?


>>Hello there, my name Michael
Alflore [assumed spelling], I work in the Education Outreach
Department at the Library of Congress. We are thrilled to welcome you to the second
annual Online Conference for Educators. Our session today, how did slaves gain
their freedom during the Civil War? Without further ado, I would
like to introduce our presenter. Tuyen Tran received her PhD in history from
the University of California Berkley in 2007. Tran’s field of interests are
20th Century United States History and Asian American history, particularly
Southeast Asian American history. As a graduate student, researcher,
and teacher goes, Tran worked with the UC Berkley history
social science project from 2002 to 2006, she joined the project statewide office in 2008. As an assistant director for the project
her major responsibility is the coordination and development of academic programs. Welcome and take it away.>>Great. Thank you everyone
for being here with me. I’d like to thank the Library of
Congress and its educational outreach team for organizing this wonderful
conference to connect us with one another and the library’s excellent resources. I hope everyone has enjoyed the conference thus
far and you will continue tune in tomorrow. So a little something, something about
me and my organizations I represent. I am part of TPS UC Davis, I’m the
assistant director of the teaching with primary sources here at the University
of California Davis, that’s in California. We specialize in disciplinary
literacy and building curriculum units that feature materials from
the library’s archives. And I am also representing
as she assistant director of the California History
Social Science Project. Before you is a summary of
our activities and programs. Please know that we are a statewide network,
we have regional sites and satellite sites across California based out of colleges
and universities across the state. We have classical resources available at our
website, following the links on this slide. And all the primary sources that I’ll feature
as part of my presentation are also linked. So at your leisure later you can click onto
them and it will take you directly to the lesson that I’m going to feature or to
its bibliographic information. So that’s a little bit about our organization. Okay. So that I have sense of who’s online with
me, who we are collectively and the expertise in the room, I’d like to know
who teaches emancipation. And for those of you that do what is your main
focus when you are teaching the end of slavery? All righty then. So 62% of folks teach emancipation. I guess other folks are interested
in the subject. And then our second one was, what is your
main focus when you do teach the subject? So I have an information literacy
instructor, I also have someone who teaches primary sources from the Civil War. Great. Other folks teach
resource skills for sheer writing. Okay. On the subject of emancipation
it seems to me — whoa. What we’ll be looking at is the majority
of folks emancipation during the Civil War. Great. And I don’t know if your
students are like the students I’ve had. Most of the students I’ve taught in
the past have been college students, and most of them privileged Lincoln for emancipating the slaves,
that Lincoln freed the slaves. Has this been your experience as well? And so I ask this question
because I was surprised myself. I have a Kindergartener, and in preschool,
he learned about President Lincoln, which I was thrilled about because,
you know, I am a history geek. But they talked about Lincoln
and that he did free the slaves. And I thought that was very interesting that
that narrative started even in preschool. And that, you know, people have this hero
worship of Lincoln, and rightfully so, he did lots of wonderful things as president. But, you know, privileging Lincoln as
the one to free the slaves is only part of this national myth — only part of the story, a full story of how the emancipation
of slaves came about. I think most students and most
Americans believe that slavery ended with the Emancipation Proclamation
or the 13th Amendment, and definitely that Lincoln played
a decisive and starring role. And it seems like that’s what I see reflected
in the comments here in the chat box. Thank you everyone. Now, historians argue something
quite differently. In this lesson that I’m going to teach
you provides students with secondary and primary sources to make
these arguments as well. So all right. So we have this national myth that Lincoln freed
the slaves and a lot of students believe it. And this is sort of the narrative
that’s still being taught over and over again, including my kindergartener. So if you can see in the passage here
in writing, it sort of reflects that. Any words to say of what folks
can see in these passages here? How that understanding or this mythology of
Lincoln freeing the slaves repeats itself? So in this passage what you see the student
writing about is that Lincoln was the one who wanted to start to focus on the
slaves by the Emancipation Proclamation. It was Lincoln that wanted all
the slaves from the Confederacy to be freed and so they joined the army. So that Lincoln was the one who had this
idea and originated this idea of freedom of those enslaved and that they
were useful for the war effort. So it’s important here to note that the Emancipation Proclamation did
not actually free any slaves in the Union, it only freed slaves in the Confederacy. But what the Emancipation
Proclamation actually do? It did permit black enlistment. So by the war’s end 180,000 and freed and
enslaved persons fought for the military. Enlistment was one key opportunity for
freedom, especially those in Union territory. And then, it empowered and emboldened those
who were still on farms and plantations to free themselves of that bondage as soon
as Union troops were anywhere in the area. So that slaves — those still enslaved
freed themselves by crossing Union lines. So this lesson that we built is
around the history Blueprint. And the history Blueprint, we have three
now, the Civil War, the Cold War for U.S. and world history, and [inaudible] for the
Medieval world, were created as a model of curriculum units for teachers looking for example common core state
standard’s rich instruction. All our units are inquiry based, they include
activities and guidance for teaching reading, writing, listening, and speaking in the
content area, that is discipline specific and covers the state’s content
standards as well. Each curriculum unit includes multiple lessons
that are each organized around a focus question. And the focus question for the lesson that
I’m going to feature here — that’s so funny. Never mind my yellow bar there. My yellow bar is actually
supposed to cover emancipation. Clearly that’s the topic of the talk. But the — the focus question
for emancipation was, how did slaves gain their
freedom during the Civil War? Now, in the first unit of the Civil War these
are — that emancipation lesson one of eight. Thank you. Whether that was Michael or
Kathy, thank you very much. So the emancipation is one of
eight lessons in this entire unit. And the first one is about how
the slaves gained their freedom. So the older historiography said
that the Lincoln freed the slaves. That’s a problem because as I was saying earlier
the Emancipation Proclamation really didn’t free anyone, only those folks in the Confederacy
and they weren’t part of the Union anyhow. And that, like, Lincoln walked this
really tight line between trying to keep those border states within the Union. And then, — but also wanting to deal a
blow to the Confederacy and its ability to use slaves for manpower and for battle. And so, what we wanted to was create a
lesson that was selected current research, and the role of slaves in their own freedom. So the focus question is how
did slaves gain their freedom? Now, a good focus question for a lesson
reflects current scholarship, it inspires wonder and curiosity, it provides a focus for
student learning, that standard space, it requires students to utilize
a critical thinking and writing skills, it elicits
more than one answer. And as you can see in this
question that we posed, it helps — we want students to determine for
themselves how emancipation came about. They’re supposed to generate a thesis
statement that would be supported by evidence, that evidence we provide as
part of this lesson learning. So the lesson is common core aligned. There are two main activities, a
cause and effect reasoning, reading, and plenty of work with primary source analysis. Students, taken all together,
students have the opportunity to cite specifically textual
evidence, determine central ideas, describe how text presents information,
reveals [inaudible] points of views, integrate visual information, [inaudible]
evidence, and analyze relationships between primary and secondary sources. All of this stuff is common
core and part of this lesson. And I’m not sure if common core is
real [inaudible] I like to use it. So the lesson itself has four steps and
I’m going to focus the majority of my time on the emancipation fact-finding mission. You’ll also hear me call it a gallery walk. I think most teachers with a gallery walk. You post things up on the wall, students
walk around, make some observations about it. We want to use that same concept with some
primary sources around this idea of deeds and acts of slaves to free themselves. So we call it a emancipation fact-finding
mission because we’re trying to figure out some facts about, like, how to unpack and
deconstruct this myth, right, about Lincoln and emancipation doing the heavy
lifting of freeing the slaves. So first of the four steps is
introducing the focus question. So initially when you introduce a focus question
there are some key things that you’re trying to get out of your students to —
sort of as a formative assessment. You’re trying to access background knowledge,
you want to connect to some prior learning and you want to determine if there’s
any preconceptions on the topic, like, I started with earlier whether, you know, students still privileged
Lincoln and the emancipation. Where are they coming to — where
are they coming from in terms of what is their starting point, when
you’re teaching them about emancipation? Now, some folks might — for
us this, as I said previously, this emancipation lesson number
six in a total of eight lessons. So previously, students have some
experience with Emancipation Proclamation because there’s a focus on Lincoln’s speeches. So I’m trying to fill in a little bit of the
gaps here so that you can get caught up in some of the context of how we built this lesson,
but in general you do want to start a lesson with trying to access these
three key points here. So the way we did it for this lesson was
we have this image here in front of you, it’s titled “President Lincoln, writing the
Proclamation of Freedom, January 1st, 1863.” Are folks familiar with this image at all? It is a painting that was
painted by David Blythe. I hope I said that right, B-L-Y-T-H-E. If you click it on later it will link
you to the bibliographic information. Oh, okay. Blair [assumed
spelling] uses it the unit. I would be interested if you could share,
Blair, how you use it in your unit. So what we do, what we suggest in this lesson,
is for teachers just to have this as a, you know, as a cold opening to see
what students know about Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation. Some students will figure out that it
actually was issued on January 1st. So this image actually is an imagination of
what he looked like when he was composing it, not what he actually was doing the day of. And so there’s a handful of these sort
of descriptors I have on the side, some key details that students might pick up on. And generally in California the Civil
War is taught at the end of the year. By now you may not need a primary
source analysis tool to deconstruct this or analyze this primary source
for your students. But just in case you may need one,
if you click onto this scroll here at the bottom right corner,
it’s a link to the Library of Congress’s own primary source analysis tool. In general, when you’re analyzing a
primary source for your students you want to have them observe it, make some reflections,
you want to ask some questions of it, and think about other things that they might
be interested in it for further investigation. That’s how the Library of Congress’s primary
source tool is organized in those four chunks. And it’s also similar to another primary source
analysis tool that I will feature when we look at the primary sources during the gallery walk. So I’m reading Blair’s comment about
students looking at a picture and picking out items you see as — and
what some of these items mean. Yes. So, you know, just trying to get a tone
of what this first image says about Lincoln, his role with emancipation, you know,
his centrality in the creation of it. Some things that he’s concerned about. You know, whether it’s his
sword, the scales of justice, being able to represent either James Buckhannon
or Andrew Jackson with their busts also in the picture, or even rail
splitter’s mold in the front of him, harkening back to his rural roots. So some of your students will pick up on that. But at the — but the main part of this, like, you’re trying determine what
their background knowledge is, you’re trying to connect the prior learning,
and any preconceptions may have on topic. Now, remind your students of two earlier points. That in 1860 there are nearly four
million slaves in the United States, mainly in the South, and
that Lincoln’s rationale for fighting the war had changed over time. So what is it about the Emancipation
Proclamation that brought about this change of the purpose for fighting the war? I think it’s universally known by the time of
the Emancipation Proclamation Lincoln’s purpose for the war, of preserving the Union,
changes to really to end slavery. And so, what we want to [inaudible]. Okay. Well we’re going to look at this
topic and we’re going to look at, like, why has Lincoln changed his mind? You know, and let’s look at some
these resources to think about, like, what could have impacted
Lincoln’s choice in that matter. So, it’s an early start of getting them to
visualize and understand some of the key players and some of the key concepts that
students will engage in before they start to actually look at some primary sources. So the second part is to do a
little bit of background reading. And this is where they look at and
read very closely a secondary source for cause and effect reasoning. Now, it’s useful to relate to students
that history tells a story of events. And these events can serve
as causes for other events and effects from previous events, or both. As readers of history, it is important to not
only know that the events take place but also to understand the causal
relationships that link events together. So this is what our reading does. So here we have multiple
sections for our secondary reading where students will read one section and then, be able to identify cause
and effects in these boxes. The first one has been done for them;
I’ll let you have a quick read of that. And we simplified it in the beginning,
the cause statements are bolded. So that’s very easy just to, like, go through
the bold statements, put them in one column, and then, read through the
passage to figure out the effects. Further along in the reading it’s — the
text is written not in italics anymore and they aren’t bolded, so students have
to work a little bit harder for that. Here’s a sample of one that’s
not done for the students, where they have to fill out
the cause and the effect. And then, following this they answer
some text dependent questions. So since we need to identify the cause
and effect from separate sentences — and this forces the students to slow down and make the connections
between causal relationships. So ultimately this is a summation of what
they get from their secondary reading. A trial like this will be useful to teachers
to give as whole or teachers might maybe blank out some boxes and have students fill them in. Any ideas? I would like to hear some
ideas that some of you may have about this could be a good summary
for their secondary reading. I think ultimately the graphic organizer
helps to summarize their new learning and that the main ideas gain from this. It’s a great way to summarize. And so, the main ideas gained from this
reading will help to provide context for the primary sources that they
really dig into in the next step. What we hope is that students will learn
the politics of emancipation and what is at stake politically for Lincoln,
the Union, and the Confederacy. That they learned that slaves had forced
the political situation upon these factors, when they left their farms and plantations,
before the Emancipation Proclamation was passed. So using something like this might
show them more causes than effect. Is that right? Or there are more effects than causes. And what’s really nice that I’ve seen
before is if you extend this even further and have a causes/effects,
and then create a third column to the right of effects, long-term effects. So that you think about, okay. What is lingering that — like,
what are the long-term repercussions of the Emancipation Proclamation as well? Okay. So the third part, we set
them up, we primed up the students, they thought about cause and effect reasoning. They talked about — they figured out
the political ramifications and what’s at stake politically for the Emancipation
Proclamation, all the key holders. And now we’re looking at the slaves themselves. Those enslaved and freed blacks,
and what they did to force the issue of Emancipation Proclamation
upon Lincoln and Congress. So procedures for a gallery walk style set up. As you can see in this picture we’ve done this
workshop multiple times with teachers in fact as a way to just do a simulation
of how it would work. But generally you just want to have a
nice large size of the primary sources. We have ten for this gallery
walk, this fact-finding mission. We spread it out across the room. You can set up the students in pairs or small groups depending how your
class is behaving what works for you. And while students work together in groups each of them have their own fact-finding
mission guide notes. So each of them have a note-taking
guide for every single item. Now, ten is a lot. You know, it’s completely up to
teacher how many they want to do. We could have a conversation about
what would be the best for your timing. I picked my favorite as — a little
bit down the road we’re going to actually process one of these together. I feel like that one would be, like, a key one
that you could spend tons and tons of time on. And — but there’s a variety of 10 in
all, that you could sort from and look through to work with your own students. Okay. So how long for this
step — to allow for this step? I would say a whole class period
just to do the gallery walk, if you want to do all primary
sources in one class. If not then I would say anywhere
between five minutes. I would say five — this is my assumption
that this is for us in eighth grade. So Civil War is taught in the eighth grade. So by then students have had lots of
experience analyzing primary resources I hope, and so they’re going to be pretty quick at it. So I’m thinking anywhere between — like, no
more than five, six, seven minutes per source. And then — you know, so, you know, you
could get away with three or four in a class and you could assign some for homework. It’s completely up to you. And you see that something like
this doesn’t have that much text, although I did provide the
bibliographic information for this one because the bibliographic
information was so good, because it gave so much context
to the image itself. And you too can decide whether
you would provide that or not. I did it just because there were
10 and I didn’t want them, like, searching for research information
that difficult, that takes a little bit time in itself. So take a moment here, look at the source. We’re going to see this again and again because
what I’m going to show you is the source and then, I’m going to show you the field notes
that we’d have a student to analyze the source. So take a — I’m going to give you 60
seconds to just, like, really take this in. And then, I’m going to show you
the bibliographic information. Okay. So here now I’ve added a description. Sometimes when you go to the Library of
Congress you don’t really get any notes about the source that you are working with. But luckily this one does, and it’s
so rich here and it explains so much about what contrabands is
what’s happening in the image. It takes away some of the processing for
students but I think that’s okay when there’s — you know, when you’re doing gallery work
and there’s 10 to look at it’s okay. But, you know, this shortcuts some of
their having to, like, really dig deeper, I think they can still process and there’s
a lot to sort of summarize, even with this, like, heads up text that they get. So take a moment here to read
these bibliographic notes. Yes. The majority of the sources that are in
this lesson are from the Library of Congress. Is there a one super archive for them? No. But if you visit our website we have some
links that we recommend that would help to sort of shortcut that process for you. And yes, Kimberly is absolutely right, the Library of Congress’s teacher section
is really great and there’s tons of lessons that already have collections of
primary sources attached to them. Okay. So my assumption is
that we’re all fast readers. So — and you’ll see the
bibliographic notes are possible — are available on each slide
— subsequent slide as well. Okay. So I just wanted to give you a
quiet moment to read it for yourself. So here we go. So I showed the primary source. And here is their fact-finding
mission field notes. Again, we call it a fact-finding mission because
we set it up so that we said, hey everyone says, you know, Lincoln freed the slaves and the Emancipation Proclamation
did all these wonderful things. But what did actually happen underground? What was going on? And so, they’re on a fact-finding mission. You know, trying to figure out, you know,
what was the sequence of events that brought about the Emancipation Proclamation? And that forced Lincoln’s hand. What you’ll see here is that the — one of the
key things about our fact-finding field notes is that we always include the
lesson focus question at the top. So the students are always [inaudible]
and remember that there’s a purpose for why they’re looking at a primary source. Like this is connected to this larger question,
this inquiry that they’re engaged upon. And the rest of the document is basic
sourcing materials, so they have to figure out what the citation is and looking at
a description of the source, its purpose and its audience message and argument,
making connections for evidence, because they will use this
source to build a part of their argument to answer the focus question. And then,, you know, very important, a
final column for them to, you know, — a parking lot for all the
questions they may still have or stuff they’re still just curious
about as a result of the source. Okay. So what we’re going to do now is I
want to break down each of these sections and we’ll do it together in applying, analyzing the primary source I showed you
previously with each of these sections. So here we go. For the first part. Here is the source again. I took out the bibliographic notes because it’s
not that important for the first part of it, the basic citation information,
you know, the type of document. This is sort of a freebie for you
all because I’m going to assume that you all are the [inaudible]
students, super, super A plus folks. You already know what type of document it is;
it says that in the parenthesis, who created it. Oh actually that was in — it’s
the — creator is actually unknown. When and where is document from, if we
are to believe this source information, Fort Monroe, which is in Virginia. Okay. So I did this first part of
you because I knew some of this. But the next part I’m going to put you all
on a hook and you process this together. So let’s analyze this next part. June, that’s a very good question. Seemingly not that important, correct, but
it is because in the bibliographic notes for the source it actually gives the
measurements of this — of the stamp. And it’s almost like the size — I want to say
it’s almost like the size of a Manilla envelope, it’s, like, longer than 8 1/2 by 11. So it’s a really sizeable one, so that’s good. Is it official stationary? You all are very smart people. You all didn’t have questions I would have. Yes. I do think about what kind of
stationary or what kind of envelope. And was it an official document? Very good points. And here I am just — I breezed through
that first part of it, thank you everyone. So it seems like everyone’s consistent
with the description of the source. [Inaudible] in the audience. And then, I love your comment,
Theresa, about — okay. What does this mean about
the Fugitive Slave Act? Does the Union who controls Fort
Monroe have to return slaves, or are they in violation
of the Fugitive Slave Act? And does this Fugitive Slave Act still
apply in Confederate, you know, country? So looking at the audience I
think June’s comment is very — is a good one that clearly is
not going to be for the officers. Because it would be really inflammatory
for the local folks, correct. So the purpose is to demonstrate this moment in
time in which slaves are entering Fort Monroe. I love this understanding of who the audience
is by thinking about who it is not for. Right? Who it is not created for. It shows that the masters have no
control over their slaves, that slaves — no one has said anything about
contrabanning [assumed spelling] yet, the language of contrabanning. Like, the slaves understand what
the concept of contrabanning is. Right? Like, there’s this
term that they’re using. Come back. You can’t come back now, massa
this child’s contrabanning. Like, this understanding of this concept
of contrabanning is that’s, like pervasive or common enough that folks
are leaving for Fort Monroe. Okay. So now that we’ve looked that the
purpose and the description of the source, let’s move on to its message and its argument. What’s the main idea? Taking this all together, what’s
happening here in this source? And Janelle [assumed spelling], your point about
the Emancipation Proclamation is a valid one. I think a lot of your students would ask
that question and they’ll make a connection that the Emancipation Proclamation
is issued on January 1st, 1863. But this stamp on the envelope
was created in 1861. So they might have some questions
about the timing of that. So the main idea — one of the main ideas is that southern planters are losing their
labor force and that slaves have method to free themselves from their owners. And they see Fort Monroe as a safe space. And Patricia says that the historical prophecy. Oh at the very least that what’s
happening underground in1861 would lead to and have long term effects for the purpose of
the war, for Lincoln’s understanding of the war, and for the North and South’s understanding
of the war and its purpose for sure. So every time we have our students look at a
primary source we also ask them to think about, okay, will how does this source relate to the
question about how do slaves gain their freedom? What can we tell? What information can we gain
from this about that? How would this source help to inform our
understanding how we could answer the question of how slaves gained their freedom? So yes, that many slaves took it
upon themselves to achieve freedom. And then, Kimberly asked, how
much freedom did they gain? Right? By taking the act, and
we will talk about that later. And Theresa’s point that the
contraband practice was proof that freeing blacks could
make a difference in the war. That’s right. That would deal a blow to the — on
federacy’s manpower and their morale. By the end of the — at the start of
the war there four million enslaved. By the end of the war, half a million
had left their farms and plantations. And almost 200,000 slaved and black free
men fought in the military for the Union. So the slaves made a choice. Right. And that choice was
happening underground in 1861. And so, that’s what we want
students to gather from this. And in the collection — and here’s a key. Every single — in the lesson
that you’ll receive — there’s a link to the lesson at our website. So there in that lesson complete packet
there’s a mission field notes key for every single primary source. So here’s one four the contrabanning
primary source. So slaves made the choice to free themselves. So here is a collection of the primary
sources available as part of this lesson. And we do have a convention speech
from 1843, we have a petition for black service volunteers
before Emancipation Proclamation. We have eyewitness accounts, autobiographies, and journals about slaves leaving
their farms and plantations. We have arts — we have art and letters,
and a music hymn, and a music sheet to sort of build a body of evidence to show case that
the enslaved and freed black wanted freedom, acted on their own, and forced this issue
of emancipation upon Lincoln and Congress. So the fourth step here is it’s
our assessment for the lesson. And the assessment replicates exactly
what we were trying to teach the students. So the students have to write and cause and
effect statements and they also have to be able to put into a timeline the course of
events from 1860 to the end of Civil War. Now, there are only two key — in particular
you’ll note there are only two key things that were only made possible after
the emancipation Proclamation. This forces them to understand cause and effect. Right? That out of these six categories,
six choices, only two are made possible after a certain date and that was made
possible with the Emancipation Proclamation. And everything that happened before it
indicates that its supporting role in the course of the Emancipation Proclamation being issued. And finally, students will have to write three
actions that slaves to gain their freedom just in case they didn’t get it from everything else
that — from their primary source analysis. So this is the entirety of the lesson. And those were the two things that can only
happen here in these two arrows that happened with the passage of the Emancipation
Proclamation. And I have here resources for you if you want
to dig deeper to learn more about the Civil War or this Blueprint lesson or
another Blueprint lesson.>>I want to thank Tuyen very
much for a wonderful presentation and for all the educators who
joined us for this session. Goodnight.

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