Teaching Hard History Text Library

Welcome to the Teaching Hard History Text Library. This collection includes more than 100 primary sources selected to support robust teaching and learning about the Key Concepts and Summary Objectives found in A Framework for Teaching American Slavery. The texts are also mapped to the four domains of the Social Justice Standards. Each includes a set of text-dependent questions.

Informational

A Narrative of the Most Remarkable Particulars in the Life of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw

In this text, we learn about James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, who obtained his freedom only for a creditor to threaten him with enslavement. The text describes his experience working off his debt by privateering in the Caribbean while he expressed his dream to relocate to London, England.
Grade Level
James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw
Subject
History
Geography
Social Justice Domain
Informational

Advertisement by Clarissa Reed

This advertisement, published in the Southwestern Christian Advocate in 1883, was included in the "Lost Friends" section of the newspaper. Advertisements like this were published after emancipation by African Americans seeking their relatives. Families of enslaved people were often separated during enslavement. In this advertisement, Clarissa Reed seeks her relatives.
Grade Level
6-8
Clarissa Reed
Subject
History
Social Justice Domain
Informational

Alice, The Negro

Recounting a selective portion of an enslaved woman’s life, this brief biography also serves as a reflection of what mainstream society deemed “worthy” during the early to mid-19th century. Precisely because Alice supposedly embodied characteristics that were both exceptional and ordinary, her story offers a useful lens to consider how slavery was understood in its time.
Grade Level
Abigail Mott
Informational

An Abolition Traitor

A Democratic laborer comments on the problem of abolitionism in the North as well as the South, claiming that the emancipation of enslaved people will result in the damaging of white labor rights and opportunities.
Grade Level
Democratic Workingman (Anonymous)
Subject
History
Economics
Geography
Social Justice Domain